Lahiru Thirimanne and Lasith Malinga were the stars of the show as Sri Lanka claimed an exciting 12-run victory over Pakistan in the opening match of the Asia Cup in Fatullah, Bangladesh, on Tuesday.
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Sri Lanka opener Thirimanne's second ODI century helped set a testing victory target of 297, but his efforts looked set to go to waste until fast bowler Malinga produced a devastating late spell to end Pakistan's challenge.
Pakistan were favourites as they reached 242 for four in the 43rd over on the back of a superb partnership from captain Misbah-ul-Haq (73) and Umar Akmal (74), but then Malinga worked his magic - with a little help from fellow paceman Suranga Lakmal.
After Lakmal had made the vital breakthrough to dismiss Akmal and end a 121-run stand between him and Misbah, Malinga swept through the tail as Pakistan were bowled out for 284.
The 30-year-old - one of the world's most feared limited-overs bowlers - claimed all of the final five Pakistan wickets to fall, including those of Misbah and the dangerous Shahid Afridi, to seal the win with seven balls to spare.
Malinga finished with figures of five for 52, his sixth five-wicket haul in ODIs.
That earned him the man-of-the-match award, although Thirimanne must have pushed him close after scoring 102 off 110 balls at the top of the order.
The 24-year-old shared in a 161-run stand for the second wicket with Sri Lanka talisman Kumar Sangakkara (67) and, at 204 for two with almost 15 overs still to go, Sri Lanka looked set for a mammoth total.
However, Thirimanne's dismissal, bowled by Saeed Ajmal, sparked a Pakistan fightback with the ball and Sri Lanka were limited to 296 for six in the end, captain Angelo Mathews finishing unbeaten on 55.
That was less than Sri Lanka would have been hoping for following their good start, but still looked set to be more than enough as Pakistan were reduced to 121 for four in reply.
But the pendulum swung back Pakistan's way again as Misbah and Akmal joined forces.
Wicketkeeper Akmal clubbed three sixes and seven fours in his 72-ball knock to help put Pakistan in a strong position, but when he was caught behind by Sangakkara off Lakmal, Sri Lanka had got the wicket they so desperately needed and Malinga ensured the opportunity was not wasted.