England were in a strong position at the end of Day 2 of the second Test in Multan, despite Pakistan spinner Abrar Ahmed securing his 10th wicket of the match on his debut.
Spinner Jack Leach led the way for Ben Stokes' side with 4-98 as they dismissed Pakistan for a below-par 202 all out – giving England a useful first-innings lead of 79 – at Multan Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
England then reached 202-5 at stumps securing a lead of 281 with Ben Duckett scoring his second half-century of the match and Harry Brook finishing unbeaten on 74.
But Abrar's dream debut continued as he finished with 3-81 to go with his 7-114 in the first innings. He became only the second Pakistan bowler to reach 10 wickets on his debut and the 18th overall in Test cricket.
The tourists, though, are firmly in the driving seat to clinch victory in the three-match series after winning the Rawalpindi first Test in spectacular fashion.
“I think it's a really good day for us, obviously 280 ahead so look to get a few more tomorrow then have another go at them,” Leach said to Sky Sports.
“There's a bit more happening than in Rawalpindi so just looking to be patient and work your way through.
“It's crazy [that four an over seems so calm], we've batted so well - it's great to watch. Harry Brook, Ben Duckett - the sweeping there, I know as a spinner how hard it is when someone is sweeping and reverse sweeping.
“It's really difficult. They played really, really well and put us in a good position.”
When Leach had Saud Shakeel superbly caught by James Anderson for 63, it also marked the left-arm spinner's 100th wicket in Test cricket and he became the 49th English cricketer to reach the milestone.
“Really pleased. I never thought that would happen. Amazing and I just want to contribute to a win.
“It's crazy to think I've got 100 wickets in Test matches just because of how difficult I've found it at times.
“But then you realise there have been some good moments along the way, you do some good things and I definitely feel like I'm getting better and better as I play more, so that's pleasing.”
In the morning session, England made crucial inroads as Pakistan collapsed from 107-2 overnight, after captain Babar Azam was bowled by Ollie Robinson for 75 to being 202 all out at lunch.
The wickets fell rapidly, with Leach capitalising on a turning pitch as the hosts lost eight wickets for just 60 runs, while Joe Root and Mark Wood contributed two each.
England lost their first wicket early, with Zak Crawley (three) run out when taking a risky and unnecessary single with the tourists 11-1.
Will Jacks came in at No 3 and became Abrar’s eighth wicket of the match when he was bowled swiping across the line for just four.
Joe Root fell to Abrar for a second time in the match, for 21 in the final wicket before tea after being caught by a stunning one-handed diving catch from Abdullah Shafique at short leg.
On Friday, Duckett had said debutant Abrar was just a leg spinner with a googly, but the Nottinghamshire batter became the 24-year-old’s 10th scalp of the match in the evening session.
Ollie Pope, who came in at No 6 after being given a longer break following his spell as wicketkeeper, was run out for four attempting a ludicrous single.
Brook reached his half-century and finished the day on 74 not out having looked confident and comfortable at the crease, with Stokes also unbeaten on 16 having come in at No 7.