Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 49 runs, defending a target of 132, to take a one-nil lead in the five-match ODI series in Sharjah on Friday.
The African side will be bitterly disappointed as they could not chase down a mediocre total as Afghanistan's slow bowlers turned the screw.
Zimbabwe slumped to 82 all out in 30.5 overs with only PJ Moor (21), captain Elton Chigumbura (28) and Graeme Cremer (12) reaching double figures in a rather pathetic batting performance.
Left-arm spinner Amir Hamza took career-best figures of four for 17 in just under eight overs while veteran off-break bowler Mohammad Nabi captured three for 15 in five overs.
Earlier, the game started so well for Zimbabwe when they reduced the hosts to 131 all out in 38.5 overs with Cremer taking five for 20 with his legspinners.
The only shining light in the Afghan batting performance came from opener Noor Ali Zadran, who made his way to 63, but he received little support as the next top score was only 17, from Nabi.
The second ODI is scheduled to take place at the same venue on Tuesday.