The veteran batsman Younis Khan hit an unbeaten 133 to steer Pakistan out of trouble on the opening day of the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
The tourists, after winning the toss in overcast conditions, slumped to 56 for 3 before Khan's rescue act helped them recover to 261 for 4 when bad light ended play two overs early.
The 36-year-old, who went to the crease in his 90th Test at 2-19, hit 11 boundaries and a six in his 24th century.
Only Inzamam-ul Haq (25) has more Test hundreds for Pakistan.
Skipper Misbah-ul Haq, making a typically dour but determined 31, put on 100 for the fourth wicket with Khan before he was caught behind off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
Asad Shafiq ensured the effort did not go waste as he saw off the second new ball to help Khan add 105 for the fifth wicket, himself returning unbeaten at close on 55.
The start was delayed by 30 minutes due to a wet outfield and bad weather has been forecast on all five days of the Test.
Both teams went in with two spinners -- Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman for Pakistan, and Herath and Perera for the hosts -- hoping the grassless pitch provides some turn later in the match.
Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, who is retiring from the longer format after the two-Test series, walked out to field amid bursting firecrackers as school children gave him a guard of honour with raised bats.
Giant posters of the elegant batsman, who is sixth in the all-time scorers' list with 11,671 runs in 147 Tests, adorned the Galle International Stadium.