DHAKA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Umar Akmal scored a brilliant century to help Pakistan seal a 72-run win against Afghanistan on Thursday at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium at Fatullah on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka.
Batting first, Pakistan scored 248 runs for eight wickets in the third match of the 12th Asia Cup one-day cricket tournament that began on Tuesday.
Akmal who survives as care on 28 runs as Samiullah Shenwari drops a high catch scored 102 runs not out. Ahmed Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan contributed 50 runs and 25 runs respectively.
Afghanistan bowlers -- Shapoor Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf and Samiullah Shenwari -- bowled really well and grabbed three wickets each. They kept things tight for Pakistan batsmen.
Chasing the target of 249 runs, Afghanistan were all out on 176 runs in 47.2 overs.
Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez begged three wickets while fast bowler Umar Gul and right-arm off-spin bowler Saeed Ajmal picked up two wickets each to steer their side to victory over Afghanistan which are playing in the Asia Cup for the first time.
Noor Ali Zadran scored highest 44 runs for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi has won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first in the third match of the five-way battle for regional supremacy which are being fought among four Test- playing nations -- Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and an ICC (International Cricket Council) associate Afghanistan.
Lasith Malinga's five-wicket haul helped Sri Lanka Tuesday to start their Asia Cup campaign with a 12-run win over Pakistan. In the second match of the tournament India defeated host Bangladesh by six wickets on Wednesday.
On Friday, India will face Sri Lanka in the fourth match of the tournament in which all the five teams will play four matches that is one against each other and will be rewarded 4 points for victory and 2 points for tie or no result.
After the preliminary round, the two teams with the maximum points will qualify for the final.
The 2012 Asia Cup was the 11th edition of the tournament that was also held in Bangladesh. Pakistan won the tournament by beating Bangladesh in the final by two runs.