England suffered a second debilitating batting collapse in successive days to put themselves in danger of beginning their tour of Pakistan with an unexpected defeat against the Patron's team at the Pindi Stadium.
There was much in the Ashes heroes' descent, to a second-innings 39 for six by stumps on the middle day of their first match, to disquiet most supporters.
But assistant coach Matthew Maynard is not about to panic as Michael Vaughan's team set their sights on their next big challenge, in pursuit of success on the subcontinent to register a seventh consecutive Test series win.
That seemed many miles away yesterday as six wickets fell for the addition of 20 runs - the last three for nought - leaving England with a lead of only 84 on a pitch which has offered assistance to the seamers throughout, at least until the ball has gone soft in each innings.
Maynard ruled out any idea of complacency from a team so lauded for their victory over Australia less than two months ago.
"Ideally, you would want all the batsmen to retire at
50. That has not been the case and we would obviously have been pleased with a bit more time in the middle," he said. "To lose the wickets has been a disappointment but the guys look in top nick in the nets and the practice wickets are totally different to the centre wicket we have here.
"That will be totally different to the Test wicket we will have in two weeks' time, so I wouldn't read too much into it."
England's own Test backup bowlers fared well on a surface allowing occasional exaggerated seam movement, as well as swing, in the muggy air - James Anderson and off-spinner Shaun Udal returning to the fold with three wickets each and debutant Liam Plunkett doing likewise.
Yasir Arafat, who has spent the last two English summers playing for Scotland, joined Mohammad Irshad (three for 22) in doing the damage on a pitch Maynard concedes ought not to have been alien to his team's batsmen. "It is pretty much English conditions, but we have not adapted that well," he said.
"There is a bit of rustiness still, but I can't fault the commitment from the lads. They will continue to work hard in the nets and in the middle to get it right.
"The guys want to move on and try to win on the subcontinent. That is the next big challenge and they are all up for it."
With Marcus Trescothick excused his duties at the top of the order after showing himself to be in sound form in an unbeaten hundred on Monday, Andrew Strauss and Vaughan both went cheaply for the second time as England imploded in just 14 overs of batting after tea.
Strauss fell again to the bowling of left-arm pace bowler Najaf Shah who had him fending a catch to slip - and by the time the captain went lbw for a duck on the front-foot defence to Irshad, England had already lost Warwickshire's Alex Loudon, who got an inside edge on one that climbed and followed him from the same bowler.
Matt Prior - opening in place of Trescothick - and Kevin Pietersen seemed secure until the wicketkeeper-batsman picked out deep square-leg to be caught on the pull off Irshad.
Then, in the penultimate over of the day, Arafat clean bowled Pietersen and Geraint Jones within four balls of one another.
Pietersen then looked to be beaten on the defence by late movement and Jones lost his middle stump driving rashly, when survival had become very much the order of the day.
Earlier - in the absence of Warwickshire's Ashley Giles who was nursing a stomach upset and with Matthew Hoggard toiling in vain - England left it to Plunkett, Udal and Anderson to share nine of the 10 home wickets.
None of the successful trio figured in England's Ashes triumph last summer and all are likely reserve options this winter. Yet these were the wicket-takers - all-rounder Paul Collingwood struck once, too - as the hosts mustered 211 all out, thanks principally to a last-wicket stand of 61 between Tahir Khan and Zulqarnain.
Anderson has not played for his country since a discouraging display in a oneday warm-up match in South Africa at the start of this year, while Udal has been out of the reckoning since his last limited-overs appearance a decade ago.
The Lancashire pace bowler looked rusty in his first over with the new ball as he overpitched and was hit for three fours but, continuing to operate at a full length, he eventually found some telling swing and struck in both his second and third overs to send back both Asher Zaidi and Bazid Khan.
The Patron's innings followed a similar pattern to both of England's, six wickets down for well under 100 as Anderson, then Plunkett, chipped away, with Jones taking five catches behind the wicket.
But some wristy strokeplay from Shahzad Malik - who hit 38 sixes in an unbeaten 403 from only 137 balls in a Hertfordshire League match last summer - and then that tenth-wicket partnership meant the hosts inched a little too close for England's comfort, even before the day turned really sour for the tourists.