Tino Mawoyo became the third Zimbabwean player to carry his bat as the opener made 163 not out in his side’s first innings total of 412 on the second day of the Test against Pakistan at Queens Sports Club.
In reply, Pakistan reached 116 for one after 29 possible overs with opener Mohammad Hafeez going strong after an unbeaten 79 off just 93 balls.
The all-rounder lost Taufeeq Umar in the second over with the score on eight but then steered Pakistan to safety with Azhar Ali. Hafeez’s innings included 15 boundaries and a six as Pakistan replied in a solid fashion after Zimbabwe had put Pakistan attack to the sword.
The day belonged to the 25-year-old, who picked up where he left off the first day as he stone-walled the Pakistan attack. Resuming on 82 he went on to reach his maiden Test century and as wickets fell around him, the batsman pushed on past the 150-mark.
When last man Chris Mpofu was bowled by Aizaz Cheema to signal the tea interval, Mawoyo had become the 47th batsman in the history of Test cricket to carry his bat.
Earlier, resuming on 245 for four, Zimbabwe lost Craig Ervine early when he gave Junaid Khan his first Test wicket, caught and bowled by for 49, ending a fifth wicket partnership of 94 with Mawoyo. Debutant Greg Lamb, however, dug in to add another 95 with the opener for the sixth wicket. Mawoyo had a major stroke of luck when he was on 98 as Adnan Akmal missed a stumping. It was his second chance as Sohail Khan dropped him on the boundary.
There was a little bit of uncertainty as he reached his century. Mawoyo thought he was running a leg-bye only to realise it was his all-important 100th run when the umpire failed to signal the extra.
Mawoyo spent a total of 645 minutes at the crease hitting 20 boundaries during the course of his innings.
Only David Houghton, who made 266 in 675 minutes against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo in 1994 and Flower, whose 201 not out against Pakistan in Harare in 1995 spanned 654 minutes, have produced longer innings for Zimbabwe.
When Lamb fell for 38, the Zimbabwe tail fell apart but they still got the side across the psychological 400-odd mark.
Saeed Ajmal bowled with guile and variation that often confused the Zimbabwe batsmen but he was out of luck by finishing with four for 143. It fell to Cheema to clean up with tail and he helped himself to four for 79.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2011.