Pakistan 161-5 (Ahmed Shehzad 70) beat
Zimbabwe 136-5 (Shahid Afridi 3-25) by 25 runs
First Twenty20 International, Harare
An innings of 70 in 50 balls from opener Ahmed Shehzad set Pakistan on course for a 25-run win over Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 International in Harare.
Shehzad's effort helped Pakistan post 161 for five and in reply Zimbabwe could only reach 136 for five, quickly falling behind.
Shahid Afridi hastened their demise with a haul of three for 25.
Shehzad hit six fours and a six during his stay at the crease and his innings was well-timed given that top-order batsmen Nasir Jamshed (2), Mohammad Hafeez (3) and Umar Amin (14) were unable to offer much support; the latter dismissed by Prosper Utseya and the other pair removed by Tendai Chatara.
Debutant Sohaib Maqsood struck 26 in 16 balls and Afridi then blasted 23 not out in 16 deliveries to haul Pakistan up to a competitive score while Anwar Ali hit 10 not out in seven balls.
Chatara picked up two for 30, Utseya one for 15, Shingirai Masakadza one for 37 and Elton Chigumbura one for 30.
Zimbabwe's openers then cracked 53 inside eight overs but once Hamilton Masakadza was trapped in front by Anwar (1-21) for 18 in 16 balls, their innings began to fall away.
Vusi Sibanda made 31, but took 42 balls until he was bowled by Afridi and Brendan Taylor was left unbeaten on 32 in 30 deliveries.
The middle order failed to contribute as Sean Williams (9), Timycen Maruma (10) and Chigumbura (6) unable to score the runs as the required run-rate rose sharply.
Malcolm Waller's unbeaten 14 in seven balls showed what could be done, but it was eventually far too little, far too late.
Afridi removed Sibanda, Maruma and Chigumbura to prove his effectiveness in the shortest format once again with Hafeez trapping Williams in front to return one for 12.
The second and final Twenty20 International is tomorrow (24th August).
© Cricket World 2013