Dubai, November 12: Younus Khan and Imran Farhat hit fluent half-centuries as Pakistan charged to an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the opening one-day international on Friday.
Younus struck an unbeaten 56 while Farhat notched an even 50 as Pakistan raced to a modest victory target of 132-2 with 28.1 overs to spare at Dubai International Stadium.
Earlier, Pakistan's spinners helped bowl out Sri Lanka for 131 off 40.3 overs. Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi took 3-27 and earned the man of the match award in his first international since the end of his brief retirement. Off-spinners Saeed Ajmal (2-21) and Mohammad Hafeez (2-24) supported well.
Dinesh Chandimal top-scored for Sri Lanka with 28 while Upul Tharanga contributed 25 and Mahela Jayawardene 24. It was Pakistan's pace that created the early breakthrough as Aizaz Cheema removed captain Tillakaratne Dilshan on 4 at 12-1.
Dilshan was bowled off the inside edge as he tried to force off the back foot. All-rounder Abdul Razzaq provided the key wicket of Kumar Sangakkara, who edged to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed after struggling to compile 5 off 24 balls.
Tharanga and Chandimal shared a stand of 30, the highest partnership of the innings, before they departed in quick succession as the spinners took full control.
Tharanga hit two fours before he tried to clear the leg side but lofted Hafeez straight to mid-on at 66-3.
It was soon 77-4 when Chandimal was Afridi's first victim, plumb leg before wicket playing back. Chandimal's top score contained a four and two sixes off 31 deliveries. Veteran Jayawardene tried to steady the innings in a stand of 27 with Angelo Mathews but a run out sparked a collapse, in which the last six wickets tumbled for 27 runs.
Mathews, sent back late as he sought a single to short fine leg, was on 10 when he was caught well short by Razzaq's accurate return to Sarfraz. Kosala Kulasekara fell for a duck on debut, lofting Hafeez straight to mid-off.
Ajmal and Afridi shared the final four wickets, with Jayawardene seventh out when he scooped Ajmal to short fine leg after a 57-ball knock. Sarfraz then completed two stumpings as aggressive tailend batsmen failed to collar the wily Pakistan spin duo.
Sri Lanka claimed Hafeez for 5 early as he chipped to mid-on off Suranga Lakmal at 12-1. But Younus and Farhat shared a run-a-ball partnership of 103 for the second-wicket to quickly snuff out any flickering Sri Lanka hopes.
Farhat reached his 50 first before he fell with the target in sight, Lakmal claiming an lbw verdict. The left-handed opener hit seven fours off 65 balls. Younus saw his side home, cracking seven boundaries off 57 deliveries. Sarfraz hit the winning runs to finish on 4 not out.