Left-arm fast bowler Thilan Thushara claimed three wickets to steer Sri Lanka to a 36-run win over Pakistan in the first one-day international in Dambulla.
|Thushara celebrates the dismissal of Kamran Akmal with captain Kumar Sangakkara [AFP]
The hosts piled up a modest 232 runs but then proceeded to frustrate Pakistan with some tight bowling, eventually getting them out for 196 in 44.4 overs.
Fast bowler Umar Gul was the unlikely top performer with the bat for the tourists, scoring 33 runs after Thushara claimed three for 29 from eight overs to trigger an early collapse.
Thushara, supported by seamer Nuwan Kulasekara, cut through the Pakistan top order.
He claimed the key wickets of Kamran Akmal (20), Shahid Afridi (27) and Younus Khan (12).
Kulasekara also claimed two for 30, bowling Shoaib Malik (nine) with an unplayable leg-cutter and Mohammad Yousuf (four).
Having collapsed to 78 for five, the tourists struggled to keep pace with the run rate.
Sri Lanka innings
U Tharanga c Akmalb Razzaq 17
S Jayasuriya c Aamer b Gul 15
K Sangakkara c Afridi b Ajmal 36
M Jayawardene run out 33
C Kapugedara c Akmal b Afridi 8
T Samaraweera c Younus b Razzaq 10
A Mathews c & b Aamer 43
N Kulasekara c Razzaq b Aamer 16
M Muralitharan b Aamer 32
T Thushara not out 8
L Malinga not out 4
TOTAL: (for nine wickets) 232 Overs: 50
Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-45, 3-93, 4-100, 5-125, 6-131, 7-173, 8-204, 9-223
K Akmal b Thushara 20
S Malik b Kulasekara 9
S Afridi c Sangakkara b Thushara 27
M Yousuf c Sangakkara b Kulasekara 4
Y Khan c Mathews b Thushara 12
M-ul-Haq c & b Muralitharan 9
F Alam c Sangakkara b Jayasuriya 31
A Razzaq lbw b Muralitharan 17
U Gul b Malinga 33
M Aamer run out 23
S Ajmal not out 0
TOTAL: (all out) 196 Overs: 44.4
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-41, 3-48, 4-73, 5-78, 6-95, 7-134, 8-134, 9-196.
Off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan bowled a tight spell on his return after injury and picked up two for 46 from his allotted 10 overs.
However, Sri Lanka were given a late scare with Gul cracking a 21-ball 33 and Mohammad Aamer scoring 23.
The ninth wicket pair added 62 runs to drag themselves back into the contest before Mahela Jayawardene hit the stumps to run out Aamer.
Earlier, Angelo Mathews top-scored with 43 from 50 balls as the hosts struggled on a difficult pitch.
Captain Kumar Sangakkara scored 36 and Jayawardene made 33 before being run out.
Sri Lanka slumped to 131 for six at one stage before Mathews led a recovery.
Muralitharan celebrated his return with an entertaining 32 from 15 balls, an innings that included four fours and a six.