Abu Dhabi, March 13 (IANS) Skipper Sean Williams’s unbeaten 106 and his unbeaten eighth wicket partnership of 124 with Donald Tiripano (63 batting) helped Zimbabwe avert an innings defeat against Afghanistan and take the second Test into the fifth day here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Saturday. Zimbabwe were eight runs ahead of hosts Afghanistan with 266/7 wickets at stumps.
Zimbabwe, who were forced to follow on, looked down and out at 142 for seven wickets. However, Williams and Tiripano defied the Afghans for 42.4 overs.
Leg-spinner Rashid Khan picked five wickets for 105, but failed to find support from the other bowlers.
Resuming the fourth day at 24 without loss in their second innings, Zimbabwe lost a couple of quick wickets at 44 and 46 before Williams and Tarisai Musakanda (15) added 55 runs for the third wicket with the left-handed batsman being the dominant partners.
The 34-year-old Williams witnessed regular fall of wickets as his team’s batsmen failed to put up any resistance.
Sikandar Raza, the top-scorer from first innings, too failed to get going and was dismissed by Rashid for 22.
Williams hit nine fours and a six in his 190-ball stay. During his 164-ball stay Tiripano hit 11 boundaries.
Zimbabwe had made 287 in the first innings, with Rashid picking four for 138. The leg-spinner who is playing his fifth Test match has a chance to achieve his second 10-wicket haul of his career. He just needs one more wicket for that feat.
Zimbabwe had won the first Test by 10 wickets.
Brief scores: Afghanistan: 545/4 declared; Zimbabwe: 287 all out and 266/7 wkts (S Williams batting 106, D tiripano 63 batting, R. Khan 5/105)