DUBAI - Mushtaq Ahmed, Pakistan's spin bowling coach, blasted his lower order for giving it away so easily. "There was no plan as such for the tail but they played very poor cricket," he said. "It wasn't a smart cricket at all as you got to understand your role according to the situation, especially when the batsman [at the other end] is on 70 or 80. You've got to understand and play accordingly.”

"We didn't bat well with our last five or six players. We really didn't understand the situation very smartly. Obviously the plan was to play positive cricket but we ended up with poor batting. To reflect positivity you got to play things smartly. I don't mind hitting the bad ball to boundary but you've got to choose the right ball."

England ensured they didn't squander the inroads made by their bowlers as Alastair Cook and Joe Root both defied Pakistan with contrasting half-centuries. It took 14 hours for Pakistan to extract Cook in Abu Dhabi but in Dubai he was trapped within a mere 214 balls as Mushtaq hinted at a well-laid plan to take him down. As many as six fielders were placed on the leg side; four in front of square and two behind, to turn one of Cook's strengths, the leg glance, into a weakness.

"You obviously got to make plans against good players," said Mushtaq. "We had a plan against him and you might have noticed that we kept fielders mostly on the leg-side and bowled in patterns to get him out. I am really happy with the way Yasir bowled despite having a little stiffness in his back. He started well. He landed the ball in the right areas and at a good speed as I saw him touch around 90 kph. He is not bowling bad balls and he's in a good rhythm as well."

"At the moment we are equal at 50/50 chances," said Mushtaq. "But tomorrow the first session is the key and we have to take quick wickets and I am very much hopeful the pitch, with our spinners, will pay a huge role in it, especially when the rough opens up. We have nearly 200 runs to defend and it's not going to be easy for the new batsmen to play the spinners here well."