Pakistan enjoyed an 11-run victory against Sri Lanka in the 1st One-Day International between the sides, at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistan batted first, scoring an imposing 322-5 from their 50 overs.
Opener Sharjeel Khan hit three sixes in his run-a-ball 61 to get things going, with Sohaib Maqsood clearing the boundary rope four times in his aggressive 73, which came from 68 balls.
The star of the Pakistan innings was Mohammad Hafeez, however, who scored a magnificent 122 from 129 balls—hitting seven fours and four sixes to steer his team towards their impressive total.
Suranga Lakma took two wickets for Sri Lanka, but they came at a cost—his 10 overs went for a generous 73 runs. Elsewhere the Sri Lankan attack struggled to strangle a Pakistan batting line-up in attack mode.
The Sri Lankan reply started promisingly. Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan put on 66 for the first wicket, with Perera going on to make a swift 64 before being dismissed.
From there, it was a case of several Sri Lanka batsmen getting a start, but none going on to produce a dominant match-winning innings of the kind Hafeez had mustered for Pakistan.
Dinesh Chandimal, Seekkuge Prasanna and Sachithra Senanayake all fell in the 40s, with Sri Lanka's challenge eventually ending at 311 all out, 11 runs shy of their total.
Junaid Khan was the star of the Pakistan bowling attack, claiming 3-44 from his 5.4 overs. Shahid Afridi pitched in with two wickets.
The two teams will engage again in Dubai on Friday in the second ODI before returning to Sharjah for the third on Sunday. The fourth match of the series takes place in Abu Dhabi on Christmas Day.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!