Seamer Sohail Khan capped his Test return after five years on sidelines with 5-96 to help Pakistan bowl England out for 297 on the first day of the third Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old right-arm from Malakand in Khybe Pakhtunkhwa had Alex Hales (17), Joe Root (three), James Vince (39) and Jonny Bairstow (12) to wreck the top order in the first two sessions.
He then wrapped up the innings by trapping James Anderson leg-before for five to close the day.
Whether England have scored enough could not be ascertained until Pakistan bat on this pitch.
England recovered from Sohail’s onslaught with fighting half centuries from Gary Ballance (70) and Moeen Ali (63) who added 66 for the fifth wicket to help the home team — playing 500th Test at home — to recover from 158-5.
Left-arm pacemen Mohammad Amir, who took two wickets with the second new ball, finished with 2-53 and Rahat Ali fetched 2-83 including the prized wicket of England captain Alaistair Cook for 45.
But it was Sohail — whose previous two Tests — against Sri Lanka at Karachi in 2009 and against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2011 — brought just one wicket for a big sum of 245.
Sohail not only justified his inclusion over Wahab Riaz but also Misbah-ul-Haq’s decision to field first after winning the toss on another “hit the deck” brownish pitch. Pakistan also brought in opener Sami Aslam in place of Shan Masood who managed just 71 in four innings.
Sohail’s inclusion also meant Pakistan to draw away from all left-arm attack at Lord’s and Old Trafford, with the series tied at 1-1. Pakistan won the first test at Lord’s by 75 runs but England hit back with a thumping 330-run bashing at Old Trafford.
Sohail broke a confident opening stand of 36 whe he forced an edge of Hales for wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed’s first of xxx catches in the day.
It brought Joe Root to the crease together with Cook — described key wickets by Misbah — but unlike at Old Trafford where the two shared 185 for the second wicket their stand did not last long.
Root, who had made a Test-best 254 in the second Test, edged Sohail to Mohammad Hafeez at first slip, leaving England at 48-2.
It became 75-3 when Rahat had England captain lbw with a full-length ball that struck right in front. Cook reviewed the decision but had to trudge back after the decision being upheld.
Ballanace and Vince added 69 for the fourth wicket and when it looked England had wrested back the initiative, Sohail struck again forcing Vince to edge low to second slip for Younis Khan to catch the ball almost from the ground.
It was Bairstow next, playing a rash upper cut only to be caught by Sarfraz.
Ballance and Moeen added 66 for the sixth wicket before leg-spinner Yasir Shah had Ballanace and Chris Woakes in quick succession.
Ballance hit 11 boundaries off 150 balls while Moeen’s innings had seven hits to the rope.