England face a monumental task if they are to avoid defeat in the second Test of their three-match series against Pakistan after suffering an embarrassing batting collapse on day three in Dubai. The tourists shipped their last seven wickets for just 36 runs and watched on in despair as their opponents closed with a daunting lead of 358 courtesy of Younus Khan and evergreen captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
Having had cause for optimism after reaching stumps on day two at 182-3 with Joe Root in typically commanding form and Jonny Bairstow looking more assured, that pairing produced just 24 more runs in the morning session before England's vice-captain fell in the 80s for the second time this series when he edged a difficult Wahab Riaz delivery behind to Sarfraz Ahmed.
Pakistan were furious after being denied the wicket of Bairstow when Younus appeared to take a marvellous catch off the bowling of Yasir Shah, only for the third umpire to rule that the ball had been grounded. That missed opportunity mattered little in the grand scheme of things, however, with Wahab striking again soon afterwards to draw a poor edge from Stokes and coaxing a similar nick from the out-of-form Jos Buttler for a duck.
England's underwhelming middle order was in turmoil by this stage and Adil Rashid was the next to trudge back to the pavilion without a solitary run after being caught at cover by Mohammad Hafeez. Bairstow was just four short of his half-century when he was trapped lbw by Yasir and Test cricket's form leg-spinner claimed his final victim of the innings thanks to a thin edge from Mark Wood that carried to Younus at slip. The Durham paceman immediately reviewed the decision to no avail.
Alastair Cook's side were still trailing by 136 when Jimmy Anderson was removed by a combination of Imran Khan and Sarfraz. In response, Pakistan were reduced to 1-1 when Shan Masood, dropped by Buttler in the previous over, was removed by the Lancashire wicket-keeper off the bowling of Anderson.
England gave themselves a modicum of hope when Wood forced Shoaib Malik into an inside edge that crashed into the stumps and left Pakistan teetering at 16-2, but Hafeez and Younus steadied the ship before the former was out for 51 before tea after being taken nicely by Root at slip off Wood.
Younus passed the impressive milestone of 9,000 Test runs on his way to 71 not out, while Misbah - who struck 102 in Pakistan's first innings - raced to 87 after being handed a reprieve when neither Buttler nor Root elected to try and catch a dangerous edge.