Pakistan suffered a middle-order collapse to spurn a good chance of a series-levelling win in the second day-night international against Australia in Dubai on Friday.
Pakistan were well on course for a big total as openers Sarfarz Ahmed (65) and Ahmed Shahzad (61) put on a 126-run opening stand before Pakistan lost the last nine wickets for a meere 89 runs to be bowled out for 215 in 49.3 overs.
Pakistan did show some fight to restrict Australia to 72-3 but Glenn Maxwell (81-ball 76) and skipper George Bailey (28) shared a solid stand of 85 for the fourth wicket to seal a five-wicket win for their team.
The win lifted Australia to second position in the ICC one-day rankings, which could be better to number one if they win the third and final match in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq rued the golden opportunity to level the series.
"It was some poor batting in the final 15 overs," said Misbah after the match. "We played some irresponsible shots and my run out let us down and at one stage the score looked like recahing 250 ended in 215 which was well short."
Sarfraz, promoted to open the innings, was once again at his aggressive best while Shahzad kept him company as they notched Pakistan's first century partnership for the opening wicket in 44 innings. Pakistan's last century stand for the opening wicket came in the Kolkatta one-day against India in Januray 2013.
But once Shahzad departed in spinner Xavier Doherty, after hitting five boundaries off 81 balls, Pakistan's innings fell apart.
Four runs later Sarfraz miscued a drive off Mitchell Johnson to be caught at point.
Pakistan were looking to build on the opening stand but Misbah's run out in the 34th over proved to be the turning point. Asad Shafiq should have called before setting off for a run and Maxwell's throw found Pakistani captain slightly short depite his valient dive.
Shafiq hit paceman Kane Richardson for a huge six but played one shot too many to be caught off the same bowler. The worst struggler was Fawad Alam who laboured to 20 not out off 39 deliveries as Pakistan barely managed 215.
Mitchell Johnson finished with 3-40 in his ten over spell.
Pakistan could have David Warner as early as in the fifth over when Alam failed to grab an uppish sweep off deubtant Raza Hasan.
It was paceman Mohammad Irfan who gave Pakisatn the ideal breakthrough when he had Aaron Finch caught behind for 14. First match centurion Steven Smith was dismissed by Zulfiqar Babar and Hasan then had Warner caught by a towering Irfan at deep fine leg.
At 72-3, Australia were wobbling and Misbah did attack but was let down by another dropped catch.
Umar Akmal let off Maxwell off Hasan when he was only two. That proved a costly lapse as Maxwell hit out every bowler with vengence and shared a valuable 85-run stand with his skipper George Bailey who made 28.
With 38 needed off 81 balls Maxwell holed out off Babar but there was no more twist in the tail, as James Faulkner (20 not out) and Brad Haddin (17 not out) saw off the target in 43.2 overs.
This win gave Australia an unbeatabale 2-0 lead in the three-match series, with the final match in Abu Dhabi on Sunday left meaningless.
Bailey said it was a challenging pitch.
"I am satisfied with the win," said Bailey. "It was a challenging pitch and we were lucky to keep them down to 215 after it looked they will cross 250. Glenn then played a wonderful innings to seal the win."
This is Australais's fourth successive one-day win over Pakistan, having beaten them in 2009 (UAE), 2010 (in Australia) and in 2013 (UAE).
Post-match media conference (English)
Post-match media conference (Urdu)