Younis Khan scored a superb double hundred while Ajmal and Rehman came up with fine bowling performances to help Pakistan to a 221-run win.
Harare: Pakistan removed nine Zimbabwe batsmen on the final morning to convincingly win the first Test by 221 runs as the host crumbled to 120 all out at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman had four wickets each to rip the heart out of Zimbabwe's batting lineup, which came nowhere near the 342 they needed to win on the final day.
Ajmal had 4 for 23 and Rehman took 4 for 36 to complete the dramatic fightback for Pakistan, which had surrendered a 78-run first-innings deficit before completely turning the match around. Younis Khan's 200 not out was the game-changing contribution as the tourists made 419 for 9 declared in their second innings to set the Zimbabweans an improbable target.
Zimbabwe lasted just 46.4 overs in their second innings and lost 9 for 107 on the last day to slump to a heavy defeat after holding the upper hand in the early part of the match following their first-innings score of 327.
The second and final Test is in Harare next week, before which Zimbabwe's struggling cricket board hopes to finally end a dispute with their players and pay them outstanding wages they are owed.
Seamer Junaid Khan (2 for 20) claimed Saturday's first two wickets and Ajmal and Rehman then made regular inroads after that as Zimbabwe slid rapidly from 13 for 1 overnight to 58 for 5. Elton Chigumbura top-scored with 28 but despite his brief resistance, Zimbabwe were heading rapidly toward a loss.
Wicketkeeper batsman Richmond Mutumbami (16 not out) and No. 11 Tendai Chatara (13) shared a last-wicket partnership of 19, the third highest of the innings, but Pakistan made use of the extended session to clinch victory and a 1-0 series lead when Chatara was trapped lbw for Ajmal's fourth wicket of the innings and 11th of the match.
Younis won the man of the match award for his game-changing double century on Friday which set up Pakistan's come-from-behind win.