Pakistan: 292/6 (50 overs) (Babar 103, Malik 81; Lakmal 2/47)
Sri Lanka: 209/8 (50 overs) (Thirimanne 53, Dhananjaya 50*; Hasan 3/36, Raees 3/49)
Result: Pakistan won by 83 runs
Man of the match: Shoaib Malik
After a relatively disappointing showing in the test series, Pakistan have bounced back in the ODIs and have beaten the visiting Sri Lanka by 83 runs in the first match. Pakistan’s top order were on song today with young sensation Babar Azam scoring a fabulous century. Veteran Shoaib Malik, who was adjudged man of the match, scored 81 off just 61 balls to push Pakistan’s total to almost 300.
Sri Lankan captain Upul Tharanga won the toss and opted to bowl. The first scalp came quickly when Ahmed Shehzad went for a duck. Babar came in and alongside opener Fakhar Zaman, took control of the side. After Fakhar & Hafeez departed, Malik & Babar teamed up. With a partnership of 139 runs, Pakistan looked set to score in excess of 300. But they lost too many wickets at the end with the Lankan bowlers coming back very well. In reply, Sri Lanka started well with Tharanga & Dickwella. But once the explosive keeper went, his teammates started following him to the pavilion.
With Sri Lanka reeling at 67 for 5, they were staring down the barrel of a huge loss. But half centuries from Akila Dhananjaya & Thirimanne controlled the damage with Sri Lanka going over the 200 mark before the end of play. Pacers Hasan Ali & Rumman Raees took 3 wickets each to break the back of the Lankan top order. The second match will be played at Abu Dhabi on Monday, October 16th.