Wednesday 4 September 2013

Mini-session Analysis, 1st test Zimbabwe vs Pakistan, Harare, 2013

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the first test between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at Harare Sports Club, Harare, Zimbabwe

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aPakistan 27/3 off 14Zimbabwe
1-1bPakistan 47/0 off 15Pakistan
1-2aPakistan 44/0 off 15Pakistan
1-2bPakistan 38/2 off 14Zimbabwe
1-3aPakistan 26/3 off 13.3Zimbabwe
1-3bPakistan 67/1 off 18.2Pakistan
2-1aPakistan 0/1 off 0.2Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 27/1 off 12
2-1bZimbabwe 34/0 off 12Zimbabwe
2-2aZimbabwe 48/2 off 15Pakistan
2-2bZimbabwe 54/0 off 16Zimbabwe
2-3aZimbabwe 49/2 off 13.2Pakistan
2-3bZimbabwe 69/2 off 18.4draw
3-1aZimbabwe 37/1 off 14Zimbabwe
3-1bZimbabwe 9/2 off 2.3Zimbabwe
Pakistan 21/1 off 7
3-2aPakistan 24/2 off 14Zimbabwe
3-2bPakistan 42/0 off 14Pakistan
3-3aPakistan 31/0 off 15draw
3-3bPakistan 50/1 off 20Zimbabwe
4-1aPakistan 42/1 off 14draw
4-1bPakistan 48/0 off 14Pakistan
4-2aPakistan 18/0 off 15draw
4-2bPakistan 33/2 off 14Zimbabwe
4-3aPakistan 45/2 off 14Pakistan
4-3bPakistan 65/0 off 8.3Pakistan
Zimbabwe 13/1 off 7.3
5-1aZimbabwe 32/2 off 15.3Pakistan
5-1bZimbabwe 75/7 off 23.4Pakistan

Final update, click here

The mini-session count is tied up 13 - 13 but Pakistan win the match by 221 runs.

First drinks, Day 1: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 1-0

What a start for Zimbabwe! Pakistan's batsmen looked in all sorts of trouble against good lengths and a lively pitch. Tinashe Panyangara has been a real difficult bowler for the Pakistani top order batsmen to face so far this tour when he's had the new ball in his hand. It's continued here. Pakistan are going to have to again rely on Misbah-ul-Haq if they are going to put together any sort of score.

Lunch, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied up, 1-1

Misbah again did what Misbah does. He was a solid rock amongst shifting sands. He really is a man for a crisis. It was a good hour for Pakistan, but the session firmly belonged to Zimbabwe.

Stumps, Day 1: The mini-session count is tied up, 3-3

Pakistan ended the day on 249/9. The mini-sessions were split 3-3, but Zimbabwe will be much happier with the day's play. If it wasn't for a fighting rearguard effort by Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan, Pakistan could have been in real trouble. At one point Zimbabwe had them 182/8. Zimbabwe are missing Williams and Taylor, so their batting is somewhat understrength, but they have enough strength that if they have a good day tomorrow, this test could get very interesting.

First drinks, Day 2: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 4-3

While the scoring in this match has been anything but electric, there has been some good cricket. These two Zimbabwean batsmen are sticking to their role well here.

Stumps, Day 2: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 6.5-5.5

Zimbabwe managed to take a slender lead at the end of the day, but they will be looking for some runs tomorrow from their tail to actually feel like they are in a good position in this match. They need a reasonable buffer, as they are going to have to bat last against Saeed Ajmal.

First drinks, Day 3: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 7.5-5.5

I've got a soft spot for Elton Chigumbura. He seems to be the sort of cricketer who will leave nothing behind when he walks off the field. He's got through to a well deserved half century, and is batting well with the tail.

Lunch, Day 3: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 8.5-5.5

That man Panyangara strikes again. Zimbabwe have a lead, and a wicket before the lead is eclipsed. They'll be hoping to have Pakistan 4 down before they reach the difference.

Middle drinks, Day 3: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 9.5-5.5

Is Misbah-ul-Haq the toughest batsman since Allan Border? Every time his team is in trouble, he stands up. He's not one to cash in on flat tracks. It seems like he only scores when nobody else can. But those runs are the most valuable. He has got out his spade again here, and is setting up some fortifications. It feels like Zimbabwe will need something special to dislodge him.

Stumps, Day 3: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 11-7

Hamilton Masakazda seems to be doing a good job here. His bowlers each have a specific role and they are generally keeping to it. A perfect example is the plan that he's using for Utseya. He's got him bowling very straight, with a stacked leg-side field. This would be a particularly negative tactic against a team like England or New Zealand who generally find surviving against spin a success, but the Pakistani batsmen like to feel like they are dominating spin bowlers, so giving them a big target to aim for, then making it difficult for them to go there is very good captaincy. While it hasn't got any wickets it has created internal pressure on the batsmen. Zimbabwe will still have to negotiate Ajmal on this deck, but they are giving themselves a good chance.

First drinks, Day 4: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 11.5-7.5

That was a very even hour of cricket. Zimbabwe need to follow up their wicket before the new ball with a couple fairly shortly, or else this game could start to slip away from them. This is starting to look like the sort of match where Abdur Rehman flips the switch from being a rubbish bowler to being completely unplayable. There are not many bowlers like him, in that he doesn't really have a middle ground. He's either completely unstopable, or he looks completely innocuous. This sort of target, on this sort of pitch could bring out the best in him.

Lunch, Day 4: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 11.5-8.5

This is danger time for Zimbabwe. They need to take some wickets quickly. I'm honestly not sure why Masakadza took off Panyangara after only a few overs with the new ball, as he had been the bowler who had caused the most problems for the Pakistani batsmen.

Stumps, Day 4: Zimbabwe lead the mini-session count 13-11

Day 4 belonged to Pakistan. Zimbabwe need another 329 runs, with 9 wickets in hand and some rested Pakistani bowlers. This is not going to be easy. While the mini-session count favours Zimbabwe, the match state doesn't.

End of match, Day 5: The mini-session count is tied up, 13-13 but Pakistan win by 221 runs.

Well, that escalated quickly. When the Pakistani spinners get a sniff of blood they become somewhat lethal. The task was always likely to be too tough for Zimbabwe, but they were by no means humiliated in this match. 13-13 in the mini-session count shows that they played som good cricket, and generally competed throughout the match, but ultimately Pakistan won the most important moments in the match.

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