Patron's XI v Zimbabweans, Karachi, 1st day

Monday, January 14, 2008

Patron's XI 65 for 0 (Jamshed 48*, Latif 17*) trail Zimbabweans 209 (Taylor 64, Taibu 46, Afridi 4-37, Yasir 3-42) by 144 runs

The Patron's XI openers put on an unbroken 65-run partnership after their legspinners grabbed seven wickets to bowl out the Zimbabweans for 209 on the opening day of the tour match in Karachi.

Opting to bat, the Zimbabweans failed to capitalise on a 62-run third-wicket partnership and lost their last six wickets for only 27 runs. After Hamilton Masakadza, their stand-in captain in place of the injured Prosper Utseya, fell on the seventh ball of the innings, the Zimbabweans were carried past 50 by Brendan Taylor and Vusi Sibanda. While defensive play was the order of the morning, Taylor made it a point to latch onto anything wide of off stump. Cutting an impressive Sohail Khan to bring up his first boundary, Taylor then creamed Kamran Hussain through extra cover to ease off some pressure.

While Sibanda perished to a catch behind the stumps, Taylor shifted gears and smashed Afridi over long-on for the first six of the morning. He then guided Sohail through gully and then dispatched an overpitched delivery through extra cover for another four. Tatenda Taibu, too, was in no mood to hang around. Following Taylor's dismissal to a loose stroke off Yasir, Taibu, sensing Yasir as the weakest link in the bowling attack, swept the legspinner over midwicket for four before a similar shot fetched him a couple. However, with the next four deliveries reverse-swept - resulting in two fours, a dot ball and a leg-before appeal - Taibu made his intentions quite clear.

While Sean Williams was particularly harsh on Afridi - driving him through the covers and sweeping him over midwicket for a six - a reverse-sweep too many resulted in Taibu's dismissal - taken at slip off Afridi - for a 60-ball 46. That was as good as it got for the touring side as the spin combination of Afridi and Yasir, as well as Fawad Alam - who managed Williams' wicket in his first over - ran through their lower order. In search of quick runs, the Zimbabweans missed out on an ideal opportunity for batting practice in their first outing of the tour.

In reply, Nasir Jamshed and Khalid Latif started aggressively as Jamshed - with 800 runs in the recently-concluded Quaid-e-Azam Trophy behind him - drove Christopher Mpofu through extra cover before pulling Elton Chigumbura through midwicket for fours. The introduction of spin failed to break the partnership, with Ray Price's flighted delivery duly dispatched over long-off by Jamshed.

With a strong batting line-up, Patron's XI will look to score quick runs on the second day and aim to use a a pitch which is expected to deteriorate with time to their advantage.

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