Sri Lanka recovered throughout the opening day of the first test against Pakistan, reaching 227-4 at stumps on Thursday.
Dinesh Chandimal (60) and Niroshan Dickwella (42) were not out at stumps, playing out nearly 21 overs together.
Sri Lanka's decision to bat first appeared to backfire after being restricted to 61-3 by lunch. It advanced to 143-3 at tea.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne was run out on 93 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, the only wicket to fall in the final session. Chandimal was at fault. Karunaratne worked the ball wide of mid-on and ran for an easy single. But Chandimal was ball-watching and not looking at or listening to his teammate. He was seven runs from a seventh test century, and third this year.
Earlier, veteran legspinner Yasir Shah struck twice for Pakistan in the morning — Kusal Mendis was caught behind for 10 and Lahiru Thirimanne went leg before wicket for a duck. Shah finished on 2-59 off 34 overs. Kaushal Silva (12) was the other wicket to fall before lunch, bowled by Hasan Ali.