PALLEKELE: Pakistan, replying to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 278, were 209-9 at stumps on the second day of the third and final Test in Pallekele on Saturday.
Sarfraz Ahmed was unbeaten on 72 and last man Imran Khan had yet to score, with Pakistan trailing by 69 runs with just one wicket in hand.
The series is tied at 1-1 after Pakistan won the first Test in Galle by 10 wickets and Sri Lanka took the second in Colombo by seven wickets.
Sarfraz fights as Sri Lanka rattle Pakistan in decider
Sri Lanka stung Pakistan with four cheap top-order wickets after they were dismissed for 278 on the second day of the series-deciding third and final Test in Pallekele on Saturday.
Pakistan were 117-4 in reply in the post-lunch session when heavy rain drove the players back to the pavilion for the second time in the day and forced the umpires to call for an early tea.
Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 47 and Sarfraz Ahmed was on 14 at the break.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq, who was slated to bat at number five, has pushed himself back in the order due to a mild groin strain suffered while fielding. But he was padded up to come in next.
Pakistan's leg-spinner Yasir Shah claimed another five-wicket haul as Sri Lanka added six runs to their overnight score of 272-8 before they were dismissed within 20 minutes of the start.
Tharindu Kaushal was leg-before to left-arm seamer Rahat Ali for 18 and last man Pradeep fell in the same fashion to Yasir without scoring.
Yasir finished with 5-78, joining his idol Shane Warne as the only overseas bowlers to claim five or more wickets in an innings three times during a Test series in Sri Lanka.
Yasir had taken 2-79 and 7-76 in the first Test in Galle to fashion Pakistan's 10-wicket win. He then claimed 6-96 and 2-55 in the second match in Colombo which Sri Lanka won by seven wickets.
The 29-year-old, who hails from the Khyber region of northwest Pakistan, has already grabbed 59 wickets in a 10-Test career which began in October last year.
Pakistan lost both their openers by the score of 40 and star batsman Younis Khan was run out off the last ball of the morning session to make it 45-3.
Left-hander Shan Masood scored 13 in his first appearance in the series when he was leg-before to Dhammika Prasad, a decision that was reviewed by the batsman and overruled by the TV umpire.
Ahmed Shehzad made a fluent 21 when Nuwan Pradeep, brought in first change in place of Suranga Lakmal, had him caught behind by Dinesh Chandimal with his third delivery.
Younis (three) charged down for a sharp single after tapping a ball from Angelo Mathews to mid-wicket, but failed to make his ground at the non-striker's end as Kaushal Silva threw down the stumps.
Azhar and Asad Shafiq repaired the early damage with a 46-run stand for the fourth wicket on either side of a 19-minute interruption for rain early in the post-lunch session.
Shafiq fell in the second over after resumption for 15, playing back to a full-pitched delivery from Prasad and was given out leg-before.