Zimbabwe crushed in first Twenty20

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Zimbabwe put in their most dispiriting performance of the season thus far, slumping to an 85-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first Twenty20 international.

Zimbabwe put in their most dispiriting performance of the season thus far, slumping to an 85-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the first Twenty20 international on Friday.

The hosts managed a pitiful 113 all out in response to Pakistan's total of 198 for four, with Charles Coventry's 13-ball 30 the only bright spot in Zimbabwe's showing.

Chamu Chibhabha stroked a more pedestrian 28, but only two other batsmen reached double figures as Brendan Taylor's side were bowled out in just 15.2 overs, with their inexperience in the format clearly visible.

An opening partnership of 74 in less than seven overs between Asad Shafiq and Mohammad Hafeez stunned the hosts after they won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat, and Zimbabwe never recovered with their bowlers guilty of recording far too many wides – 15 in total.

Even Ray Price lost his nerve, starting with a 10-ball over as the usually dependable left-arm spinner failed to put the brakes on Pakistan.

Shafiq hit six fours and a six before he was run out for 38 following a mix-up with Hafeez, who went on to add 73 with debutant Rameez Raja for the second wicket.

Hafeez finished with 71 from just 48 balls, and was finally caught in the deep as he went in search of a fourth six.

Raja added a fairly sedate 23, but the innings finished with a bang as Umar Akmal hit an unbeaten 22 from 11 balls and Sohail Tanvir contributed 17 from just five deliveries.

Having looked fairly clueless in the field, Zimbabwe's batting was equally lacking in direction as they failed to put on a partnership worth more than 27.

Hafeez again did most of the damage, taking four for 10 in 2.2 overs and also running out experienced batsman Tatenda Taibu.

Coventry gave Zimbabwe a glimmer of hope on his return to the side when he slog-swept several boundaries and also reverse-swept Yasir Shah over short third man for four, but he was eventually undone by Saeed Ajmal's doosra as a top edge was safely pouched by Umar Akmal, who wore the wicketkeeping gloves in the absence of his brother Adnan.

Zimbabwe's inexperience in the Twenty20 format – this was just their 15th international – was clear, but they will also reflect on some questionable selection which saw them pick just four specialist bowlers.

Top-order batsman Cephas Zhuwao, who recorded a first-ball duck, also looked a bizarre selection ahead of the likes of Propser Utseya and Malcolm Waller given his poor record in all formats at all levels.

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