Brendan Taylor has praised his team’s “character”, coming back from the big loss in the first Test to square the series with a thrilling 24-run win. The victory against Pakistan was their first against a team other than Bangladesh since 2001, and Taylor said the win was a credit to his bowlers.
“We’ve done a lot of hard work. We haven’t had a bowling coach in six months and that’s a credit to them [the bowlers],” Taylor said after the match. “Beating a world-class team is a wonderful feeling. Everyone’s contributed, [but] there’s still plenty of room for improvement and we’ll try to better ourselves.”
Zimbabwe came into the final day of the second Test needing five wickets for a win, while Pakistan needed 106 runs. In the first session, they managed to knock over three wickets, but were not able to dislodge Misbah-ul-Haq. Misbah came back after lunch and played a few positive shots to eat into the runs required.
Scoring more quickly was a conscious decision, Misbah said: “It’s very simple. If they give me something [to work with], then I’ll be positive because it’s all about scoring runs. That’s what I was doing. I was hoping that someone would stay with me. That’s all you can do.”
However, the new ball upset Misbah’s plans. Taylor took it as soon as it was available and gave it to Tendai Chatara, who had Junaid Khan playing and missing a couple of times before producing an edge with a well-directed length ball. No. 11 Rahat Ali poked at another next ball, the edge fell short and Misbah called him through for a single.
Next ball, it was all over with a run-out – Misbah pushed into the covers, Ali ran probably with a view of getting Misbah back on strike for the following over, Misbah tried to send him back, but it was too late. It was Hamilton Masakadza who threw the ball to Tinashe Panyangara, who whipped off the bails.
Masakadza said he was still thinking of a missed run-out opportunity in the first over after lunch when this one came along: “I was going to have a shy at the stumps but fortunately Chocky [Panyangara] came up and I saw him just in time. I was getting ready to really let it go. And there was that run-out opportunity in the first over [after lunch] and I was thinking about it all the time, so quite relieved that we managed to get the run-out in the end.
“It’s huge, the way we lost the first Test and the fact that we’ve not beaten one of the bigger sides, only having beaten Bangladesh since we got back to Test cricket, this is really big for us.”