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Pakistan face Zimbabwe

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The Zimbabwe cricket team will face their toughest test since their return to the longer version of the game last month when they take on Pakistan at Queens Sports Club on Thursday.

The single Test match which was preceded by a two-day warm-up match will run until next Monday followed by three ODIs and two Twenty20 matches.

Zimbabwe will be confident of doing well especially after their second-string side, the Zimbabwe XI, forced a stalemate in the two-day practice match which ended on Monday at Bulawayo Athletic Club.

The hosts are still riding on a crest of success after they won their comeback Test against Bangladesh following a six-year absence by 130 runs, which they followed up with a 3-2 series win in the ODI series against the same opponents.

The series win over Bangladesh was Zimbabwe’s first against a Test-playing nation since 2005 and Allan Butcher and his men will be determined to prove that it was not a fluke.

Pakistan will no doubt present Zimbabwe with a stiffer challenge, this despite the fact that they are resting some of their senior players and they will inevitably start as favourites. Zimbabwe are expecting left-arm seamer Brian Vitori back after a leg muscle strain.

Pakistan squad: Misbah-ul-haq (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Taufic Umar, Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Rameez Raja Jnr, Adnan Akmal (wk), Saeed Asmal, Yasir Shah, Sohail Tanveer, Ramiz Raja, Yasir Shah, Aizaz Cheema.

Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (capt), Vusi Sibanda, Tino Mawoyo, Hamilton Masakadza, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Craig Ervine, Malcolm Waller, Elton Chigumbura, Kyle Jarvis, Raymond Price, Christopher Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Regis Chakabva.

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