Pakistan came into the second Test against Zimbabwe with an aim to seal the series after registering a huge win in the previous contest. Babar Azam won the toss at Harare Sports Club and opted to bat first. After a rather cautious start by Pakistan’s openers, Richard Ngarava dismissed Imran Butt who scored 2 runs off 20 balls. With the score reading 12/1 in 7.3 overs, experienced campaigner Azhar Ali came out to bat. The 36-year-old stuck around and stabilized the Pakistan innings, alongside Abid Ali. The duo added 60 runs in the next 129 deliveries as the score read 72/1 in 29 overs at lunch.
Although Pakistan got a solid platform, the fans were not happy with such a defensive approach from both the batsmen. While Azhar Ali (31* off 66) batted at a strike rate of 46.96, Abid Ali (34* off 88) scored runs at a strike rate of 38.63. Twitterati was not pleased with the duo as they trolled them for scoring runs so slowly, even against a not-so-strong side like Zimbabwe.
While some pointed out that a run rate of 2.48 is unacceptable in modern-day Test cricket, the others termed their batting as ’embarrassing’.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Pak’s batting:
— Rehan Hafeez (@RehanHafeez16) May 7, 2021
72 Runs in 29 Overs😐
Why too much Defensive Approach againat the team like Zimbabwe.#PAKvsZIM
— Arqam Butt 🇵🇰 (@ArqamButt6) May 7, 2021
Weldone @MuhammadWasim77 lekin please ab agrasive opener select Kar ke do Pakistan ko aane wale series mein hum modern cricket se bohat peche hain itna silow wo bhi zimbabwe ke against 🤔 #PakvsZim @TheRealPCB
— Kamal khan (@Kamal_khan_) May 7, 2021
Pakistan making sure never to go beyond 2.5 run rate against Zimbabwe. Hard to understand this approach #PakvsZim
— Taimor Sarfraz (@Tgoraya) May 7, 2021
There’s playing a test match and then there’s batting with a run rate of 2.35… imagine Pakistan were playing a different team and needed to chase a score, they’d just end up drawing #ZIMvPAK
— Umar (@MrAziizz) May 7, 2021
Pakistan’s batting run rate is embarrassing slow against a minnow team! #pakvszim
— Lukman Iqbal (@LukyKnightRyda) May 7, 2021
My Friend ! Aj Pakistan itna slow keu khel raha ha
Me ! Ye Test Match ha Odi Nahin
Friend ! Opponent Zimbabwe ha Aus Nahin
Me ! Battng b Pakistan kar Raha ha Eng Nahin #PAKvZIM
— Kashir Ali (@KashirAliCh) May 7, 2021
Azhar and Abid did try to show some positive intent post-lunch as they took Pakistan’s score to 130/1 in 44 overs. With both the batsmen having reached their fifties and skipper Babar Azam to follow, the fans could expect some quick runs being scored in the second half of Day 1.