ABU DHABI, May 18, 2007 (AFP) – Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the 1st ODI here on Friday after a superb 73 off just 34 balls from Shahid Afridi. He even managed to hit 32 off just one over for the second highest number of runs scored in an over, to convert what could have been a tough match into an easy victory with eight overs to spare.
Earlier, a half-century from Farvez Maharoof had helped put Sri Lanka on a final total of 235 for nine in the opening innings at the packed, Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Pakistan responded with half-centuries from both Kamran Akmal (51 no) and Shahid Afridi (73 no) on their way to 239 for five after just 42 overs.
Umar Gul had been the best bowler for Pakistan with three wickets though he managed to concede 14 runs on the final over as Maharoof went on his way to his unbeaten, 54-ball 69.
Shoaib Malik, captaining Pakistan for the first time, saw his side take the ascendancy early on as Sri Lanka were reduced to 103 for five after 26 overs. The captain had had a good game, although he lost the toss and Sri Lanka chose to bat first.