ultan: Shahid Afridi equalled the record for most sixes in a one-day career to guide Pakistan to a 37-run win over Zimbabwe in the third day-night international here on Sunday, clinching the series in the process.
Afridi smashed six sixes and two fours in his swashbuckling 52-ball 85 to help Pakistan post a fighting 272-9 before restricting the tourists to 235-7 in their 50 overs to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
Afridi, who holds the world record for scoring the fastest one-day hundred -- off 37 balls against Sri Lanka at Nairobi in 1997 -- equalled Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya's 245 sixes hit in 403 matches. This was Afridi's 252nd match.
Zimbabwe did put up a fight through Sean Williams (71) and Brendon Taylor (55), who shared a defiant 105-run stand for the fourth wicket, but they failed to meet the required run-rate.
Pakistan paceman Sohail Tanveer had the tourists in trouble early as he dismissed Vusi Sibanda (six) and stand-in captain Hamilton Masakadza (10) before Tatenda Taibu (10) was run out.
Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik had Taylor stumped, while Afridi accounted for Williams as both fell in the space of 11 runs. Elton Chigumbura remained not out on 42.
Earlier, it was Afridi's bat which spoiled Tawanda Mupariwa's career best figures of 4-46. The 27-year-old Afridi added an invaluable 116 off just 90 balls for the sixth wicket with Misbah-ul Haq (44) to lift Pakistan from 78-5 after they won the toss and batted.
Pakistan raced to 47 before opener Salman Butt (23) fell in the 15th over.
Mupariwa, drafted in as a replacement for captain Prosper Utseya, who was ruled out due to an ankle injury, trapped Younis Khan (10) leg-before wicket with his first delivery of the match.
With his first delivery of the next over, Mupariwa dismissed Nasir Jamshed (32), caught by Chamu Chibhabha at mid-wicket to leave Pakistan at 70-3. Jamshed hit three boundaries and a six off 49 deliveries.
Malik was run out for three, while Mohammad Yousuf made a laborious five off 26 balls before his innings ended when the impressive Mupariwa held a sharp return catch off his own bowling.
It was all Afridi after that. He took 18 off one over from Chibhabha, hitting his third six to reach his half-century off just 34 deliveries.
Even when Afridi holed out in the 39th over, Pakistan's total was 194 but Kamran Akmal (28) and debutant Kamran Hussain (28 not out) added a further 40 for the eighth wicket to give impetus to the innings.
Pakistan won the first two matches in Karachi and Hyderabad with ease.
The remaining matches are scheduled for Faisalabad (Jan 30) and Sheikhupura (Feb 2).