DateLine: 17th January 2008
Zimbabwe cricket coach Robin Brown said he was confident his team will reclaim its suspended Test status despite crashing to an innings loss against Pakistan's Patron's XI here on Thursday.
The tourists fought hard to stave off defeat in the morning session of the fourth and final day at the Defence Stadium before being bowled out for 236 to lose by an innings and 34 runs.
The Patron's XI made 479-6 declared in their only innings. Zimbabwe made 209 in their first innings.
Brown said it was not all bad news for Zimbabwe.
"There are some positives from this match and I think we are not too far away from competing at Test level," said Brown, who took over as coach last year.
Zimbabwe's Test status was suspended over a slump in performance in 2005 and will come under review later this year.
Brown said the low total in the first innings led to their defeat.
"It was disappointing to get out for 209, but I am happy that the batsmen spent more time in the middle the second time and that's what is needed at Test level," said Brown, under whom Zimbabwe upset Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa last year.
Resuming at 111-6 on Thursday, Zimbabwe soon lost Elton Chigumbura for two before Timycen Maruma (71) and Gary Brent (31) resisted the home attack through a defiant eighth wicket stand of 96.
Maruma hit eight boundaries but paceman Samiullah Niazi mopped up the tail, finishing with 5-42. Sohail Khan finished with 3-76 and Shahid Afridi took 2-31.
Zimbabwe will open their five-match one-day series against Pakistan with the first match here on Monday.
Abbreviated Scores: Zimbabwe 209 (B. Taylor 64; Shahid Afridi 4-37) and 236 (T. Maruma 71, H. Masakadza 44; Samiullah Niazi 5-42, Sohail Khan 3-76); Patron's XI 479-6 declared (Nasir Jamshed 182, Naumanullah Khan 86, Fawad Alam 82 not out, Afaq Rahim 77; R. Price 4-130)
(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)
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