Dimuth Karunaratne scored an unbeaten 133 to help Sri Lanka make a strong start to the second Test with Pakistan in Dubai.
Having won the opening match on a dramatic final day to stop an abysmal run of form across all formats, Sri Lanka played with renewed confidence on Friday to post 254-3 after winning the toss.
Opener Karunaratne was studious in compiling his innings, picking his shots carefully, but there were also moments of well-directed aggression in his 281-ball knock.
He tallied 15 fours and a maximum on a testing day in the field for Pakistan, for whom Yasir Shah took 2-90, while Mohammad Amir accounted for impressive debutant Sadeera Samarawickrama (38).
Left-hander Karunaratne laid the foundations alongside Kaushal Silva, but his playing partner fell to Yasir on 27 after edging untidily to Sarfraz Ahmed with Sri Lanka on 63.
Pakistan claimed wickets in consecutive overs to apply some pressure midway through their opponents' innings, with Kusal Mendis adding just one run before following Samarawickrama back to the pavilion.
But Karunaratne was still there at the end of the final session, ably assisted by captain Dinesh Chandimal, who closed one run shy of a half-century.
Pakistan will hope for more life in the pitch as they seek to secure a share of the spoils in the two-match series.