Captain Misbah-ul-haq won the toss and chose to bat, stating that he wanted to give his bowlers (the spinners especially) the advantage of bowling last on this track. There were two changes to the Sri Lankan playing XI; off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal made it to the squad after Dilruwan Pererea split the webbing of his hand in the previous Galle Test match. Fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera was handed his Test cap in case of Nuwan Pradeep, who was dropped.
The Pakistani team, however, went in without any changes to their squad. All eyes would be on veteran middle-order batsman Younis Khan, who will be playing his 100th Test match today against Sri Lanka. Younis becomes the fifth Pakistani player in history to achieve the milestone of playing 100 Test matches for the country.
Pakistan incurred an early loss when Ahmed Shehzad was dismissed by Prasad in the third over.