Thirimanne, Malinga Set Up Opening Win
Lahiru Thirimanne scored a century and Lasith Malinga took five wickets as Sri Lanka held on to beat Pakistan by 12 runs in the opening game of the Asia Cup 2014 in Dhaka.
Thrimanne's second One-Day International century helped Sri Lanka post 296 for six batting first and Pakistan were then dismissed for 284 in reply.
Half-centuries from captain Misbah-ul-Haq (73) and Umar Akmal (74) proved to be in vain as they collapsd from 242 for four to lose their last six wickets for 42 runs.
Malinga played a leading role with the ball by taking the final five wickets to fall to finish with figures of five for 52.
Thirimanne made 102 in 110 balls with 11 fours and a six as he and Kumar Sangakkara (67) put on 161 together for the second wicket.
Umar Gul, making his latest return from injury for Pakistan, had made the initial breakthrough to have Kushal Perera caught by Umar Akmal for 28 and he struck again to have Sangakkara caught by Ahmed Shehzad.
Thirimanne fell in the 36th over, bowled by Saeed Ajmal and in the 39th over, Mahela Jayawardene was bowled by Shahid Afridi for 13 as Pakistan's spinners pegged Sri Lanka back.
However, late runs came from the bat of Angelo Mathews, who hit 55 not out in 50 balls with five fours and a six while Dinesh Chandimal, coming in down the order at number eight, made a run-a-ball 19 as they closed in on 300.
Gul finished with two for 38, Afridi two for 56 and Ajmal one for 50.
Pakistan made swift progress early in their run chase before being forced onto the back foot. Sharjeel Khan raced to 26 in 23 balls until he was caught by Mathews off Suranga Lakmal.
Shehzad (28), Mohammad Hafeez (17) and Sohaib Maqsood (17) all made starts but couldn't go in, leaving Pakistan under pressure at 121 for four in 23.3 overs when Maqsood was caught by Chathuranga de Silva off Sachithra Senanayake.
Akmal and Misbah came together with the tasks of rebuilding the innings and getting the run chase back on track and they produced an excellent 121-run partnership, doubling their side's score together.
Misbah was slightly more circumspect than Akmal, but certainly no slouch, in making 73 in 84 balls while Akmal struck 74 in 72, and looking good to power on for more runs when he edged Lakmal to Sangakkara.
Afridi was next to go, slapping a Malinga slower ball to Chandimal and two balls later, Misbah was gone when he found Senanayake in the deep having tried to swing Malinga away to leg.
There was still hope for Pakistan despite them having lost three wickets for 12 runs in 2.3 overs although Gul (2) became Malinga's third victim soon after when he was caught by de Silva.
Bilawal Bhatti and Ajmal weren't about to give in without a fight, and they swung the bat to crack 18 in 13 balls and 10 in four respectively before Malinga dismissed both in customary style.
Ajmal was trapped in front and Malinga ended the game by bowling Bhatti, neither batsmen able to deal with searing yorkers.
Reigning champions Pakistan are back in action on Thursday (27th February) when they take on debutants Afghanistan while Sri Lanka, who won the 2008 event, play India on Friday (28th February).
Hosts Bangladesh take on India in their opening game tomorrow.
© Cricket World 2014
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Pakistan 284 (Malinga 5-52) by 12 runs
Bangladesh 279-7 (M Rahim 113) by 6 wickets
Afghanistan 176 (M Hafeez 3-29) by 72 runs
India 264-9 (Dhawan 94) by 2 wickets
Bangladesh 222 (Mominul Haque 50) by 32 runs
India 245-8 (Sharma 56) by one wicket
Afghanistan 124 (Mendis 3-11) by 129 runs
Bangladesh 326-3 by three wickets
Afghanistan 159 (Jadeja 4-30) by 8 wickets
Bangladesh 204-9 (Priyanjan 2-11) by 3 wickets
Pakistan 260-5 (Malinga 5-56) by 5 wickets