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Cricket news - Abid Ali headlines Pakistan's dominant day

Abid Ali's maiden double century in Tests was the cornerstone of their batting performance.

Abid Ali's maiden double century in Tests was the cornerstone of their batting performance.

Pakistan took giant strides towards effecting a series whitewash after a strong display on the second day of the final Test at the Harare Sports Club. Abid Ali's maiden double century in Tests was the cornerstone of their batting performance, while his partnership with Nauman Ali was pivotal to the final score. Their bowlers then got into the act, slicing through Zimbabwe's top order in the final session. It leaves the home side with a mountain to climb, and being a batsman down due to Roy Kaia's injury, only adds to the woes.

It wasn't that bad a start to the day for Zimbabwe, having picked up three wickets in the morning session, and at that point, Pakistan seemed in danger of folding up inside the 400-run mark. Amidst the collapse, Abid dug in and his marathon stand with Nauman Ali of 169 stunned Zimbabwe's bowlers who had no answer to the duo's methods at the crease. If the first half of their stand was all about solidity, the latter part was about clinical ball-striking. While Abid got to his cherished milestone, Nauman was unlucky to miss out on his maiden century falling for 97.

Their partnership ensured that any little hope Zimbabwe had of fighting back, was nipped in the bud. With approximately a session to bat out till stumps, Zimbabwe were rattled by Pakistan's bowlers, all of whom were on the money. Debutant Tabish Khan scalped his maiden Test wicket to start the slide and all the bowlers bar Nauman have entered the wickets column. With three days still left in the game, only one result appears probable.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe52/4 (Regis Chakabva 28*, Hasan Ali 1-7) trail Pakistan 510-8 decl (Abid Ali 215* Azhar Ali 126, Nauman Ali 97)by 458 runs.