Misbah-ul-Haq's men were in trouble in the early stages and slipped to 117 for six before Umar Akmal hit an unbeaten 102 from 89 balls to guide them to 248 for eight from their 50 overs.
Afghanistan started well but quickly crumbled once the top order was dismissed with Mohammad Hafeez taking three for 29 to help skittle them for 176 as Pakistan bounced back from their opening defeat to Sri Lanka.
Mohammad Nabi won the toss and elected to field and that looked a decent decision as the Pakistan openers were restricted to just 39 runs from the first 10 overs.
Sharjeel Khan hit the first six of the innings in the 11th over, but he was to fall shortly after for 25 as he swept a Hamza Hotak delivery straight to Noor Ali at mid-wicket.
Hafeez (10) was next to go as Nabi caught him off the bowling of Mirwais Ashraf and Pakistan were labouring somewhat at 80 for two after 20 overs.
It got worse shortly afterwards as first Ahmed Shehzad fell two balls after making his fifty, inside-edging onto the stumps from a Samiullah Shenwari delivery, and then Misbah was run out without facing a ball.
Sohaib Maqsood drove into the covers but a mix-up with the call meant that both batsmen found themselves at the same end to leave Pakistan 89 for four.
That brought Akmal to the crease but his impact was not to be instantaneous and when Maqsood (13) and then Shahid Afridi (six) both fell the score was a precarious 117 for six.
Akmal was yet to pick up the pace and survived a scare on 28 as Shenwari dropped him off the bowling of Shapoor Zadran.
He and Anwar Ali put on 60 together before the latter fell for 21 with 7.2 overs remaining, bringing Umar Gul to the crease who helped push the score beyond 200 with 15 off 12 balls.
Akmal had been going at around a run a ball up to that point but he opened his shoulders in the final two overs, each of them yielding 13 runs, and pushed Pakistan towards a target Afghanistan were never likely to reach.
Mohammad Shahzad hit the first ball of the reply for four and that set the tone for a brisk start with Afghanistan going at around a run a ball before Shahzad (nine) fell off the final delivery of the fifth over.
Billy Bowden adjudged he had nicked Gul behind to Akmal and, while the opener was not convinced, he had to go leaving his side 32 for one.
Shehzad's exit saw the run-rate slow to below four and Ali's exit for 44, lbw to Saeed Ajmal, brought Nawroz Mangal to the middle.
He and Asghar Stanikzai put on 74 for the third wicket but it was slow going with just five boundaries scored in 18 overs before the latter (40) was caught by Hafeez off the bowling of Afridi.
Mangal (35) was gone two balls later after tentative running led to him being run out, leaving Afghanistan 140 for four and needing nine an over off the last 12.
Najibullah Zadran chopped on from Hafeez shortly after for just one and when captain Nabi (15) was lbw to Gul there was no way back for Afghanistan as the tail quickly evaporated.
- Sports & Recreation
- Umar Akmal
- Mohammad Hafeez
- Mohammad Nabi