Abu Dhabi, Oct 21: Kumar Sangakkara struck a defiant unbeaten 113 Friday but Sri Lanka were still facing an uphill task to avoid defeat against Pakistan in the opening test at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Sri Lanka trailed by 314 runs after the first innings and were still 102 behind after going to tea on day four at 212-4.
Angelo Mathews was 10 not out with Sangakkara, whose 26th test century spanned 210 balls and 293 minutes and included 12 fours.
The 33-year-old Sangakkara batted through the morning session with Lahiru Thirimanne (68) to stretch their second wicket stand to 153 and raise Sri Lankan hopes.
But once Thirimanne gifted his wicket with a careless run out after lunch, Pakistan took the initiative with two more wickets in the second session.
Thirimanne, who struck four boundaries off 159 balls in his maiden test half century, tried to squeeze a second run after clipping to deep square leg but Azhar Ali's accurate return found him a yard short.
Seven runs later, Saeed Ajmal claimed the prized wicket of veteran Mahela Jayawardene, who under-edged a cut onto his stumps right after getting off the mark with a classy on-drive for four.
Captain Tillekeratne Dilshan (9) also fell cheaply, losing his middle stump to left-arm seamer Juniad Khan at 191-4.
Sangakkara and Mathews shared an unbroken partnership of 21 before the tea break.
Junaid claimed 1-32 while Ajmal took 1-68.