Stuart Broad hit an unbeaten 58 as England reached 323 for eight at lunch on the third day of the second test against Pakistan on Friday, but the hosts may be the happier side despite trailing by 66 after picking up three wickets in the morning session.
England will bat last on a deteriorating pitch in Abu Dhabi so need to build a healthy first innings lead in their bid to square the three-match series and Broad was rampant, recording his 10th test half-century off just 52 balls.
The tourists resumed on 207-5, 50 runs behind Pakistan, with Ian Bell on four and Matt Prior yet to face a delivery after Eoin Morgan was dismissed with the last ball of Thursday's play.
The England pair started aggressively but the approach proved to be their undoing as they tried to dominate Pakistan spin duo Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.
Ajmal had taken three late wickets on Thursday to put Pakistan back in contention and he soon continued where he left off the previous evening.
Wicketkeeper Prior, on 2, lofted a sweep shot against Ajmal's doosra to Junaid Khan at deep backward square but the Pakistan paceman fumbled an easy catch with England on 213-5.
In the next over, it was Bell's turn to escape as Abdur Rehman missed a caught and bowled chance, letting a fierce drive slip through this fingers and the ball bounced through for four runs to add to Pakistan's anguish.
England racked up 20 runs in the opening five overs but Prior's reprieve proved short-lived when he was trapped lbw for three off Ajmal to leave England on 227-6 following an unsuccessful review.
Broad was next in and he also looked to score quick runs, racing to 27 from 25 balls as he plundered four boundaries.
Aside from Prior's dismissal, England weathered the early storm and Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq switched tactics, taking the new ball after 98 overs and bringing back paceman Umar Gul to partner all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez in attack.
Gul made no immediate impact, however, Broad hitting him for four on consecutive balls to put England on 260-6 and ahead in the match.
Yet just as England's batsmen were looking comfortable, Gul trapped Bell lbw (29), hitting him high on the pad as the review justified umpire Bruce Oxenford's original decision to reduce the tourists to 268-7.
England were now down to the tail and has squandered their two reviews.
Spinner Graeme Swann came to the crease and Gul's success prompted the Pakistan skipper to go for an all-pace attack.
Broad, seeking a quick single, was at full stretch to ground his bat just before Azhar Ali hit the stumps with a direct hit, with England's batsmen digging in to try to reach lunch without further loss.
Rehman returned as ul-Haq rotated his attack. The left-arm spinner snared Swann lbw for 15 with a straighter delivery that struck the batsman's pads as he stepped forward, leaving England on 291-8.
Broad brought up the 300 with a six off Rehman, while James Anderson reached nine not out at the other end.
Pakistan, playing the 'home' series in the Gulf due to security concerns, won the first test by 10 wickets in Dubai last week.
(Editing by John O'Brien)