Sri Lanka recovered from an early slump to post a competitive 232-9 in Thursday's first one-day international against Pakistan at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.
The hosts were reeling at 169-6 in the 44th over when captain Younis Khan opted to take the final power play and that five-over period leaked 54 runs as tailender Muttiah Muralitharan smashed 32 off 15 balls.
Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's regular number 11, was promoted to No. 9 and responded with four fours and the only six of the innings. Though an apparently moderate score, Sri Lanka's total is defendable at a ground which averages just 175 for the side batting first.
With the power play enacted in the 44th over, Sri Lanka scored 15 runs in the 45th over of fast bowler Umar Gul. Thirteen runs came off the next over by Shahid Afridi.
Angelo Mathews, playing his sixth limited-over match top scored with 43.
Younis opted to bowl first in seamer friendly conditions and initial results justified that decision.
Sanath Jayasuriya was dropped on eight when Abdul Razzaq missed a simple caught and bowled chance, but he went soon after as he cut a Gul delivery to Mohammad Aamer at deep third man. Mahela Jayawardene looked the most comfortable of Sri Lanka's batsmen, but was run out when he attempted a second despite the ball not even reaching the inner circle at midwicket.
Aamer, making his one-day debut, was the most impressive Pakistan bowler with 3-45 from ten overs.
Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Anjelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekera, Lasith Malinga, Thilan Thushara.
Pakistan: Younis Khan (captain), Abdul Razzaq, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Yousuf, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul.
Umpires: Asoka de Silva, Sri Lanka and Steve Davis, Australia. TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena, Sri Lanka, Match Referee: Alan Hurst, Australia.