DUBAI: Senior batsmen Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq hit solid half centuries to put Pakistan in the driving seat in the second Test against England in Dubai on Saturday.
Younis was unbeaten on 71 — also completing 9,000 Test runs — while Misbah notched an aggressive 87 not out as Pakistan closed the third day on 222-3 on a weary Dubai stadium pitch.
That gives Pakistan an overall lead of 358 with seven wickets intact and makes them favourites for a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on a pitch which will help spinners on the fourth and fifth day.
The first Test ended in a draw in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan, who made 378 in the first innings, dismissed England for 242 in the morning.
Younis and Misbah steadied Pakistan from the early loss of three wickets for just 83, adding 139 for an unbroken fourth wicket stand. It was the 14th century plus stand between the two veterans in Tests.
Younis flicked paceman Stuart Broad to deep fine-leg boundary to reach fifty, hitting seven fours during his 134-ball knock.
When on 47 Younis became the first Pakistan and 14th batsmen overall to complete 9,000 Test runs in his 103rd match.
Misbah smashed two towering sixes off leg-spinner Adil Rashid to complete 50, adding to his brilliant 102 in the first knock. He has so far hit four sixes and eight boundaries off 137 balls.
It was James Anderson who provided England with a much-needed early wicket when he had Shan Masood caught behind for one, dismissing the Pakistani opener for the fourth time in four innings.
Seamer Mark Wood then chipped in with the wickets of Shoaib Malik (seven) and Mohammad Hafeez (51) to help England stage a comeback.
Hafeez hit two sixes and six boundaries during his attacking 76-ball knock.
Malik flopped for the third time after scoring an epic 245 in the first Test — his first in five years — bowled by Wood who also had Hafeez caught at slip.
Earlier paceman Wahab Riaz (4-66) and leg-spinner Yasir Shah (4-93) triggered an England collapse after they had resumed on a well-placed 182-3.
Riaz initiated the collapse, in which England lost their seven remaining wickets for 60 runs as he bowled with venom and guile to dismiss a dangerous looking Joe Root (88), Ben Stokes (four) and Jos Butler (nought) in an incisive spell.
Shah dismissed Adil Rashid (nought) and Jonny Bairstow in one over and Mark Wood (one) while fast bowler Imran Khan had James Anderson (four) to finish with 2-33.
England had hoped their batting would rally around the fast-rising Root who added two boundaries off Shah in the fourth over of the day to his overnight score of 76.
But Riaz found the edge of Root´s bat with a sharp outswinger to give Pakistan the much-needed breakthrough. Root smashed 12 boundaries during his 141-ball knock.
Bairstow survived some close calls and was surprisingly given not out by television umpire Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand when replays showed Younis Khan had taken the edge off Shah in the first slip.
Bairstow, then on 40, managed six more before Shah trapped him in front of the wicket, leaving England reeling at 223-8.
In between, Riaz had Stokes and Butler caught behind in successive overs.