The only wicket to fall was captain Joe Root, who edged a ball aimed across him by Mohammad Amir. Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed collected a regulation catch to give Pakistan initial hope of forcing its way back into a match which has seldom gone its way. But nightwatchman Dominic Bess (40 not out) and Dawid Malan (27 not out) saw out the session to take England to 199 for three in reply to Pakistan’s first-innings total of 174.
Root had looked in fine form after a frustrating morning when persistent rain prevented play until 2.45pm. Resuming on 106 for two, England showed its aggressive intentions by taking off in the first three overs, a flow of runs helped by some sloppy fielding from the visitor.
But the captain departed on 45, having added just 16 to his overnight score. While batting was seldom easy in overcast conditions, the pitch had few terrors and England, still smarting from their nine-wicket first Test defeat, looked set to build a big lead in its bid to square the two-Test series. After a quiet start, Bess began to show more adventure, flashing one excellent square drive to the boundary off Faheem Ashraf to the boundary.
BRIEF SCORES: Pakistan (1st innings) 174 vs England (1st innings) 245/5 in 77 overs (Alastair Cook 46, Joe Root 45, D Bess 49, Mohammad Amir 2/58)