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Pakistan open in style against Zimbabwe

Openers Mukhtar, Shehzad put on 142 to help hosts win first T20 vs Zim by five wickets as international cricket resumes in Pakistan after six years

Lahore: Pakistan celebrated international cricket’s return after six years with a five-wicket win against Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 international at a packed Gaddafi Stadium here yesterday. Pakistan had not hosted any international cricket since terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.

Mukhtar Ahmed is congratulated by Ahmed Shehzad (right) after scoring a 50 vs Zimbabwe yesterday. PIC/AFP
Mukhtar Ahmed is congratulated by Ahmed Shehzad (right) after scoring a 50 vs Zimbabwe yesterday. Pic/AFP

Strict security
Strict security was in place Friday with 4,000 policemen on duty but that did not stop cricket-deprived fans from packing the 27,000 capacity stadium.

Opener Mukhtar Ahmed hit his maiden half century during his rapid 45-ball 83 with 12 fours and three sixes to help Pakistan achieve their target in 19.3 overs and take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Elton Chigumbura (43) hit eight boundaries and a six in his 35-ball knock after Zimbabwe won the toss. Pakistan’s paceman Mohammad Sami took three wickets.

brief scores
Zimbabwe: 172-6 in 20 overs (E Chigumbura 54, H Masakadza 43; M Sami 3-36, W Riaz 2-38) lost to
Pakistan: 173-5 in 19.3 overs (M Ahmed 83, A Shehzad 55; A Cremer 2-28) by 5 wickets

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