Rehman's double strike pushes Sri Lanka hard against Pakistan
Sarfraz Ahmed (left) and Ahmed Shehzad celebrate the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara on the fourth day of the third Test between Pakistan in Sharjah on January 19, 2014 - by Ishara S. Kodikara
Rehman dismissed Kumar Sangakkara (eight) and opener Kaushal Silva (36) in an incisive spell on a Sharjah stadium pitch which still does not offer sharp spin, against all expectations.
At the break Mahela Jayawardene (23) and Dinesh Chandimal (13) were at the crease with Sri Lanka enjoying an overall lead of 175 runs with seven wickets intact.
Pakistan have one full session and a day to play for a series-levelling win and need quick wickets.
Jayawardene, who struck 129 in Sri Lanka's nine wicket win in the second Test in Dubai, swept Saeed Ajmal over deep square-leg for a six to complete 11,000 runs in his 141st Test.
He became the eighth batsmen in all Test cricket and the first Sri Lankan to score 11,000 or more runs in a list topped by now-retired India's Sachin Tendulkar with 15,921.
It was Rehman who struck a telling blow by dismissing experienced Sangakkara, caught sweeping at deep square-leg to make inroads into the Sri Lankan batting.
Rehman then bowled a resolute Silva to leave Sri Lanka at 66-3.
Before lunch opener Dimuth Karunaratne (eight) was bowled by paceman Mohammad Talha.
Earlier, Pakistan were bowled out for 341 in their first innings, 87 short of Sri Lanka's first innings total of 428 for nine declared.
Skipper Misbah-ul Haq scored 63 to notch up his 24th Test half-century before holing out to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath who finished with 5-125.
Paceman Shaminda Eranga removed Abdul Rehman (two) and Talha (two) after Pakistan resumed on 291-6, searching for quick runs.
Eranga bettered his 4-65 against Australia in Colombo in 2011.
Misbah struck Herath for a six and then took a single to complete his fifty off 86 balls. He hit three sixes and a four before being caught at long-on.
Junaid Khan also struck two boundaries to reduce the deficit before he too was caught in the deep off Herath as Pakistan's innings was wrapped up before lunch.
Debutant Dilruwan Perera grabbed the remaining one wicket.