Ahmed Shehzad top-scored with 93 as Pakistan eased to a 129-run victory over United Arab Emirates in the Group B clash in Napier.
Shehzad put on 160 for the second wicket with Haris Sohail (70) to set the platform for Pakistan’s 339-6, a total that proved out of UAE’s reach despite a gallant 62 from Shaiman Anwar.
Sohail Khan finished with 2-54 and Shahid Afridi 2-35 as UAE made 210-8 off their 50 overs.
The tally – UAE’s highest score in ODIs against a top-eight nation – was swelled by an entertaining seventh-wicket stand of 68 in 10.5 overs between Amjad Javed (40 off 33) and Swapnil Patel (36).
Earlier, Pakistan suffered an early setback after being put into bat when Nasir Jamshed mistimed a pull off Manjula Guruge (4-56).
But UAE hopes of further breakthroughs were thwarted by Shehzad and Sohail, who built a position of solidity in a partnership spanning 29.2 overs.
Sohail struck five fours and a six before spooning a catch to mid-on off Mohammad Naveed and six runs later Shehzad was run out seven runs shy of his century, beaten by Shaiman Anwar’s throw as he attempted a second.
Thereafter Sohaib Maqsood (45 off 31 balls) lifted the run-rate in partnership with captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who bludgeoned 65 off just 49 deliveries – his innings including four fours and two sixes.
Late flurries from Umar Akmal (19 off 13) and Shahid Afridi (21no off seven) lifted Pakistan out of reach, Wahab Riaz hitting his only ball for six.
UAE’s chase stuttered from the start as Rahat Ali bowled Amjad Ali (14) and Khan picked off fellow opener Andri Berenger with just 19 on the board.
When Krishna Chandran fell for an 11-ball duck, UAE were in deep trouble at 25-3 but a fourth-wicket stand of 83 off 19.2 overs between Khurram Khan (39) and Anwar stopped the rot.
Anwar reached his fifty off 75 balls thanks to three fours and two sixes, but was then the first of two wickets to fall in one Afridi over as he attempted to clear long on.
At 140-6 UAE were in danger of folding but Patil and Javed had other ideas, the latter launching Sohail Khan for 20 off five balls, including one 99m six.
The pair brought up their fifty stand off 57 deliveries and eased UAE past their previous best ODI total against a top-eight side, the 202-9 scored against India in 1994.
Neither could see out the innings, though, Javed holing out and Patil falling to a brilliant Riaz Yorker with two balls left.
Pakistan play South Africa in Auckland on Saturday, while the UAE face the same opponents in their next game Wellington on Thursday 12 March.
Watch highlights of Pakistan v UAE live on Sky Sports world Cup at 3pm and 7pm. Highlights with Hindi commentary are available on Zee Cinema (channel 790).