Wicket keeper Mohammad Rizwan kept England at bay by scoring an unbeaten 60 as Pakistan ended Day 2 at 223/9 before bad light led to an early close in Southampton on Friday.
After a delayed start, Pakistan saw off the first hour in testing overcast conditions without losing a wicket and reached 155/5 at lunch.
Babar Azam looked solid in his innings of 47 until he edged a brilliant Stuart Broad delivery to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.
Broad could’ve had another one, but Rizwan, then on 14, got a reprieve as Buttler failed to hold a difficult legside chance.
Yasir Shah, who had frustrated England with the bat during Pakistan’s three-wicket defeat in the first Test at Old Trafford last week, couldn’t repeat his heroics as he was caught by Buttler off James Anderson.
His exit saw Anderson reach the 593 wicket mark, just seven away from 600.
Shaheen Shah Afridi was carelessly run out for a duck by Dom Sibley’s direct hit while going for a single that was never on, as the visitors slumped ato 176/8.
The 28 year old Rizwan and Mohammad Abbas however frustrated the home side with a valuable 39 run stand for the ninth wicket stand, before the latter fell leg before wicket to Broad for 2.
Rizwan remained unbeaten on 60 with five hits to the fence along with Naseem Shah (1)* before bad light forced the players off after tea, with the visitors at 223/9.
Anderson and Stuart Broad picked up 3 wickets apiece, while Sam Curran and Chris Woakes had bagged a wicket each.