Zimbabwe win first ever Test series as final match abandoned

21 Dec 1998

FAISALABAD, Pakistan, Dec 21 (AFP) - A jubilant Zimbabwe won their first ever Test series here Monday as the fog-hit third and final match against Pakistan was abandoned on the fifth day.

Umpires called off the match after the first four days had been wiped out by the fog.

Zimbabwe won the three-Test series 1-0 following their seven-wicket victory in the first Test at Peshawar, their first ever Test win abroad. The second Test at Lahore was also abandoned because of misty conditions.

The Faisalabad match was only the ninth Test abandoned without a ball being played in 1,435 international cricket Tests.

``This is indeed something very unforgettable for us and people back home must take it as a Christmas gift,'' Zimbabwe's captain Alistair Campbell said.

``Not many sides come to Pakistan with a hope to win. Our main goal was to win a Test at least but I am glad that we have won the series.

``We don't want to sit on our laurels and will continue our good performances in future,'' he vowed.

Zimbabwe now have three wins out of the 34 Tests they have played since acquiring Test status in 1992. They have lost 15 Tests with the remaining 16 drawn.

Pakistan captain Moin Khan was disappointed over losing the opportunity to square the series, which was the second the home side have lost in a row after being beaten 1-0 by Australia in October.

``We had the upper hand in Lahore but bad weather came as an obstacle and the same happened here in Faisalabad,'' he said, adding: ``I think credit goes to the Zimbabwe team for winning their first ever Test series.''

Yousuf Yohanna was declared man of the series for Pakistan. He hit a fine 75 in the first Test in Peshawar and an unbeaten 120 in Lahore.

Pacer Henry Olonga was Zimbabwe's player of the series after getting nine wickets in the series including a match-winning 42-4 in Peshawar.

Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton congratulated his side but added ``I feel a bit hollow'' at the decisive role that bad weather played in the series.

``We have got better and better with each game and our next goal is to clear the first round of the 1999 World Cup in England. I definitely feel we deserve more recognition,'' he said.

He expressed surprise at the regular changes in the captaincy of the home side, which have come amid public rancour between the Pakistani players and selectors.

``Pakistan don't give us time to assess their captains. We have played Pakistan 13 times and had six different captains.''

Pakistan now head for a contentious tour of arch-rivals India starting late next month. Zimbabwe leave Pakistan on Tuesday and have a four-month break before playing the World Cup in England.

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