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 it needed to win on the final day.
Ajmal had 4-23 and Rehman took 4-36 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 419-9 declared in their second innings to set the Zimbabweans an improbable target.
Zimbabwe lasted just 46.4 overs in its second innings and lost 9-107 on the last day to slump to a heavy defeat after holding the upper hand in the early part of the match following its first-innings score of 327.
The second and final test is in Harare next week, before which Zimbabwe's struggling board hopes to finally end a dispute with its players and pay them outstanding wages they are owed.
Seamer Junaid Khan (2-20) claimed Saturday's first two wickets and Ajmal and Rehman then made regular inroads after that as Zimbabwe slid rapidly from 13-1 overnight to 58-5. Elton Chigumbura top-scored with 28 but despite his brief resistance, Zimbabwe was 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.