Sri Lanka made a steady start in reply to Pakistan's first innings of 451, reaching 99-1 by stumps on Day 2 of the first Test in Galle.
The visitors were fired by a 177 from Younis Khan, although half-centuries from Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed and Abdur Rehman kept up the pressure.
In the 34 overs Sri Lanka faced, they lost Upul Tharanga early, but Kumar Sangakkara joined Kaushal Silva to get the innings back on track.
Sri Lanka will need to bat well on Day 3 to get right into the contest, but after runs were scored at a healthy rate, all three results remain possible.
|Pakistan 1st Innings Scorecard|
|Azhar Ali||b Herath||30||85||69|
|Y Khan||c Vithanage||b D Perera||177||491||331|
|Misbah-ul-Haq||c Dickwella||b Herath||31||152||100|
|Sarfraz Ahmed||c Mathews||b D Perera||55||114||71|
|Rehman||c Sangakkara||b D Perera||50||93||61|
|Ajmal||c M Jayawardene||b D Perera||12||29||23|
|Junaid Khan||c M Jayawardene||b D Perera||0||3|
|Extras||1nb 0w 0b 4lb||5|
|Total||all out (140.5 ovs)||451|
Dilruwan Perera was the star of the day with the ball for Sri Lanka, the spinner finally ending Younis' vigil. At that point, Pakistan had been 359-5 and threatening an altogether larger score.
Having gone wicketless on the first day, Perera's tweak accounted for the last five Pakistan wickets to fall.
Wickets to spin ought to have been good news for the likes of Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, but the results didn't come when they were given the ball.
|Sri Lanka, 1st Innings Scorecard|
|Tharanga||lbw||b Junaid Khan||19||22||15|
|K Silva||not out||38||149||94|
|Extras||0nb 5w 1b 0lb||6|
|Total||for 1 (34.0 ovs)||99|
The seam attack was scored from quick but briefly by Tharanga, and Junaid Khan had his revenge by trapping him lbw for a 15-ball 19. The left-hander reviewed the initial decision, but the ball would have gone on to hit leg stump.
Sangakkara and Silva played at no great pace, but they built a steady foundation. There were seven boundaries in Silva's 94-ball 38, while Sangakkara was more circumspect and worked predominantly in singles.
Ajmal wheeled through 12 overs. He didn't prise out a wicket, but he gave little away, costing just 19 runs. He might also have had Sangakkara's wicket had he referred an lbw appeal on 13—Pakistan played on.
With seam bowling yielding little results on Day 2, the onus will be on Ajmal and Rehman to strike when play resumes. However, if Sri Lanka bat through the day, the game will remain wide open.