Seamers put England in command
Stuart Broad and James Anderson claimed four wickets apiece as England bowled Pakistan out for 72, before reaching 112 for two in reply on the first day of the second npower Test at Edgbaston.
Broad was impressive throughout, removing Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Zulqarnain Haider and Umar Amin to take 4-32.
Steven Finn took the key wickets of skipper Salman Butt and Umar Akmal, who was trapped leg-before to a delivery that kept worryingly low considering it is day one.
If Broad and Finn were impressive, it paled in comparison to Anderson, who was once again in truly irresistible form.
The Lancashire bowler, who starred in the first Test at Trent Bridge with 11 wickets, swung the ball both ways and dismissed Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif to finish with 4-20.
In reply, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen profited from three dropped catches to share an unbroken 68-run stand to continue England’s charge.
The duo, who both enjoyed reprieves as Pakistan’s fielding again left a lot to be desired, batted steadily before bad light brought an early end to proceedings.
After being asked to field by Pakistan, England started well with Anderson again swinging the ball round corners.
Being bowled out for just 80 in the second innings of the first Test clearly had an effect on Pakistan as openers Butt and Farhat aimed for survival rather than runs.
Aware of the negative mindset, Broad maintained an impressive line and length as Farhat searched for an elusive first run.
He was rewarded for his efforts as the left-hander nicked to Matt Prior, leaving Pakistan, who opted not to pick experienced batsman Mohammad Yousuf, eight for one.
The tourists’ situation worsened prior to drinks when Finn removed Butt with just nine on the board.
That wicket brought Malik to the crease, but he did not last long as Anderson located his edge and Prior took an excellent diving catch.
New batsman Umar seemed intent on producing the sort of counter-attacking performance he has become famed for during his short career to date, hitting 16 from his first 14 balls, including a fantastic flick over square-leg for six off Broad.
However, he was not supported by Azhar, who also chose to try and survive rather than score runs.
And, like Farhat, it proved his undoing as Broad trapped him lbw for a 32-ball duck, before Finn had Umar leg before with a ball that shot through low.
Broad then had Zulqarnain, making his debut after replacing Kamran Akmal, caught behind first ball to damage Pakistan’s cause further.
The seamer continued to impress after the interval, first having Amin dropped by Graeme Swann at second slip, before the left-hander somehow nicked the next delivery over Andrew Strauss.
Anderson thought he had dismissed Aamer in the next over, only for the decision to be overturned after Hotspot showed an inside edge.
Both batsmen responded well, each cracking Broad for excellent boundaries down the ground in the following over with Amin, in particular, seeming to be building up a head of steam.
However, he perished moments later when Broad found just enough movement to take the edge, allowing Paul Collingwood to do the rest at third slip.
In contrast to his heroics at Trent Bridge, Umar Gul lasted just eight balls before being lured into a drive by Anderson and edging to Pietersen at gully.
Anderson then got rid of Aamer, thanks to a spectacular blind catch from Alastair Cook at mid-off, before having Asif caught by Pietersen to bowl Pakistan out for their lowest score against England.
In reply, England started excellently as Strauss cracked the first ball through square-leg off Aamer.
His opening partner, Cook, got in on the act just three balls later, producing an equally impressive leg-glance for four.
Immediately after the interval, it was a different story for Cook, though, as Asif again proved Pakistan’s partnership breaker.
Clearly frustrated by being given the charge by England’s batsmen, the seamer produced a well-directed surprise bouncer which the opener somehow gloved to Umar at first slip.
Aamer, brought back into the attack after a disappointing opening spell, made it two wickets in two overs by removing Strauss.
In what was another triumph for the decision review system, Strauss was originally given not out before replays showed he inside edged the ball, allowing wicketkeeper Zulqarnain to take his first catch in Test cricket.
Trott responded well, however, producing the shot of the day to drive Asif through mid-on for four.
However, just when Pakistan were in the ascendancy, an unwanted habit reared its ugly head as Farhat dropped Trott at slip after Asif induced an edge with an excellent out-swinger.
As his innings wore on, Pietersen looked increasingly intent on imposing himself on the opposition. He offered a chance off Ajmal, though, hitting to mid-on where Gul was unable to take the catch.
Looking to profit from his good fortune, Pietersen started to find his touch, crisply driving Ajmal through long-on after drinks.
However, he was dropped again the following over – this time off an inside edge by Zulqarnain to cap the debutant's miserable day.
Undeterred, Pietersen continued to attack and hit an excellent late cut off Ajmal for another boundary.
Bad light intervened soon after, but Trott and Pietersen remained unbeaten on 31 and 36 respectively.