Pakistan captain Younis Khan praised Shahid Afridi as a "fantastic performer" after the all-rounder starred with both bat and ball in their side's convincing win over New Zealand in the first one-day in Abu Dhabi.
Afridi hit a fiery 50-ball 71 to help Pakistan post 287-9 in their allotted 50 overs before taking two wickets to restrict their rivals to 149, helping Pakistan win the match by 138 runs at Abu Dhabi Stadium.
"Afridi is a fantastic performer and it's wonderful to see him perform like this," said Younis after the win on Tuesday. "He batted like he always does, aggressive, and when he has the ball in his hands he aims to take wickets."
The victory gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match one-day series, relocated to the United Arab Emirates after New Zealand refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.
The remaining two matches will be played here on Friday and Monday. After the one-day series the two teams move to Dubai, where they play two Twenty20 internationals on November 12 and 13.
Afridi was well supported by wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal, who hit an equally aggressive 43-ball 67, while opener Khalid Latif laid the foundations with a sedate 64.
Latif slowly built the innings through a third-wicket stand of 57 with veteran Mohammad Yousuf (30), after Pakistan lost Salman Butt and Younis Khan -- both without scoring to New Zealand paceman Shane Bond.
Younis admitted his not scoring runs was worrying.
"Winning the first match is always important for us because we have faced problems in the opening games of the series, but the only thing is that my own form is worrying because as a captain I want to perform," said Younis.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said Afridi and Akmal were the difference.
"Obviously we couldn't execute as well as we could, Afridi and Akmal played some aggressive cricket and we conceded far too many runs in the last 12 overs, and that was the real reason we lost the game," said Vettori.
Pakistan mustered 107 runs in the last ten overs, including 55 in the batting power-play -- runs Vettori thinks lost his side the game.