Pakistani bowlers have done a good job so far, restricting Sri Lanka to 175 for the loss of seven wickets as they chase a target of 293 set by Pakistan batting first in the first ODI at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Sri Lanka barely managed to cross the 100-run in 25 overs, and also lost 7 wickets in the process
With just four wickets in hand and tail exposed, Sri Lanka still require another 118 or more runs in next 8 overs.
Babar Azam struck a slightly laboured hundred and put on a century stand with Shoaib Malik for the fourth wicket that provided the impetus for Pakistan’s 292 for six, Cricinfo reported.
It was the sixth ODI century for Babar, who finished with 103 off 131 balls. Malik, on the other hand, was fierier and was chiefly responsible for getting Pakistan to their final total.
That was perhaps explained by the fact that none of the other batsmen was able to take advantage of good starts on a slow surface that took time getting used to.
Earlier, Sri Lankan captain Upul Tharanga won the toss and sent Pakistan in to bat in the first day-night international.
The green shirts, having lost the two-Test series against Sri Lanka 2-0, beefed up their batting for the five-match ODI series with the return of Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, and Mohammad Hafeez.
Fast bowler Mohammad Amir has been ruled out of the series due to a shin injury. Pakistan will instead rely on fast bowlers Hasan Ali, Rumman Raees, and Junaid Khan in the XI.
Sri Lanka has twice been whitewashed in ODI series this year; first in South Africa and then at home against India. Its star performers in the Test series victory against Pakistan — Dimuth Karunaratne, Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera — have already flown home.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shahdab Khan, Hasan Ali, Rumman Raees, Junaid Khan
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Gamage, Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay
Sundaram Ravi (India) and Ahsan Raza (Pakistan) Tv umpire: Richard Kettleborough (England) ICC match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwey)
The remaining matches of the ODI series will be held in Abu Dhabi (October, 16 and 18) and in Sharjah (October, 20 and 23).
Three Twenty20 internationals will follow the ODIs, the last in Lahore on October 29.