LONDON: Yasir Shah took the key wicket of Moeen Ali as Pakistan moved closer to victory in the fourth Test against England at The Oval on Sunday.
England were 194 for six in their second innings at lunch on the fourth day, still 20 runs shy of making Pakistan bat again as the tourists sought a win that would see them end the four-match series all square at 2-2.
Leg-spinner Shah had rocked England with three for 15 late on Saturday following Younis Khan’s commanding 218 in Pakistan’s first innings 542.
And he struck again just before lunch when he had first-innings century-maker Ali caught behind for 32.
Jonny Bairstow, enjoying a brilliant year with the bat, was 70 not out and Chris Woakes unbeaten on nought.
England resumed in trouble at 88 for four, 126 runs adrift.
Gary Ballance was four not out and Yorkshire team-mate Bairstow 14 not out.
Bairstow took the attack to Pakistan’s bowlers as he twice cover-drove Wahab Riaz for four.
But Sohail Khan, a right-arm, English-style seamer, made the breakthrough on an overcast morning when his lifting ball had Ballance, carelessly flirting outside off stump, caught behind for 17.
Ali, who had frustrated Pakistan with a first-innings 108, replaced fellow left-hander Ballance and promptly clipped his first ball, a leg-stump half-volley from Sohail, for four.
Ali and wicket-keeper Bairstow had shared a first-innings stand of 93 but England wanted an even bigger partnership from them now.
Bairstow completed his second fifty of the match in 72 balls including five fours.
Ali, who lofted Shah high over long-on for six, survived a close lbw appeal from Mohammad Amir on 27.
But Pakistan did not have long to wait for his wicket when Ali went back defensively to Shah and got a thin edge which Ahmed held at the second attempt to end a stand of 65 and leave England 193 for six.