Skipper Babar Azam smashed a robust half-century to lead Pakistan's six-wicket rout of Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 international in Rawalpindi on Saturday. <p></p> <p></p>Azam proved yet again why he is one of the top batsmen in white-ball cricket with an attractive 55-ball 82 to anchor Pakistan's chase of a modest 157-run target in 18.5 overs. <p></p> <p></p>The win gives Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and a 12th straight win over Zimbabwe in all Twenty20 international cricket. <p></p> <p></p>Wesley Madhevere struck a maiden half-century to lead Zimbabwe to 156-6 after they won the toss and batted. <p></p> <p></p>Azam, determined to regain his place as Twenty20's top batsman -- which he lost to England's Dawid Malan two months ago -- punched nine boundaries and a six during his 80-run stand for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, who made 36. <p></p> <p></p>Azam was finally caught in the 17th over, as was Hafeez in the 19th, but the target was never beyond Pakistan. <p></p> <p></p>Paceman Blessing Muzarabani finished with 2-26. <p></p> <p></p>Zimbabwe, who upset Pakistan in the third one-day international at the end of their 2-1 loss in the preceding series, were never able to stop Azam's free-flowing stroke-play despite dismissing Fakhar Zaman (19) and Haider Ali (seven) by the eighth over. <p></p> <p></p>Earlier, Zimbabwe added 46 in the last five overs with Madhevere in the lead. <p></p> <p></p>Madhevere, the 20-year-old right-hander, struck a 48-ball 70 not out with nine boundaries and a six to help Zimbabwe post a respectable total. <p></p> <p></p>Madhevere, who had only four runs in his previous two Twenty20 appearances, added 34 runs for the sixth wicket with Elton Chigumbura, who made a 13-ball 21 with a six and two boundaries. <p></p> <p></p>Sean Williams (25) and Brendan Taylor (20) were the other contributors. <p></p> <p></p>For Pakistan, pacemen Haris Rauf and Wahab Riaz took two wickets apiece. <p></p> <p></p>Pakistan gave a Twenty20 international debut to 27-year-old spinner Usman Qadir, son of the great Abdul Qadir, who died last year. <p></p> <p></p>The teams will meet again at the same venue on Sunday and Tuesday.