Fawad Alam, Imran Butt enable Pakistan take 198-run lead with four wickets yet in hand

From our correspondent

HARARE: Fawad Alam began from where he had left in the home series against South Africa as the left-handed batsman hit an unbeaten hundred to stretch Pakistan’s lead to 198 with four wickets in hand on the second day of the first Test against Zimbabwe here at the Harare Sports Club Ground on Friday.

Fawad smacked 108 not out as Pakistan closed the day at 376-6 after starting it at 103 without loss in response to the hosts’s first innings total of 176. It means the visitors are now 198 runs ahead.

Fawad, who hit his fourth Test hundred, smashed 16 fours in his 155-ball unfinished knock. He brought in his fifty off 72 balls and his hundred came off 144 deliveries.

He added 107 in the fifth wicket stand with stumper Mohammad Rizwan who was bowled by Muzarabani for a solid 45 off 106 balls, striking four fours.

Hasan Ai was with Fawad at the other end on 18-ball 21 when bails were drawn, hitting two sixes and one four.

Earlier, Pakistan began the day at 103 without loss with Abid Ali batting on 56 and Imran Butt on 43.

It was  the day of young Imran Butt (91) who showed great potential, hitting seven fours in his 236-ball sedate knock for which he stayed at the crease for 332 minutes. Imran was involved in a few useful partnerships. He first provided a solid 115-run opening stand to the team with Abid Ali (60), who was the first to fall after adding only four runs to his overnight total.

Imran, whose previous best was 15 which he had scored against South Africa at home series, then shared 61 for the second wicket association with former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali who lost his wicket for 36. Azhar faced 70 balls and hammered five fours. Azhar chased a delivery from Tiripano which slightly moved away after pitching outside the off-stump. Azhar flashed it and it went straight to the point fielder Musakanda.

After Azhar’s departure Pakistan lost their skipper Babar Azam for a golden duck, his first in Test cricket. And this time again it was Tiripano who did the job to reduce Pakistan to 182-3. At that stage Fawad and Butt shared 42 for the fourth wicket stand before Ngarava getting the vital scalp of Imran Butt.

However at that stage Rizwan gave a good support to Fawad as the duo shared a century partnership to consolidate Pakistan’s total.

After losing Rizwan in the final session Faheem Ashraf (0) failed to play a role and he also fell prey to Tiripano and Pakistan were 334-6. Donald Tiripano did the main job, finishing the day with 3-89 in 23 overs.