Zimbabwe pace bowler Tendai Chatara struck twice as Pakistan set off in pursuit of a target of 264 on the fourth day of the second Test at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Pakistan were 55-2 at tea, needing another 209 runs to clinch a 2-0 series win, after bowling out Zimbabwe for 199 in their second innings.
Opening batsmen Khurram Manzoor and Mohammad Hafeez went for their shots at the start of the final innings, in contrast to the cautious approach taken by Pakistan in the first innings when they labored to 230 at 2.19 runs an over on a tricky pitch.
Both batsmen hit some handsome boundaries before Hafeez, on 16, tried to work Chatara to leg and chipped a simple catch to mid-on.
Chatara made another breakthrough when Azhar Ali played across the line and was bowled without scoring.
Earlier, left-arm opening bowler Rahat Ali took 5-52 as Zimbabwe were bowled out after adding only 78 runs to their overnight total of 121-4.
Rahat made the first breakthrough of the day when he had Vusi Sibanda caught behind for 10 and he followed up with the key wicket of Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor, who made 27 off 83 balls, as well as tail-ender Chatara.
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal claimed two wickets and left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan one as Pakistan kept the Zimbabwe batsmen under pressure.
Batsmen from both sides have struggled to score freely on a wearing, cracked pitch, but Manzoor and Hafeez took advantage of anything over-pitched or wide of the stumps before Hafeez’s string of cheap dismissals in Tests this year continued. All his runs were scored in boundaries.
Manzoor was unbeaten on 35 at tea, made off 42 balls, with seven fours.
Pakistan won the first Test by 221 runs, leaving Zimbabwe battling to avoid a fifth series defeat in seven since they returned to the five-day format in 2011.