Misbah-ul-Haq's 49-ball 65 helped Pakistan recover from a slow start to beat the United Arab Emirates by a 129-run margin in their World Cup 2015 Group B encounter in Napier on Wednesday.
UAE's captain Mohammad Tauqir had won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat. His decision paid dividends early and Pakistan lost opener Nasir Jamshed in the fourth over for just four.
UAE's bowlers looked to capitalize on the early set back but Ahmed Shehzad and Haris Sohail dropped anchor and played cautiously.
Pakistan managed just 50 runs in the first 12 overs. It took 22.3 overs for Pakistan to reach the 100-run mark. Both batsmen scored their maiden World Cup 50's and their innings set a solid platform for Pakistan to launch an attack in the end.
When Sohail and Shehzad fell two-overs apart, Pakistan had scored 170 in 35 overs. It was then that Misbah came into the fray.
It took Misbah six overs to find the boundary but when he changed gears, UAE's bowlers struggled to contain him. Misbah hit four fours and two sixes in his innings and he departed in the 49th over after Pakistan looked comfortable on 312. Shahid Afridi added to the tally and clobbered 21 runs from just seven balls to give Pakistan 339 to defend.
UAE's, relatively inexperienced, top order struggled to maintain the tempo required to challenge Pakistan's bowlers. They were reduced to three for 25 in the first ten overs.
Khurram Khan and Shaiman Anwar showed signs of a fight but their departure for 43 and 62 respectively, signalled an end to UAE's resistance. They managed just 210 in reply.
"That was much needed win for us, obviously we won by a margin, now we can relax, we are good with net run rate also," Misbah said. "The next game is very very important and we need to focus on that now."