Azam's century sets up Pakistan's 83 run win over Sri Lanka
Pakistan 292-6 (Azam 103) beat
Sri Lanka 209-8 (Thirimanne 53) by 83 runs
First One-Day International in Dubai
Babar Azam's 103 and Shoaib Malik's 81 helped Pakistan set up an 83 run victory over Sri Lanka during the first One Day International match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Rumman Raees and Hasan Ali picked up three wickets each and helped their side's cause with the ball as Sri Lanka failed to get a good start while chasing under the lights.
Upul Tharanga won the toss and elected to field first.
Fakhar Zaman (43) and Mohammad Hafeez (32) got off to good starts but failed to make it big.
Malik's 61 ball 81 provided some much-needed acceleration to Pakistan's innings although the green shirts still failed to cross 300-run mark.
Suranga Lakmal (2-47) was the leading wicket-taker for Sri Lanka as Gamage (1-49), Akila Dananjaya (1-51), Thisara Perera (1-68) and Jeffrey Vandersay (1-47) picked up a wicket each.
Sri Lanka's chase flew off in a style thanks to Niroshan Dickwella who scored 19 in just 13 balls as the visitors scored 30 in just 20 balls.
Raees provided the much needed breakthrough by dismissing Dickwella as the run-chase from there onwards completely fell apart.
Dinesh Chandimal (4), Tharanga (18), Kusal Mendis (2) and Milinda Siriwardana (0) departed quickly to reduce Sri Lanka down to 67 for five in 16 overs.
Lahiru Thirimanne's 53 and Dananjaya's 50 helped Sri Lanka revive their run-chase for a while but slow scoring rate and lower order failure concluded their endeavour in a disaster.
Malik was awarded the man-of-the-match award for his brisk innings.
The second out of the five ODI series will be played on Monday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
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