Hafeez stars in Pakistan win
Zimbabwe blown away in the opening T20 international
Last Updated: 16/09/11 4:33pm
Umar Akmal cuts loose for Pakistan against Zimbabwe
An impressive all-round performance from Mohammad Hafeez saw Pakistan canter to an 85-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 international at Harare Sports Club.
Hafeez plundered 71 off 48 balls to lead the tourists to an imposing total of 198-4.
He then starred with the ball as well, claiming 4-10 in 2.2 overs as Zimbabwe were skittled out for 113.
Pakistan were asked to bat after Brendan Taylor won the toss, but the Zimbabwe captain must have been questioning his decision when Hafeez struck the second and third balls of the game for four.
Things got worse for the bowler, Chris Mpofu, when Asad Shafiq hit four successive boundaries in his next over.
Elton Chigumbura came in for similar treatment with two fours and a six hit in his first over, which cost 15, while the home bowlers were not helping themselves as they contributed a total of 15 runs through wides.
Ray Price was the chief offender, but he saw Shafiq run out for 38 off 23 balls in his next over with the score on 74.
The blow did not slow Hafeez down though, as he whipped a four and a six of Hamilton Masakadza's first over, and was then gifted another maximum off the same bowler when Mpofu pushed the ball over the boundary.
Hafeez finally perished with the score on 147, but debutant Rameez Raja and Umar Akmal both got past 20, while Sohail Tanvir hammered an unbeaten 17 from five balls.
Sohail Khan dismissed Vusi Sibanda and Cephas Zhuwao in the second over of Zimbabwe's reply and when Sohail Tanvir got rid of Taylor with the score on 37, Pakistan were well on their way to victory.
Hafeez then took over with three quick wickets and, fittingly, returned to finish the game off by bowling Price.
Only Charles Coventry (30 off 13) and Chamu Chibhabha (28 off 26) made meaningful contributions for Zimbabwe, who will try again at the same venue on Sunday.