Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur showed confidence his team was in a winning position in the first Test — also his first in charge — after day three saw visitor consolidate their lead to 281.
Pakistan closed the day on 214-8 with Yasir Shah 30 not out and with him Mohammad Amir yet to get off the mark as an intriguing fourth day is in store.
But Arhur, appointed coach in May this year, said he was happy when the lead was 275.
“I felt very happy when our lead was stretched to 275,” said Arthur after the match. “I think the way pitch is behaving and with Yasir already amongst wickets in the first essay I am sure we can pull this off.”
The leg-spinner finished with 6-72 as Pakistan wrapped up England’s first innings at 272, to gain an invaluable 67-run lead.
Yasir then helped Sarfraz Ahmed (45) add 40 for the seventh wicket to stop England bowler Chris Woakes who took 5-31 from derailing Pakistan’s campaign for their first win at Lord’s since 1996.
Arthur was full of praise for skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq.
“I think Misbah is a calming influence in the dressing room and I am very impressed with him. The way he carried himself on an off the field is an example and then took us out of trouble with a splendid knock.
“Shafiq for his part is an absolute gem and has shown remarkable responsibility in both the innings,” said Arthur of the diminutive number six who scored 73 and 49 in the match.
Arthur admitted Mohammad Amir was a bit nervous, on his return to the same venue where he was caught in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010.
“Yes, he was a bit nervous but that happens and I am sure he is gaining rhythm and we expect good show from him in the day to come.”
Arthur, former South African and Australian coach, also praised England bowlers.
“They (England bowlers) came down hard on us and contained the runs which put pressure and at 168-6 if we had lost that momentum it would have been bad, but we managed to tangle out and that shows how resilient we were.”
Pakistan will hope Yasir and Amir a few more runs as England have never chased more than 282 on this ground.