Record falls to rampant Sri Lankans
Pakistan were left with a mountain to climb as Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera both cracked double centuries on the second day of the first Test in Karachi.
Jayawardene amassed 240, his fifth double century, and Samaraweera made a Test-best 231, the two featuring in a record-breaking fourth-wicket stand of 437. Sri Lanka eventually declared on 644 for seven.
They confirmed their superiority when Muttiah Muralitharan effected a breakthrough in the penultimate over of the day by dismissing opener Salman Butt for 23.
At stumps, Pakistan had reached 44 for one with Test debutant Khurram Manzoor 18 not out and captain Younus Khan yet to get off the mark.
Younus had deployed defensive fields in the morning which kept Jayawardene and Samaraweera quiet at the start.
However, save for a couple of lbw shouts - both of which looked close but were turned down by umpire Steve Davis - Pakistan's attack barely threatened.
The two Sri Lanka batsmen soon had the measure of Pakistan's inexperienced attack and Samaraweera broke the shackles with a boundary - the first of the day - in the 11th over when he powerfully drove Yasir Arafat.
Jayawardene cut debutant fast bowler Sohail Khan for his first four of the day in the next over and paddle-swept leg-spinner Danish Kaneria in the following over as Sri Lankan began to dish out heavy punishment.
As Pakistani shoulders sagged, Jayawardene and Samaraweera piled on the runs both reaching double centuries in the second session.
Jayawardene, 15 runs short of the 200-run mark when lunch was taken, reached the milestone by cutting debutant fast bowler Sohail to third man for a couple of runs.
It was the Sri Lanka captain's fifth double century and his first away from home. That figure includes the 374 he amassed against South Africa in 2006.
Samaraweera also singled out Sohail to reach his first double ton, a single down to third man helping him accomplish the feat. His previous best was 142 against England at the Sinhalese Sports Club in 2003.
Their fourth-wicket partnership eclipsed the record set by England's Colin Cowdrey and Peter May in 1957, when they famously nullified the West Indian mystery spinner Sonny Ramadhin at Edgbaston.
Jayawardene's marathon innings was eventually ended by Shoaib Malik, the off-spinner luring the Sri Lanka captain into a sweep and finding the inside egde.
The ball flicked the bat as Jayawardene attempted to sweep, spun off his arm and looped to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, who took a fine diving catch.
Samaraweera fell seven deliveries later, an inside edge off leg-spinner Danish Kaneria crashing into his stumps.
Malik then claimed his second victim when he sent back Tillakaratne Dilshan for a three-ball duck and Kaneria claimed his third wicket when he bowled wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene for 18 in the final session.
Kaneria finished with 3-170 from 46 overs, while Malik had 2-140 from 36.
Prasanna Jayawardene’s wicket prompted the declaration from his captain and namesake.
Pakistan's openers began on a shaky note against Sri Lankan's new-ball bowlers Chaminda Vaas and Dilhara Fernando.
Manzoor grounded his bat just in time at the non-striker's end when Vaas deflected a drive from Butt onto the stumps in the first over of their innings, while Butt survived a close shout for caught behind off Fernando before the two openers settled down.
Butt was dropped by Dilshan off the first ball of Ajantha Mendis’ first over.
But Muralitharan, who was introduced in the 17th over, broke the partnership when he forced Butt to edge to Mahela Jayawardene at slip.