Four batters made half-centuries in the Lions’ total of 355 for six, which proved too many for UAE to chase as Wanindu Hasaranga (6/24) claimed his maiden ODI five-wicket haul in reply.
Oman also ensured they started their Group B campaign with a win, beating Ireland by five wickets at the Bulawayo Athletic Club.
George Dockrell’s unbeaten 91 helped Ireland to 281 for seven but Kashyap Prajapati’s 72 was added to by Zeeshan Maqsood (59), Aqib Ilyas (52) and Muhammad Nadeem (46 not out) as Oman got home with 11 balls to spare.
Hasaranga leaves UAE in a spin
Wanindu Hasaranga’s six-wicket haul inspired Sri Lanka to a comfortable victory over UAE, the spinner passing 50 career ODI wickets in the process.
The Lions were put in upon losing the toss and openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka made a steady start, taking the score to 58 without loss after the powerplay.
Karunaratne was first to bring up his half-century but he soon fell for 52 when trapped in front by Aayan Afzal Khan, while Nissanka (57) followed suit shortly after raising his bat as he chopped on to his stumps.
Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama continued the momentum, the former passing 50 from 42 deliveries before hitting the accelerator with three consecutive boundaries in the 36th over.
Mendis fell for 78 and Samarawickrama was run out for a 64-ball 73 but Charith Asalanka was on hand to provide a late assault.
The first two sixes of the innings came amid a flurry of boundaries as Sri Lanka added 60 from the final four overs, Asalanka finishing unbeaten on 48 from 23 deliveries.
UAE made a confident start to the reply but lost Rohan Mustafa (12) with the score on 35 midway through the sixth over before Hasaranga seized control.
Muhammad Waseem was dropped on 20 but there was no escape when he was on 39, Asalanka taking a memorable flying catch on the deep square leg boundary.
Basil Hameed fell victim to a Hasaranga googly three balls later and Asif Khan (8) also fell lbw in the spinner’s next over, with UAE on 120 for five at the halfway stage.
Sri Lanka’s spinners continued to excel, Maheesh Theekshana opening his account for the Qualifier before Hasaranga returned to wrap up the innings in successive deliveries.
Oman triumph in thriller against Ireland
Oman timed a tricky chase to perfection against Ireland to get up and running in style.
Having opted to bowl, Oman produced a quickfire double breakthrough when both Irish openers fell in successive deliveries, Paul Stirling (23) pulling to mid-wicket before Andy McBrine (20) chipped to mid-off.
Harry Tector and Andy Balbirnie were tasked with the rebuild and while Tector survived a let-off on four when he almost played on to his stumps, Ireland’s skipper was not so fortunate as he edged behind to depart for seven.
Lorcan Tucker’s cameo ended on 26 from 18 balls when he was clean bowled by a beauty from Ayaan Khan and Oman’s bowlers kept the pressure on, Tector’s cut to the point fence in the 33rd over ending a 43-ball wait for a boundary.
The in-form Tector, who made an unbeaten 149 in a warm-up win over USA, fell for 52 on this occasion as he was caught at long-on but Dockrell navigated the death overs and ended the innings in style by clearing the ropes to finish unbeaten on a career-best 91 from 89 deliveries.
Aqib Ilyas injected momentum into the reply, striking three consecutive boundaries in the seventh over as Oman recovered from the early loss of Jatinder Singh (1).
The second-wicket stand was worth 94 when Aqib fell to Dockrell for 52, which brought Oman’s captain to the crease alongside Kashyap Prajapati.
They each made half-centuries, Kashyap excelling with a 74-ball 72 and Zeeshan 59, but Josh Little removed both to keep Irish hopes alive.
The final 10 overs arrived with Oman requiring 51 and though Ayaan Khan fell for a run-a-ball 21, Mohammad Nadeem and Shoaib Khan (19 not out) completed the job.
Netherlands get campaign underway on Tuesday
The action continues at pace in Zimbabwe, who take on Netherlands in one of two Group A matches on Tuesday.
The Dutch will hope to get up and running with a win while Zimbabwe are looking to pick up where they left off following an eight-wicket win over Nepal.
USA were also beaten in their opener, going down by 39 runs against West Indies, leaving both themselves and Nepal searching for a first victory when they do battle at Takashinga Cricket Club.
Scores in brief
Sri Lanka beat UAE at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo by 175 runs
Sri Lanka 355/6 in 50 overs (Kusal Mendis 78, Sadeera Samarawickrama 73; Ali Naseer 2/44, Basil Hameed 1/19)
UAE 180 in 39 overs (Muhammad Waseem 39, Vriitya Aravind 39; Wanindu Hasaranga 6/24)
Oman beat Ireland at Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo by five wickets
Ireland 281/7 in 50 overs (George Dockrell 91*, Harry Tector 52; Bilal Khan 2/64, Fayyaz Butt 2/65)
Oman 285/5 in 48.1 overs (Kashyap Prajapati 72, Zeeshan Maqsood 59; Josh Little 2/47, Mark Adair 2/61)