Sri Lankan seamer Thisara Perera claimed 3-31 on a lively wicket to reduce Pakistan to 4-84 at lunch on the first day of the third and final cricket Test on Sunday.
Sri Lanka won the toss and Perera exploited the favourable conditions by removing Taufeeq Umar for 29, Mohammad Hafeez for 22 and Azhar Ali for a duck.
Asad Shafiq was not out on 12 while captain Misbah-ul-Haq was unbeaten on 10.
Sri Lanka left out opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan to be with his ill children while Perera and Dilhara Fernando replaced Suraj Randiv and Nuwan Pardeep.
Pakistan, trailing 1-0 in the series, made two changes with fit again Umar Gul and Mohammad Sami replacing Abdur Rehman and Aizaz Cheema.