Sri Lanka, who won the preceding two-match Test series 2-0, had spearhead Nuwan Perera ruled out from the one-day series with a hamstring injury and inducted Lahiru Gamage.
When Shehzad chipped Lahiru Gamage to square leg it brought Babar Azam to the crease with the young man under pressure to live up to his potential despite averaging 53 in ODI cricket.
"Pakistan are always a very good white-ball team", Tharanga had remarked in the pre-match press conference on Thursday.
Pakistan on the other hand will want to prove that their win at the Champions Trophy was not a one-off and that they can play consistent cricket for a prolonged period.
Babar Azam scored an impressive hundred while Shoaib Malik smashed a quickfire half century to help Pakistan thump Sri Lanka by 83 runs in the first one-day global in Dubai on Friday.
They never stopped dancing to "Surangani", that famous Sri Lankan folk number, even as Lankan wickets kept falling.
Pakistan plundered 89 in the last ten overs.
It's not easy to steal the limelight from a teammate who had hit a century in the same innings.
Thisara Perera (21) offered vague hope alongside Thirimanne but when Raees returned to trap the latter the game was all-but over.
The left-handed Zaman played well during his 45-ball 42 though, hitting four fours and a six. But he was guilty of throwing away a wonderful chance to get a big hundred.
Junaid Khan is most likely to lead the attack with Rumman Raees, Hassan Ali and Shadab will share the ball in middle of the innings, with Imad and Hafeez in the team, Sarfraz have an extra spinner available.
Babar would record the slowest of his six ODI centuries while Shoaib blasted his way to 81 off just 61 balls including two sixes and five fours. He shared a 139-run stand in 19 overs along with Babar Azam for the 4th wicket before holing out in the deep off Suranga Lakmal's bowling.