Sharjah: Teenage legspinner Rashid Khan took three wickets while Mohammad Nabi smacked a quickfire 40 as Afghanistan strolled to a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in Monday's first Twenty20 International (T20I) in Sharjah.
Khan was signed by Sunrisers Hyderabad for $1.41 million in last month's Indian Premier League (IPL) auction and returned figures of 3/19 from his four overs as Zimbabwe were restricted to 120/9.
Mohammad Shahzad clubbed a pair of sixes in an 11-ball innings of 20 to ensure Afghanistan, who will play their maiden Test match in June against India, made a promising start to their chase.
A middle-order wobble reduced Afghanistan to 85/5 but Nabi held firm to guide his team to victory with more than five overs to spare.
The second and final match of the series will take place at the same ground on Tuesday before the sides face off in five-match ODI series starting February 9.
Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 120/9 in 20 overs (Solomon Mire 34; Rashid Khan 3-19) lose to Afghanistan 121/5 in 14.4 overs (Mohammad Nabi 40 not out)