Heavy security as Pakistan beat Zimbabwe
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP):
Pakistan defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets in the country's first international match against a major team in six years on Friday in a stadium encircled by police and filled to capacity.
The crowd of 27,000 endured frequent security checks to watch Pakistan reach 173-5 in the first Twenty20 international after the visitors had posted a decent 172-6.
Fans packed the stadium at least two hours before the Twenty20 between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, the first Test-playing team to visit this country since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team outside this venue in 2009, bringing all major tours to Pakistan to a halt.
Pakistan's opening batsman Mukhtar Ahmed hit 83 off 45 balls with a dozen fours and three sixes and shared a 142-run first-wicket stand with Ahmed Shehzad, who scored 55 off 39 balls.
"Who cares about this hot weather and at how many places I was checked by the security officials, I am just here to see the return of international cricket in my own country," said fan Waqas Zulfiqar, wearing a Pakistan jersey.
The teams arrived at the stadium in a fleet of vans carrying armed guards more than two hours before the match. Two helicopters hovered over the stadium.