Fourth day: England, with three second-innings wickets in hand, lead Pakistan by 341 runs.
Another fizzer of a day's cricket yesterday at Lord's with Andrew Strauss having a great day as captain and batsman. But for his 128 England could have been in the cart, despite a first-innings lead of 83. Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell totalled 391 in their first innings but second time around aggregated only 35 and, with Marcus Trescothick and Kevin Pietersen again getting themselves out when they had done the hard work, that Strauss hundred was a lifesaver.
An overnight lead of 341 should mean immunity from defeat but, with only a four-man attack including two youngsters, expect England to bat on this morning for 45 minutes if they can until Strauss judges they are out of reach.
His century was his third at Lord's and ninth in all from only 53 innings. He has had a relatively thin time in recent Tests but underlined his special conversion rate when he gets to 50. He converts to three figures once every two 50s while batsmen such as Trescothick average one in three and heavy runmakers such as Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf convert two out of every five.
What a selection double it will be if Bell misses out next week at Old Trafford after scoring a century and Strauss loses the captaincy after scoring a one in his first match in charge, with yesterday's one being the highest by an England cricketer in his first match as captain.
The day started well for him and the crowd with Pakistan losing their last three wickets for 36 runs in 11 overs.
Any fears that Shahid Afridi would break loose after three fours - two of them crossed the ropes over 90 degrees from the batman's intended target - ended when he holed out to Bell at long-off off Matthew Hoggard. Umar Gul went in the same over and Yousuf was on 196 when No 11 Danish Kaneria joined him.
Yousuf refused several singles until he registered his second successive double-century against England (223 at Lahore last December) with a rare streaky shot to the third man boundary. Off came the helmet and he kissed the dusty pitch, perhaps unhygienically with such a flowing beard, but he deserved every bit of applause he got from a generous capacity Lord's crowd. No wonder overseas players love playing in NW8.
He was last out after giving Geraint Jones his fifth catch of the innings to ensure a lead for England of 83, to which Strauss and Trescothick added a quickfire 38 in ten overs before the Somerset man dragged one on from Gul.
Perhaps unwisely, with the lead only 121, Cook tried to waft the same bowler over mid-on but there was always Pietersen to come. He eased his way to 41 before Afridi drew him down the pitch. He was nowhere near the ball and, as with Collingwood in the first innings, was stumped by a yard trying to play defensively.
Pakistan are an up and down side and that success set them buzzing. Kaneria, in particular, was lethal and he bowled three beauties to Bell in one over, with each ball drifting in to middle and leg before turning two feet and bouncing as well. Absolutely unplayable.
Bell battled through the mini storm and had just hit two fours in one over when he became a Strauss run-out sacrifice as the captain tried to nick his 100th run.
The ball was played straight to Inzamam at short mid-wicket and what was always a tight run became impossible when both batsmen hesitated and the opposing captain threw down the stumps with Bell well out. Did Strauss forget that Inzamam throws with his left hand?
At 203 for five and the lead 286 Jones came in with an hour to play. Presumably under instructions, he concentrated on defence until the hitherto unlucky Kaneria took two wickets in three balls. Jones nicked to his counterpart Kamran Akmal who had already dropped two catches in the innings and three in the match.
The Kent man has had a faultless match with the gloves but, oh, his batting.
Then two balls later came the big prize when Strauss edged to Farhat at slip to take some of the gloss off an excellent day for the home side.
Perfect weather plus a good dry cricket pitch now showing justifiable wear after four days promises much for today. England are still overwhelming favourites not to lose the match but there is always the worry of that four-man attack.