Harare: Zimbabwe took two wickets in three balls to seal their first win over Pakistan in 15 years on the final day of the second Test on Saturday, claiming victory by a narrow 24 runs to draw the series 1-1. Tendai Chatara finished with 5-61 as Pakistan was bowled out for 239 soon after lunch, short of the 264 it needed to sweep the series 2-0 on a tense last day of the tour.
The Zimbabweans had Junaid Khan caught off Chatara for 1 and two balls later last man Rahat Ali was run out in a mix up that sealed Pakistan's fate. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq finished 79 not out in a losing effort for the tourists. It was Zimbabwe's first win over Pakistan in a test since 1998 and its first win over a top test nation for over a decade, with the home team also shrugging off problems surrounding non-payment of wages and the Zimbabwe cricket board's financial crisis to lift itself to one of its biggest results in years.
Chatara led the celebrations on Saturday, but was backed up by left-armer Brian Vitori's five-wicket haul in the first innings as Pakistan's batsmen twice failed to make 250 in the game. Hamilton Masakadza made two important contributions with the bat for the Zimbabweans, who took a 64-run first-innings lead and just held on after surrendering a first-innings advantage to lose the first test by a hefty 221 runs.
The end in this test came suddenly and soon after lunch with Pakistan crawling toward the victory target, and with Misbah anchoring their chase with his dogged 181-ball 79 with nine fours that ultimately wasn't enough. Khan edged to Malcolm Waller in the gully to put Zimbabwe on the brink, and Ali inexplicably set off for a single two balls later, was sent back by Misbah, and was run out at the bowler's end to send the Zimbabweans into frantic celebrations.
The tour has been undermined by their battles with their own board over non-payment and the Zimbabwean players even threatened to go on strike. The second test also was relocated from Bulawayo and back to Harare to save costs, a decision which ultimately may have helped the home team as the well-worn wicket was too tricky for the Pakistanis to hold out on at the end.
Zimbabwe had dismissed three Pakistan batsmen in the first session to raise their hopes, with Adnan Akmal, Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal all out before lunch to leave the test delicately balanced.
Misbah appeared to be taking Pakistan home, though, asserting his control with four boundaries after lunch and pushing the tourists within reach until the decisive Chatara over, which leveled the series and gave Zimbabwe its first win over a test nation other than Bangladesh since 2001.
Chatara was backed up by offspinner Prosper Utseya, who had 2-62, while only Misbah and opener Khurram Manzoor (54) were able to make significant scores in Pakistan's chase.