Senior batsmen Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor led from the front as they put together a 110-run partnership for Zimbabwe, who reached 237 for eight wickets at stumps on the opening day of the second test against Pakistan on Tuesday.
Masakadza and Taylor offered Zimbabwe hope of an impressive first-innings total on a green top at the Harare Sports Club but the loss of five wickets after tea allowed Pakistan to gain the ascendancy.
Taylor returned to the team after the birth of his son last week and regained the captaincy from Masakadza, who top scored with 75 before being caught in the slips as he pushed at a delivery from off spinner Saeed Ajmal.
Taylor, who chose to bat after winning the toss, reached his half-century off a risky shot that Rahat Ali let slip through his hands in what looked a routine catch but departed soon after for 51, trapped leg before to spinner Abdur Rehman.
Zimbabwe, beaten by 221 runs by Pakistan in the first test last week, lost opener Tino Mawoyo to the second ball of the day but steadied their innings to go to lunch on 65 for two and later looked to be setting up an impressive score as they were 165 for three at tea after scoring 100 runs in the middle session.
Progress was halted as wickets fell in quick succession in the final session. Junaid Khan's fiery bowling delivered the best figures of 3-55 as the seamers shared five wickets.