Opener Kaushal Silva stood firm to inch Sri Lanka closer to Pakistan's first-innings total on day two of the second Test in Dubai.
Silva was watchful this morning as he advanced to 40 not out although the tourists were grateful for his patience as they advanced to 132 for three at lunch and trailed by just 33 runs.
Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal were the batsmen whose wickets fell this morning, but Silva and veteran Mahela Jayawardene put on an unbroken 44 for the fourth wicket to steady the innings.
Sri Lanka were firmly in the driving seat after the first day after Pakistan had collapsed from 78 for one to 165 all out.
While Silva was happy to take his time, Sangakkara followed up a streaky boundary down to third man with a rather more assured cover drive two balls later off Rahat Ali.
But in Rahat's next over, the left-handed Sangakkara was trapped in front by one that struck low on his pads to depart for 26.
Chandimal got off the mark with an edge through a gap in the slip cordon for four, but he failed to make the most of his let-off when, on 12, he hooked Junaid Khan to Rahat at long leg.
Silva showed his team-mate how it was done in the next over, pulling Rahat through square leg for four, while Jayawardene (19no), demoted to number five in the order after a poor run in Tests, looked assured.