Mohammad Nabi's brisk 40 not out helped guide Afghanistan to a dominant five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first of two Twenty20 internationals between the sides.

The 33-year-old all-rounder, who also took a wicket in the one over he bowled, led from the front in Sharjah to ensure Zimbabwe's 120-9 was easily chased down with 32 balls remaining. 

Afghanistan recovered well after their opponents made a solid start to pass 50 runs inside six overs, including a mammoth 23 in the fourth.

Solomon Mire had done much of the damage and his departure for 34 preceded a marked decline in Zimbabwe's innings, with only Malcolm Waller (27 not out) offering any real resistance.

Rashid Khan helped himself to a tidy 3-19, enabling Afghanistan to enjoy a relatively pressure-free chase.

After some early wobbles, which saw Karim Sadiq (5) and Mohammad Shahzad (20) fall by the end of the fourth over, Nabi's 27-ball knock – featuring three maximums – proved telling.

The second T20 takes place at the same venue on Tuesday, with a five-match one-day series beginning on Friday.