Sri Lanka's seamers came to the fore to leave Pakistan reeling on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Dubai.

Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga and Nuwan Pradeep all took two wickets as Pakistan slipped to 128 for six at tea, with Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews' decision to field first looking an inspired one.

It was a galling second session for the hosts, who had progressed to 78 for one before a collapse left them trailing in Sri Lanka's wake, with Khurram Manzoor's 73 the only bright spot in their batting.

They lost Ahmed Shehzad cheaply although the opener had already been given a life when he was dropped by Mathews at third slip before he had scored.

But he failed to take advantage of that escape as he was dismissed soon after for three, Pradeep trapping the 22-year-old lbw.

It was almost two wickets in two balls as new batsman Mohammad Hafeez edged the very next delivery to second slip, where Mahela Jayawardene shelled a tough chance.

Sri Lanka would not get another opportunity like that before the lunch interval as Hafeez and Manzoor carefully pushed Pakistan past the half-century mark.

Manzoor bludgeoned three fours off Pradeep in the first over of the afternoon session to make his intentions known before bringing up the 50 partnership with a single off the same bowler.

Yet Hafeez fell for 21 when he was bowled by Pradeep after a loose drive left a big gap between bat and pad.

Manzoor brought up his 50 with a single through the covers off Lakmal before the batsman shook off the shackles with a six over long-on off slow left-armer Rangana Herath.

But Sri Lanka made another key breakthrough when Younis Khan chased a wide one from Eranga to be caught behind, while the seamer struck in his next over, with Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq edging to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene.

Manzoor was next to go, caught behind after Lakmal found an outside edge, having contributed 73 off 136 balls.

And Pakistan were well and truly on the back foot when Asad Shafiq drove Lakmal to short cover shortly before tea.