Sri Lanka closed day four of the third and final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah with a lead of 220 runs by reaching 133 for five in their second innings.
Pakistan added just 50 runs to their overnight score before they were bowled out for 341 which handed Sri Lanka a lead of 88.
And despite a sterling effort by Pakistan's bowlers, led by Mohammad Talha and Abdur Rehman, they had pushed that lead past 200 by stumps with Mahela Jayawardene top scoring with 46, including his 11,000th Test run.
Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0 following a nine-wicket win in Dubai and a draw in Abu Dhabi and another session of batting will probably be enough to seal them the series.
Pakistan had added just three runs in the morning before Rehman (2) was caught behind by Prasanna Jayawardene off Shaminda Eranga and soon after, Talha was trapped in front by the same bowler.
Misbah-ul-Haq reached his half-century but was the next to go after making 63 in 113 balls when he was caught in the deep by Dinesh Chandimal off Rangana Herath, hitting out to try to add as many runs as he could.
Junaid Khan then blasted a couple of sixes before he fell to the same combination for 16 as Herath finished with figures of five for 125 and Eranga four for 60.
Talha then tore in and surprised Dimuth Karunaratne (8) with some extra pace which disturbed the stumps via the inside edge.
Kumar Sangakkara then top-edged a sweep into the hands of Khurram Manzoor off Rehman to leave Sri Lanka at 37 for two and when Kaushal Silva was bowled by a beauty from Rehman for 36, they were 66 for three and Pakistan's comeback was in full flow.
Talha then got one to nip back and bowl Chandimal for 13 before former captain Mahela Jayawardene joined forces with current skipper Angelo Mathews and they set out a clear goal of simply protecting their wickets and making Pakistan force the pace.
Jayawardene made 46 in 144 balls and looked as if he would make it through to stumps when Pakistan were given late hope by Ajmal getting the set batsman to edge into the hands of Azhar Ali at short leg.
Mathews, however, was not going to be shifted, and he closed on 14 not out in 99 deliveries alongside Prasanna Jayawardene, who had made six in as many balls.
Both Talha and Rehman finished the day with figures of two for 36 and Pakistan's unlikely hopes rest with them spearheading a final-day charge with the ball to set up a run chase.
© Cricket World 2014