(CNN) -- Khurram Manzoor and Mohammad Yousuf struck determined half centuries but they could not prevent Pakistan surrendering the advantage on the opening day of the third and final cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Opener Khurram Manzoor struck 93 for Pakistan but Sri Lanka still took the upper hand in Colombo.
Opener Manzoor made 93, and Yousuf hit 90, as the pair helped Pakistan recover from the loss of two quick wickets in the morning session with a 167-run stand for the third wicket.
They were dismissed within seven runs of each other when facing the second new ball as Pakistan slumped from 203 for three to 289 for seven at stumps.
Left-arm paceman Thilan Thushara, who claimed the wickets of Fawad Alam and Younus Khan in the morning, snared another in the final session, while Nuwan Kulasekara picked up two scalps with the second new ball.
Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria, both on one, were unbeaten at the close.
Thushara secured the initial breakthrough just inside the first hour, sending back Alam and captain Younus Khan in the space of three deliveries.
Alam had made 16 when he dangled his bat to one directed in the corridor and the edge flew to wicketkeeper Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Younus' stay at the crease was brief as he dragged a short and wide delivery on to his off stump while attempting to cut.
Manzoor and Yousuf safely carried Pakistan into the lunch interval without further loss and consolidated with a slow but steady performance in the afternoon session.
Manzoor reached his second Test half century with consecutive boundaries off Thushara and Yousuf reached his 29th with a couple of runs through the covers, but the home side struck twice in quick succession in the final session.
Paceman Chaminda Vaas, who will retire from Test cricket at the end of this match, scalped Manzoor, getting the batsman to edge one to Mahela Jayawardene at first slip.
Yousuf was joined in the middle by Misbah-ul-Haq but their association was brief as the former was run out while attempting a quick single after an overthrow.
Shoaib Malik kept Sri Lanka's bowlers at bay for a while in an aggressive knock which was ended when he was trapped in front by Thushara just five short of a half century.
Kulasekara then got into the act, getting rid of Misbah for 27 with just minutes remaining in the final session. Umar Gul fell three deliveries later, dragging one back onto his stumps while attempting a drive.