However, their batting lineup faltered during the chase, collapsing within 20 overs. Haris Rauf emerged as the standout performer, securing his maiden ODI five-for and leading Pakistan to a resounding win by 142 runs.
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat on a dry surface. Although they lost two early wickets, Mohammad Rizwan displayed positive intent, scoring boundaries and boosting the run-rate. Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed Rizwan with an lbw delivery, followed by Agha Salman falling victim to Rashid Khan's googly. Amidst the fall of wickets, Imam-ul-Haq held firm, punishing loose deliveries and showcasing solid footwork against spinners.
Imam-ul-Haq's well-constructed innings included minimal boundaries but effective running between the wickets. In an attempt to accelerate the scoring rate against Mohammad Nabi, he top-edged a delivery, but Hashmatullah Shahidi failed to hold on to the catch.
In response, Afghanistan struggled right from the start. Haris Rauf, along with Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, unleashed a fiery pace assault, dismantling the Afghan batting lineup. Rauf's exceptional spell resulted in five wickets for just 18 runs, his best performance in ODIs. Afridi and Naseem initiated the collapse, with Afridi taking crucial wickets in consecutive balls. With three of Afghanistan's top four batters dismissed without scoring, their remaining batsmen couldn't contribute much either.
Afghanistan eventually succumbed to a meager total of 59, their second-lowest ODI score, handing Pakistan a comprehensive victory. The contrasting brilliance of Pakistan's fast bowlers and Afghanistan's spinners created an enthralling spectacle in Hambantota.