Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan hit unbeaten half-centuries to help Sri Lanka recover from an early wicket to reach 170-1 at tea on the first day of the third Test against Pakistan on Thursday.
Left-handed Sangakkara was batting on a gutsy 72 while skipper Dilshan -- finally promoting himself to opener's spot -- was unbeaten 90 as the pair added 166 for the unbroken second wicket stand after electing to bat.
Sangakkara, who smashed an epic 211 in the drawn first Test in Abu Dhabi, also completed 9,000 Test runs when he reached 28, hitting a crisp boundary off paceman Junaid Khan.
The former Sri Lankan captain is the 11th batsman in the world and only the second Sri Lankan behind Mahela Jayawardene (9895 runs) -- also playing in this match -- to cross 9,000 or more in all Test cricket.
Sangakkara has so far hit seven boundaries and a six.
Dilshan was equally stubborn as he overcame a slump of form to score his first half-century in the series and only second in the last six games. He has so far hit five boundaries and a six.
Pakistan lead the series 1-0 after winning the second Test in Dubai by nine wickets. The first Test in Abu Dhabi ended in a draw.
Dilshan's elevation to the top meant opener Lahiru Thirimanne was axed while paceman Suranga Lakmal was also left out to bring in off-spinner Suraj Randiv and 26-year-old paceman Kosala Kulasekara for his first Test.
Pakistan were unchanged from the second Test.
The change at the top did not help Sri Lanka to a flying start as Paranavitana edged the fifth ball of the innings from Gul and was smartly snapped up by Younis Khan in the slips, with the score at four.
Two balls before his dismissal, Paranavitana was dropped at forward short-leg by Azhar Ali, but the opener failed to capitalise on the chance.
Pakistan introduced spin at both the ends after 10 overs, but the batsmen remained untroubled.
Dilshan survived a confident caught behind shout off a short ball from Gul, which seemed to have hit the glove, but Indian umpire Shahvir Tarapore remained unmoved.
Pakistan also muffed a chance to stump Sangakkar, batting on 68, when wicket-keeper missed a sharp Saeed Ajmal delivery.