A masterful ton by Babar Azam and a five-for by Usman Shinwari helped Pakistan defeat a resilient Sri Lankan side by 67 runs in the second ODI at the National Stadium Karachi on Monday.
Fakhar Zaman and Imamul Haq opened the innings for Pakistan, whereas Shehan Jayasuriya and Nuwan Pradeep shared the new ball for Sri Lanka.
The duo started tentatively before Imam found the first boundary of the match in the fourth over with a picture perfect drive. Zaman followed that up with a maximum in the very next round as Pakistan were 22-0 after 5 overs.
But runs dried up a bit after that brief outburst, as Pakistan were at a solid, if unspectacular 47-0 at the end of 10 overs.
Pakistan lost the first wicket in the 15th over when Imam was trapped in front of the wickets on a sharply turning delivery. Imam, who contributed 31 runs to the cause, was replaced by Babar Azam.
Zaman brought up his much-needed half-century but threw away his wicket in the 21st over. He was out for 54.
Azam and Haris Sohail shared a 111-run stand for the third wicket. While the latter was content on just rotating the strike, the former showed his complete array of strokes.
Sohail (40) was run out and so was his replacement Sarfaraz (8) as Azam powered through. He was finally out in the 46th over, by which time he had scored 115 runs.
Some late hitting by Iftikhar Ahmed and Imad Wasim made sure that Pakistan finished at 305-7 in their allotted 50 overs.
Sri Lanka Innings
The Lankans, in reply, had lost half their team in the first few overs, with fast bowler Usman Shinwari claiming three of those early scalps.
The match appeared to be over but in Dasun Shanake and Shehan Jayasuriya Sri Lanka found some unexpected resistance.
The pair got together when Sri Lanka were five down at a mere total of 28 but refused to give up without a fight and took their team past 50, 100 and then 150.
The visitors were approaching 200 in the 39th over when a floodlight at the stadium malfunctioned and play had to be halted.
The partnership was finally broken in the 41st over when Shinwari got Jayasuriya out for 96 runs. From there, the wheels came off of the Sri Lankan innings as Shanaka (68) perished the next over.
Shinwari picked his fifth wicket of the night in the next over as Pakistan had the victory in sights.
In the end, the Sri Lankan team was skittled out for 238 as Pakistan triumphed by 67 runs.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said that he was looking to post a big total on a typical National Stadium wicket that looked supportive for batting.
Iftikhar Ahmed, 29, was handed his first ODI cap after four years. He last played for Pakistan against England in 2015.
Pakistan chose to snub Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Abid Ali and Mohammad Hasnain for the match.
The opening ODI of the three-match series on Friday was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain and waterlogged outfield.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imamul Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari
Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thrimanne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara