An outstanding half-century from all-rounder Shoiab Malik afforded Pakistan a five-wicket victory over India in Tuesday's first Twenty20 International in Bangalore.
Malik finished unbeaten on 57 off 50 deliveries, the bulk of which was accrued across a 106-run alliance alongside captain Mohammad Hafeez, with six off the third-last ball of the fixture adding the finishing touches.
Chasing a testing target after the hosts had climbed to 133 for nine, Pakistan were left reeling by three early breakthroughs from debutant Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Malik and Hafeez, however, soon put their side back on track - to ensure a crucial one-nil lead in the two-match series.
The duo's alliance enjoyed some fortune, though, with Hafeez dropped by fielder Suresh Raina at short cover - and Malik caught off a delivery that was ultimately adjudged a waist-high no-ball.
India would have demanded a higher total after openers Ajinkya Rahane and Gautam Gambhir's stand of 77 inside the first 11 overs stifled Hafeez's decision to bowl first after winning the toss.
The tourists soon - and consistently - hit back. Seamer Umar Gul and spinner Saeed Ajmal shared five wickets, while debutant fast bowler Mohammad Irfan proved economical, with India enduring a collapse that brought nine wickets for 47 runs.
The right-handed Hafeez beat Malik to the Man of the Match award for his brisk 61, which featured six fours and a couple of sixes and spanned a mere 44 balls.
The second and final T20I, which will decide the first bilateral series between the arch rivals in five years, gets underway at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday.