James Anderson and Stuart Broad took wickets in an improved England bowling performance as they restricted Pakistan to 187 for five at lunch on day two of the first Test at Old Trafford on Thursday.
England had been criticised by coach Chris Silverwood for allowing too many “easy balls to hit” after a rain-shortened first day, but were markedly improved under heavy skies on the second morning.
Opener Shan Masood (77 not out from 225 balls) has maintained his long vigil at the crease and will resume after the interval with all-rounder Shadab Khan (one not out)
Pakistan added only 48 runs in the morning session at a paltry rate of 1.86 per over, also losing key batsman Babar Azam (69), Asad Shafiq (7) and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan (9).
It was largely due to the disciplined line of the England seamers, and chalk and cheese from their wayward performance on the first afternoon, both targeting the wickets with a straighter line and stifling the scoring opportunities of the tourists.
Babar was out in the first over without adding to his overnight score, edging Anderson to Joe Root at first slip.
It was the bowler’s 590th Test wicket as he closes in on becoming the first seamer to 600 scalps.
Broad removed Asad after finding the edge as well, this time Ben Stokes diving across Root to snatch the ball in front of first slip.
Rizwan never looked comfortable at the crease and used up 41 balls for his nine before nicking a Chris Woakes delivery to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.
The match is the first of three Tests, with the next two in Southampton, as Pakistan seek a first series win in England since 1996.