Pakistan v England, 1st Test, Multan November 12, 2005

England seal productive day at Multan

Close Pakistan 244 for 6 (Shoaib Malik 39, Salman Butt 74, Younis Khan 39, Mohammad Sami 1*, Inzamam-ul-Haq 41*) v England
Scorecard and ball-by-ball
How they were out

Shaun Udal celebrates his first Test wicket, Salman Butt © Getty Images
You don't get champagne cricket like this year's Ashes every Test match. But England's bowlers injected enough fizz on a defiantly docile pitch to turn a flat day into a sparkling one and peg back Pakistan to 244 for 6 by the close after the home side had bossed the opening exchanges.

Pakistan lost just one wicket in the morning, but England brought themselves back into contention with four wickets in nine overs either side of tea: among them Shaun Udal's first Test scalp. The loss of Kamran Akmal just before stumps sealed a good day for England and, of Pakistan's frontline batsmen only Inzamam-ul-Haq, unbeaten on 41, remains.

Pakistan worked hard throughout the day but too many of their players hit the thirties and failed to move on. Only Salman Butt seized the initiative in confident fashion, with 74 - his second Test fifty - but he will be disappointed not to have progressed after he was well settled on a benign pitch. While he was at the crease, Pakistan were in control.

Every Test of late seems to bring another opening combination for Pakistan. This time Butt and Malik got the call, and they immediately had the chance to prove their worth when Inzamam won the toss. Unsurprisingly, he batted - more surprising was the omission of Shahid Afridi. Yet the left-hand, right-hand combination of Butt and Malik repaid the selectors' faith by putting on 80 for the first wicket, with only the odd murmur of alarm.

The pair played watchfully, but also aggressively, and grew in confidence with every stroke as they got the measure of the friendly bounce. Malik struggled to find his feet in the early stages but, after negotiating the early swing, he soon found his groove with a series of fours and was rarely troubled. An appeal for lbw from Harmison when he was on 18, but which was climbing too high, was the nearest England came to a chance early on.

Then Flintoff got the breakthrough, trapping Malik with one which jagged back and hit him on the knee roll. Before lunch, Harmison had found Butt's outside edge, but the ball hardly got up and bounced tamely in front of second slip.

Patience was the name of the game for both teams throughout. Slowly, surely England began to apply the pressure with some containing bowling, but Pakistan's batsmen held off their challenge well.

One man who knows a thing or two about patience is Udal. After years without a Test call-up, he had a further delay in store on his big day; going without a bowl in the morning session.

But time does wait for one man, it seems. Finally, finally his chance came after lunch, and he seized it, as patience finally deserted Butt. A wild slash bounced off Trescothick's forehead at first slip only for Geraint Jones to spin round and dive low to take the parry. Cue celebrations.

It wasn't the only time Trescothick used his head. He had an excellent day as Michael Vaughan's stand-in, rallying his troops well after losing the toss. The bowlers backed him up - mixing it up well - as did the fielders whose ferocious energy belied the cruel heat.

Soon after Udal's breakthrough, Flintoff dismissed Yousuf with an inswinging yorker - one of a series dedicated to combating the paceless pitch - which pushed back offstump and suddenly the smiles were back on England's faces. Inzamam did his best to wipe them off again, though, smearing Udal for an insouciant six and four in the last over before tea, at which stage the day was in the balance.

Udal continued undaunted, though: only Inzamam managed to get the better of him, manoeuvring the field beautifully. Otherwise the veteran debutant waltzed in with guile, mixing it up: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. A career on Strictly Come Dancing beckons. But that's some time down the line yet; his Test career has only just begun.

The pace of Harmison also proved effective and, in the first over after tea, he grabbed two wickets in a hostile six balls. His first ball nipped back sharply and Younis Khan - who couldn't react quickly enough - was trapped in front. Khan's replacement Hasan Raza was struck nastily on the shoulder - putting the batsman on the back foot, but more importantly roughing Raza up. Just two balls later a full, inswinging delivery was too quick and straight for him and he was clean-bowled for a duck.

The new ball was due soon after, but Trescothick wisely delayed taking it. As soon as he did, Hoggard edged out Kamran Akmal to seal a good day for England.

How they were out

Shoaib Malik lbw Flintoff 39 (80 for 1)
Chose to go back and there was no doubt

Salman Butt c Jones b Udal 74 (161 for 2)
Slashed loopy delivery to slip; Jones snatched the rebound

Mohammad Yousuf b Flintoff 5 (166 for 3)
Undone by inswinging yorker

Younis Khan lbw Harmison 39 (181 for 4)
First ball after tea, ball nipped back sharply

Hasan Raza b Harmison 0 (183 for 5)
Sixth ball after tea, inswinging full delivery

Kamran Akmal c Trescothick b Hoggard 28 (238 for 6)
Useful first-slip catch as the ball was dying

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo