Pakistan on verge of victory after Zimbabwe collapse
Bulawayo (Zimbabwe): Pakistan were on the verge of victory here today after an astonishing collapse by hosts Zimbabwe in their second innings of the one-off test match saw them go to tea on 56-5.
It left the hosts just two runs ahead of the tourists, who had been dismissed for 466 just after lunch.
The only consolation would have been that they had passed their lowest test total, 54 against South Africa in Cape Town in 2005.
The Zimbabweans had more than held their own over the first three days but it seemed to have taken its toll as their top order batsmen surrendered their wickets all too easily with captain Brendan Taylor out for five for his sixth successive failure.
Tinotenda Mawoyo was the only one to even reach double figures as he went for 12, but that was as good as it got.
Saeed Ajmal and Aizaz Cheema took two wickets apiece while Mohammad Hafeez delivered a heavy blow to the hosts when he trapped Craig Ervine leg before shortly before the interval.
Earlier the Pakistani batsmen had thrown caution to the wind as they upped the scoring rate to go into lunch on 460-8.
Beginning the session on 357-5 and looking for a big lead to put Zimbabwe under pressure, Pakistan lost three wickets, including the pivotal wicket of Younis Khan, who only added 27 to his overnight score of 61.
He was caught somewhat fortuitously at first slip by Taylor off veteran spinner Raymond Price, the ball first bouncing off wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu`s pad.
Umar Akmal survived a TV review of a run-out appeal but he failed to capitalise on that reprieve as he was caught soon afterwards by Taylor off Gregory Lamb for 15.
Sohail Khan was then caught by Lamb on the mid-wicket boundary off Christopher Mpofu for 11.
Khan had been dropped at gully by Hamilton Masakadza just beforehand - the sixth spilling of the innings - and he punished Masakadza by hitting the next ball for a six.
Saeed Ajmal spent the last three overs of the morning scoring quick runs but was eventually out for 28 after lunch, bowled by the dependable Price.
Zimbabwe`s fielding in general cost them dear throughout the innings and it showed no change on Sunday as several elementary errors in the field cost them more runs.