Lahore (Pakistan) (AFP) – 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 on Friday.
Pakistan had not hosted any international cricket since terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.
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 hit eight boundaries and a six in his 35-ball knock after Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat.
Opener Hamilton Masakadza scored 43 while Pakistan’s recalled paceman Mohammad Sami took three wickets.
The second Twenty20 will be played on Sunday followed by three one-day internationals on May 26, 29 and 31 — all in Lahore.