Abu Dhabi - Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and sent Sri Lanka in to bat for the first Twenty20 international in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Pakistan, who won the preceding one-day international series 5-0, brought opener Ahmed Shehzad back into the side while pace spearhead Mohammad Amir - unfit for the ODIs - was not included.
Sri Lanka, under new captain Thisara Perera, gave T20 debuts to seven players.
The second match will also be in Abu Dhabi on Friday, while the final game is in Lahore on Sunday.
Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Usman Shinwari
Thisara Perera (capt), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Ashan Priyanjan, Mahela Udawatte, Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Isuru Udana, Vikum Sanjaya
Umpires: Ahsan Raza (PAK) and Shozab Raza (PAK)
TV umpire: Ahmed Shahab (PAK)
ICC match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)