Yasir Shah claimed a stunning five-wicket haul to give Pakistan complete control after dominating day two of the first Test against England at Lord's. The world's number two-ranked spinner took his maiden five-fer outside of Asia to leave the hosts facing a first innings deficit after losing six wickets for 86 runs either side of tea.
Captain Alastair Cook twice survived being dropped on his way to making 81 in a partnership of 110 with Joe Root (48), before becoming the first victim on Mohammad Amir's return to Test cricket. But it was left to Shah to leave England's middle order to tatters as first Root and then James Vince (16), the returning Gary Ballance (6), Jonny Bairstow (29) and Moeen Ali (23) all succumbed, as the home side closed on 253 for 7, trailing by 86.
Pakistan had earlier been bowled out for a valuable 339, with Misbah-ul-Haq making 114. Chris Woakes finished with Test career best figures of six for 70, while Stuart Broad took three for 71. But despite starting the day on the back foot there is no doubt Pakistan are in total command heading into the weekend.
If the lay of the land after day one at the home of cricket could be considered evenly split, then the morning session worked to propel England into the ascendency during a frenetic passage of play. Pakistan had lost two wickets in the space of 16 balls at the close on Thursday [14 July] and that collapse continue apace.
Sarfraz Ahmed (25) played some expansive shots before being tamed by Woakes, who claimed the first five-fer of his international career and then added to his tally by bowling Wahab Riaz for a duck with a ominous delivery which swung into the right hander. Misbah's serene innings was ended by Broad before he caught the edge of Amir (12) as the tourists were skittled out for 339, as their final six wickets fell for just 57.
An encouraging start in the morning was tempered by the overhead conditions which had proven fruitful for Woakes and Broad, and would surely be exploited by the three-pronged left-arm attack of Amir, Riaz and Rahat. And in just the second over the conditions played their part as Alex Hales (6) edged the latter to Azhar Ali.
England were otherwise scoring at a fine pace, primarily through the uncharacteristically attacking Cook. The skipper did survived being dismissed before lunch however, as Amir was cruelly denied a wicket on his Test return with Mohammad Hafeez shelling a chance with Cook on 22.
Root was untroubled and after Cook was dropped for a second time off Amir, with wicketkeeper Sarfraz the guilty man behind the stumps, the century partnership was brought up as the swing relented. But the versatility and options in the Pakistan attack meant England were not off the hook and they were soon unravelling to allow the away side back into the contest.
Shah began the comeback by seducing Root into a slog sweep which ballooned into the air before being caught by Hafeez. The leg-spinner took two further wickets in the space of eight balls before tea as he trapped both Vince and Ballance, back in international cricket for the first time in 12 months.
Bairstow took advantage of some width from Rahat to get into his stride but his partner Cook, who had gone from scorer to survivor, was allowed no such room and that would eventually contribute to his downfall. Amir got a deserved wicket on his poignant return to Lord's when Cook played on.
But the rest of the day would belong to Shah as he beat the flummoxed Barstow with a straight one which deceived the Yorkshireman in the air, before ensuring his name would be inscribed on the honours board. Ali (23) became the latest batsman to be outdone by DRS and was given out lbw despite the ball only just clipping his leg stump, to give Shah his first five-for outside of Asia.
Despite the Lord's floodlights being employed, the umpire kept the players on the field until the scheduled close, during which time Broad – who survived being given out lbw as Shah reviewed a not out decision – and Woakes dragged England closer to parity. An unbeaten 21-run partnership was a determined effort but ultimately they must continue to frustrate Pakistan at the start of day three if they're to avoid a concede a significant first innings lead.