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Zimbabwe shade first day

Zimbabwe had the best of the opening day of the first Test against Pakistan, having taken all but one of the visitors' wickets at stumps in Harare.

On a day when both sides had spells of dominance it was the hosts, without Sean Williams, the one player who refused to play due to a dispute with Zimbabwe Cricket over salary payments, who fared better by the end - restricting Pakistan to 249 for nine.

Zimbabwe's bowlers made early inroads after the hosts had won the toss. Tinashe Panyangara took 2-15 to reduce Pakistan to 27 for three in the first hour - although the tourists reached lunch on 74 with no further damage.

Indeed, half-centuries from captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali helped Pakistan reach 156 for five by tea, with Prosper Utseya dismissing Misbah, for 53, and Asad Shafiq in the afternoon session.

Pakistan's recovery seemed to be coming along nicely as Misbah brought up his fifty in the 43rd over by nudging Utseya to square-leg, but three overs later he was caught by Vusi Sibanda at short midwicket off the same bowler.

Azhar continued to bat well after tea but never had a partner who looked likely of occupying the crease for any period of time.

Adnan Akmal and Abdur Rehman came and went, falling to Tendai Chatara and Shingi Masakadza respectively, having added a combined 25 to Pakistan's total.

Saeed Ajmal showed much more resilience when he walked out at number nine but a key moment of the day came when Azhar edged a simple catch to slip, departing for 78 and leaving the Pakistan tail to fend for themselves.

Ajmal set about adding as many runs as possible, cracking six fours and one six to reach the close unbeaten on 49.

Panyangara had the last word of the day, however, as he took the wicket of Junaid Khan, who edged behind on 17 with the umpires removing the bails immediately following his dismissal.