Ifran finished with 3-35 from his ten overs as England, who won the toss and opted to bat on a flat pitch at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, struggled to put up a big total.
Skipper Eoin Morgan top-scored with 76 while James Taylor made 60 as the pair added 133 for the fourth wicket as the only highlight of the innings.
England were off to a disastrous start when Irfan, the tallest-ever player in international cricket at 7ft 1in (2.16m), produced a sharp delivery to bowl opener Jason Roy with only the second ball of the game.
England’s dependable batsman Joe Root also failed as he fell leg-before to seamer Anwar Ali for nought and it became 14-3 when Anwar forced an edge off Alex Hales (ten) to slip where Younis Khan took the catch in second attempt.
Morgan and Taylor were left to steady the innings. The England skipper reached his 29th one-day half-century with a sweetly-timed four off spinner Bilal Asif — his eighth 50 in the last 11 matches.
From a well-set 147-3 in the 31st over, England lost four wickets in the space of 14 runs off 32 deliveries with two going to Shoaib Malik.
Morgan hit 11 fours in his 96-ball knock while Taylor smashed two sixes and three fours off 82 deliveries.
Morgan edged Malik to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed to start the slide and three balls later Jos Buttler (one) failed to regain his ground while taking a sharp single.
Malik removed Taylor in his next over while leg-spinner Yasir Shah chipped in with the wicket of Moeen Ali for seven.
Chris Woakes (33 not out) and David Willey (13) added an invaluable 33 for the ninth wicket to get England past 200-mark before Irfan returned to take his third wicket in the penultimate over.
Anwar and Malik grabbed two wickets apiece.
Earlier, Pakistan’s senior batsman Younis Khan announced he was quitting one-day internationals after the game, ending a 265-match career.
His selection for the four-match series was hotly debated after the team management opposed his inclusion.