Sri Lanka put on an improved batting display in their second innings as they began to eat into a big Pakistan lead in the second Test on Friday.
Sri Lanka, who conceded a big 164-run lead in the first innings, moved to 88-1 at stumps on the third day on a pitch that is taking spin and keeping low, which sets up an intriguing last two days.
Opener Tharanga Parana-vitana (42) and former captain Kumar Sangakkara (29) were unbeaten, having put on 66 valuable runs for the unbroken second wicket stand after they lost opener Lahiru Thirimanne (eight) early. They still need 76 runs to avoid an innings defeat.
Sri Lanka will look for a repeat of their second innings performance in the drawn first Test in Abu Dhabi, where Sangakkara scored an epic match-saving double hundred.
So cautious were the batsmen that Paranavitana hit only two boundaries and Sangakkara was yet to hit any during a near two hour stay at the crease.
Pakistan's bowlers unleashed tight line and length and appealed vociferously as the ball spun, but failed to remove the second wicket pair.