DUBAI - England's Jonny Bairstow took two brilliant catches to help reduce Pakistan to 85-2 at lunch on the first day of the second test in Dubai on Thursday.
Just as in Abu Dhabi a week ago, Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and decided to bat, the skipper no doubt hoping for a repeat of the series opener in which Pakistan sauntered to 286-4 by the first day close on a lifeless pitch.
That plan initially appeared sound, Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood cautiously adding two runs in the first three overs before cutting loose.
The duo raced to 47-0 from 15 overs, with England captain Alastair Cook replacing seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad with spinner Moeen Ali and paceman Mark Wood.
Moeen then tricked Hafeez (19) into edging a turning ball onto his pads. The ball looped up for Bairstow to make a diving catch as Pakistan slipped to 51-1.
Next in was Shoaib Malik (2), who lasted nine balls before trudging back to the pavilion.
The all-rounder, who made a double century in Abu Dhabi, slogged at Ben Stokes and the ball cannoned off Bairstow’s midriff at short-leg.
The fielder's reactions were catlike as he sprang forward to snatch a one-handed catch and reduce Pakistan to 58-2.
The hosts, playing in their adopted home of the UAE, reached lunch with Masood unbeaten on 54 and Pakistan’s record run scorer Younis Khan 10 not out.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah, the fastest man to 50 test wickets in Pakistan history, returned to the hosts’ line-up after missing the first test with a back injury, Rahat Ali making way. England are unchanged. -Reuters
Pakistan 1st innings
M. Hafeez c Bairstow b Ali 19
S. Masood not out 54
S. Malik c Bairstow b Stokes 2
Y. Khan not out 10
Total (for 2 wickets, 28 overs) 85
Fall of wickets: 1-51 M. Hafeez,2-58 S. Malik
To bat: Misbah-ul-Haq, A. Shafiq, S. Ahmed, W. Riaz, Y. Shah, Z. Babar, I. Khan
J. Anderson 5 - 2 - 12 - 0
S. Broad 5 - 0 - 24 - 0
M. Ali 9 - 2 - 24 - 1
M. Wood 4 - 0 - 14 - 0
B. Stokes 3 - 2 - 4 - 1
A. Rashid 2 - 0 - 7 - 0
Umpire: Bruce Oxenford
Umpire: Paul Reiffel
TV umpire: Chris Gaffaney
Match referee: Andy Pycroft