MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 29: Warm up balls are seen during day four of the Fourth Ashes Test Match between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 29, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Bulawayo - Sean Williams hit a half century while skipper Brendan Taylor made a crucial 42 as Zimbabwe eased to a six-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first one-day international on Friday.

Chasing 224 to win, the home side reached their target with more than four overs to spare in the first of a three-match series.

Williams hit 70 off 65 balls with eight boundaries and a six while rock-solid Taylor made 43 off 52 deliveries.

Afghanistan, looking to build exposure and experience ahead of their maiden World Cup appearance next year, were put into bat and lost opener Usman Ghani for nought in the second over.

Experienced Samiullah Shenwari, with 65 off 84 balls with three fours and a six, and skipper Mohammad Nabi, who made a brisk 54 off 32 balls helped by three huge sixes, helped Afghanistan to 223-9 in their 50 overs.

Zimbabwe had opener Vusi Sibanda dismissed for just four in the third over, but Afghanistan were always destined to struggle defending such a modest total.

The second and third games take place at the same venue on Sunday and Tuesday.