Bulawayo: Zimbabwe got off to a steady start against Pakistan in their one-off Test at Queens Sports Club on Thursday by scoring 74 for the loss of one wicket at lunch.
Vusi Sibanda made 45 of those with a mix of solid defence and some carefree shots. He was caught by Umar Akmal off Saeed Ajmal a few minutes before the break. Ajmal`s guile and turn promises much for the tourists in the mid-session.
Tinotenda Mawoyo has seen the session through, clearly determined not to lose his wicket. But Masakadza looked uncomfortable in his short stay at the crease so far.
The wicket of Sibanda came as great relief to Pakistan captain Misbah ul Haq after he had put the Zimbabweans in when winning the toss. He was beginning to doubt the wisdom of his decision, which is unusual on this ground.
His seamers Cheema, Sohail Khan and Juniad Khan had toiled without success against the openers, whose opening partnership of 71 was the highest by Zimbabwe against Pakistan.
At one stage Mawoyo and Sibanda dug so deep they didn`t score for 38 successive balls with the score on 30.
Ul Haq stuck to his seamers for 16 overs but the mood changed with the introduction of Saeed Ajmal. He immediately put the Zimbabwean pair in difficulties, turning the ball both ways and getting bounce.
They are undoubtedly conscious of the fact that their tail is rather long, beginning with Raymond Price at number eight.
Mawoyo and Masakadza can be expected to continue defiance rather than any aggression after the break.