Sikandar Raza and Malcolm Waller hit half-centuries as Zimbabwe closed day two of the opening Test against Pakistan on 281-7 in their first innings, a lead of 32.
Raza made 60 on debut and Waller a boundary-filled 70 to ensure Zimbabwe built on the good work of their bowlers from the previous day.
Pakistan, on 249-9 overnight, failed to add a run before Saeed Ajmal was bowled for 49 by Tendai Chatara (3-64) with the second ball of the day.
Zimbabwe were reduced to 68-3 in reply with left-arm paceman Junaid Khan (2-61) taking out both openers.
But Raza and Waller combined in a 127-run stand for the fourth wicket either side of tea to repair the innings.
Waller took an aggressive approach with 14 fours in his 100-ball contribution, while Raza - born in Pakistan but who has lived in Zimbabwe since 2002 - hit 10 fours.
Both fell to off-spinner Ajmal as Pakistan hit back with four wickets in the final session.
Ajmal finished with 4-77 from his 26 overs but could not get rid of Elton Chigumbura, who was unbeaten on 40 at stumps.
The home side only agreed to play in the match after the Zimbabwe Cricket Union agreed to clear unpaid wages before next week's second Test.