Pakistan lose 3 for 15 chasing huge 435 runs
NOTTINGHAM: Matt Prior's unbeaten century left England well placed for victory inside four days in the first Test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
Pakistan, at stumps on the third day, had collapsed to 15 for three - still needing a further 420 runs for what would be a new world record fourth innings victory total of 435.
The most any side has ever made in the fourth innings to win a Test is the 418 for seven scored by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003.
Pakistan's equivalent record is the 315 for nine they scored against Australia at Karachi in 1994.
Prior's 102 not out was the major contribution to an England second innings total of 262 for nine declared, made after he came in at 72 for five.
Stuart Broad, on his Nottinghamshire home ground, then had Pakistan captain Salman Butt, flashing outside off-stump, well caught by Paul Collingwood at third slip.
Two balls later, Broad had Azhar Ali lbw for nought and by stumps had taken two wickets for 14 runs in three overs.
Ali, who hadn't asked for a referral when he might have done in the first innings, requested one under the Decision Review System (DRS) but replays upheld New Zealand umpire Tony Hill's decision.
Umar Amin was then lbw for one to James Anderson as Pakistan suffered their latest top-order collapse, losing three wickets for one run in seven balls.
Earlier, wicketkeeper Prior was some distance from a century on 63 when last man Steven Finn came to the crease.
But Finn showed a fine defensive technique and good temperament to hold an end up for 50 minutes on his way to nine not out in a last-wicket stand of 49.
Prior hoisted leg-spinner Danish Kaneria for two sixes in three balls but also took a single off the first ball of an over seven times with Finn at the other end.
But Prior's faith in Finn was rewarded when he late cut-off spinner Shoaib Malik for three to complete a third hundred in his 32nd Test and first against Pakistan, with both his previous centuries against the West Indies.
England captain Andrew Strauss then declared with Prior having faced 136 balls with two sixes and seven fours in over three hours at the crease.
Earlier Umar Gul ensured Pakistan avoided the follow-on with a Test-best 65 not out, and then took three wickets for seven runs in 21 balls.
The only downside to an otherwise fine day for England was Kevin Pietersen's dismissal for 22 - the 21st Test innings in a row where the star batsman had failed to score a century.
England, 49 for two at lunch, were 66 for four soon afterwards.
Pietersen got an inside edge off seamer Gul and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal held a superb one-handed catch after diving to his left.
However, next ball Collingwood cut flat-footedly and Kamran Akmal dropped a catch that would not have carried to first slip despite getting both gloves on the ball.
In the first innings, Kamran Akmal had missed a chance to stump Collingwood on 48.
Collingwood went on to make 82 and share an England fifth-wicket record stand against Pakistan of 219 with Eoin Morgan.
But that Kamran Akmal's luck was turning was clear when Gul had Collingwood lbw for one.
Morgan's first innings 130, his maiden Test century, put England in a strong position, but the left-hander was run out for 17 second time around after a mix-up with Prior.
Before lunch, England lost Strauss for a third ball nought.
He edged left-arm quick Mohammad Aamer to second slip where Umar Akmal fumbled the chance and then, flailing away, knocked the ball up and Umar's brother Kamran reacted well to complete a diving catch.
Gul's spirited innings ensured England would have to bat again.
The highlights were when he casually pulled fast bowler Finn for two sixes in as many balls.
Swing bowler Anderson, who took five wickets on his 28th birthday on Friday, finished with five for 54 in 22 overs.