DateLine: 21st January 2008
A record five half-centuries in a single innings propelled Pakistan to a thumping 104-run win over Zimbabwe in the first one-day international here.
Skipper Shoaib Malik hit a 56-ball 63 in Pakistan's mammoth total of 347-5 in 50 overs before capturing 3-34 with his off-spin to restrict the tourists to 243-7.
Opener Nasir Jamshed smashed a 48-ball 61 on his debut, while Younis Khan (79), Mohammad Yousuf (72) and Misbah-ul Haq (55 not out) made significant contributions after Pakistan were put into bat at Karachi's National Stadium.
It is the first time in one-day international history that five half-centuries have been scored in an innings and eight in a match.
The total was always beyond Zimbabwe's reach despite a bright start for the tourists, with an opening stand of 47.
Vusi Sibanda (59) and Chamu Chibhabha (52) added 56 for the second wicket but the tourists lost their rhythm against Pakistan's spinners.
Sean Williams was also among the runs, hitting an unbeaten 51, but the asking rate continued to climb and the task proved too much.
Earlier, the foundations for Pakistan's big total were laid by the 18-year-old left-hander Jamshed, who hit six boundaries and three towering sixes during his swashbuckling knock.
Jamshed, who broke into the team on the back of a brilliant 182 against the tourists in a four-day match here last week, made his more experienced partner Salman Butt (four) a mere spectator in a brisk 45-run stand for the first wicket.
Jamshed was finally caught off medium-pacer Chibhabha in the 15th over.
Younis and Yousuf then put on 113 for the third wicket to further punish the hapless tourists' attack.
Younis hit seven boundaries and a six off 68 balls, while Yousuf's 74-ball knock included five boundaries and a six.
Left-arm spinner Ray Price, who finished with 2-61, dismissed both Younis and Yousuf before Malik and Misbah gave the innings fresh impetus.
Malik, who completed 4,000 one-day runs when he reached 16, put on a brisk 99 runs for the fifth wicket with Misbah. Malik hit two sixes and a four before he became Chibhabha's second wicket.
Misbah hit four boundaries and a six in his 38-ball knock as Pakistan totted up 52 in the last five overs.
The second encounter in the five-match series will be played at Hyderabad on Thursday.
(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)
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