Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath produced a devastating spell of fast bowling to destroy Pakistan's top-order as Australia won Friday's opening one-day final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by 18 runs.
The pair captured three wickets each as the world champions defended a modest total of 237 by restricting the tourists to 219 for nine.
Pakistan looked to be in with a great chance after bowling the home side out in the 49th over before Lee and McGrath swung the match back Australia's way.
"We came up a little bit short with our batting but our new ball bowling was outstanding," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said.
"We're nowhere near our best yet but we still came away with a good win."
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq responded: "I thought we bowled very well and 237 was definitely a good total to chase. We wanted to see off the new ball but we lost too many early wickets."
Lee trapped Salman Butt lbw for a duck on the second ball of the Pakistan innings and also captured the wickets of Yousuf Youhana for two and Inzamam for 51 to finish with three for 23.
McGrath took three for 34, taking his career tally past 300 one-day international wickets, as Pakistan stumbled to 27 for four.
Inzamam and Shoaib Malik (66) rebuilt the innings with a fifth-wicket partnership of 91 but Pakistan's slow start caught up with them as the required run-rate started to climb.
Andrew Symonds made a superb 91 to win the man-of-the-match award and Damien Martyn scored 53 to help Australia post a modest total after two separate batting collapses.
Australia dropped out-of-form opener Matthew Hayden and promoted Michael Clarke to open with Adam Gilchrist.
But Clarke, brilliant in the preliminary series, was trapped lbw by Rana Naved-ul-Hasan for nine, Gilchrist was well caught by Abdul Razzaq at long off for 24 and Ponting was bowled by Rao Iftikhar for 11, leaving Australia in early trouble at 53 for three.
Symonds and Clarke rebuilt with a fourth-wicket partnership of 137 at nearly a run a ball but their dismissals triggered an even bigger collapse as Australia lost their last seven wickets for 47 runs.
Martyn, made 53 off 78 balls without hitting a single boundary before he was stumped by Kamran Akmal off Sahid Afridi with the total on 190.
Symonds belted seven boundaries before falling nine runs short of his century when he was caught in the covers off Razzaq, the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with three for 33.
Shahid Afridi and Naved-ul-Hasan both took two for 50 but the tourists dropped a couple of catches and had several close decisions go against them.
The teams meet again at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday for the second final. If Pakistan win, a deciding match will be played at Adelaide on Tuesday.
A.Gilchrist c Abdul Razzaq b Mohammad Khalil 24
M.Clarke lbw Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 9
R.Ponting b Rao Iftikhar 11
D.Martyn st Kamran Akmal b Shahid Afridi 53
A.Symonds c Inzamam-ul-Haq b Abdul Razzaq 91
D.Lehmann c Kamran Akmal b Shahid Afridi 0
S.Katich c sub (Yasir Hameed) b Abdul Razzaq 9
S.Watson c Mohammad Hafeez b Abdul Razzaq 4
B.Lee b Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 13
J.Gillespie not out 3
G.McGrath run out 1.
Extras: (b-1, lb-8, w-7, nb-3) 19.
Total: (all out, 49 overs) 237
Fall of wickets: 1-29, 2-51, 3-53, 4-190, 5-190, 6-213, 7-213, 8-220, 9-235.
Bowling: Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 9-0-50-2 (nb-2 w-2), Rao Iftikhar 8-1-27-1 (w-2), Mohammad Khalil 4-0-30-1 (w-1), Shahid Afridi 10-0-50-2 (nb-1 w-1), Abdul Razzaq 10-0-33-3 (w-1), Mohammad Hafeez 8-0-38-0.
Salman Butt lbw Lee 0
Kamran Akmal c Gillespie b McGrath 4
Mohammad Hafeez c Watson b McGrath 13
Yousuf Youhana b Lee 2
Inzamam-ul-Haq c McGrath b Lee 51
Shoaib Malik c Lehmann b Gillespie 66
Abdul Razzaq run out 3
Shahid Afridi c Katich b Gillespie 26
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan c Lehmann b McGrath 29
Rao Iftikhar not out 19
Mohammad Khalil not out 0.
Extras: (lb-3, w-2, nb-1) 6.
Total: (for nine wickets, 50 overs) 219
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-7, 3-9, 4-27, 5-118, 6-123, 7-153, 8-171, 9-216.
Bowling: Lee 10-0-23-3 (w-1), McGrath 10-3-34-3, Gillespie 10-0-47-2 (nb-1 w-1), Watson 9-1-38-0, Lehmann 4-0-29-0, Symonds 7-0-45-0.
Result: Australia won by 18 runs to lead best-of-three series 1-0
Second final: Sydney, February 6
Third final (if required): Adelaide, February 8.