Pakistan skipper Babar Azam made a defiant 119 to thwart a Sri Lankan spin attack led by Prabath Jayasuriya on day two of the first Test on Sunday.
Azam single-handedly took the tourists to just four runs short of Sri Lanka's 222 as he put on a 70-run 10th-wicket stand with Naseem Shah, who made five not out from 52 balls.
The Pakistan tail wags
Pakistan had slumped to 85-7 before lunch, and 148-9 in the second session. But Azam kept up the fight and reached his seventh Test century. Azam got help from the lower-order batsmen, including Yasir Shah (18), Hasan Ali (17), and Naseem, as Pakistan managed 133 runs from the final three wickets.
Theekshana, who took two wickets, finally got the star batsman's wicket to end the Pakistan innings on 218.
Pakistan had resumed the day on 24 for two after a 30-minute delay to start of play due to rain.
Jayasuriya impresses again
For Sri Lanka, it was a taste of their own medicine after they had fought back from 133-8 on day one when Pakistan left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi took four wickets. Jayasuriya was the hosts' go-to option yet again as he claimed his third successive five-wicket haul. He became the first Sri Lankan bowler, and the eighth overall, to claim three five-wicket hauls in his first two Tests.
In its second innings, Sri Lanka was 36 for one at stumps, with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne falling lbw to left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, for 16.
Oshada Fernando, on 17, and nightwatchman Kasun Rajitha, on three, were batting when bad light stopped play. The hosts led by 40 runs.