Sohail Khan was the star of the show for Pakistan on day one of the third Test match against England at Edgbaston as they bowled the hosts out for 297. The 32-year-old seamer, who replaced Wahab Riaz in the Pakistan team, took 5-96 on a lively pitch and under grey skies in Birmingham.
Khan was a surprise selection before the game started, but dismissed Alex Hales (17), Joe Root (3), James Vince (39), Jonny Bairstow (12) and Jimmy Anderson (5) to justify his selection in the side. The right-arm fast bowler was, admittedly, helped by conditions that were conducive to swing and seam bowling.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and, to the surprise of many onlookers, opted to bowl first. Yet his bowlers supported that decision with a largely disciplined and skillful performance, which never allowed England's batsman to get away from them.
Khan struck the first blow of the morning session when he had the under-pressure Hales caught behind by wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed. That strike was quickly followed by the all-important wicket of Joe Root, who slashed at a ball outside off-stump, but could only find Mohammad Hafeez at first slip.
With the score on 75, the Three Lions lost the second of their two world-class batsman, when captain Alastair Cook was out LBW to Rahat Ali. However, subsequent failures from the likes of Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad were largely masked by improved showings from Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali, who played contrasting innings to help England edge towards a competitive total.
Ballance, 26, played a typically measured innings to grind his way to 70 before he was strangled down the leg-side by Yasir Shah. Ali, on the other hand, was noticeably more fluent than his fellow left-hander and he played some eye-catching strokes on his way to 63, before losing his wicket in the pursuit of quick runs.
England will have been disappointed to have been dismissed for less than 300 on day one, but with Anderson and Broad in their bowling line-up, will be confident of putting the tourists under pressure in their first innings.