Dubai: On the 59th anniversary of their first Test win, Pakistan fast bowlers moved on sensationally from the demoralising fielding debacle in Abu Dhabi, but the spinners didn't enjoy such good fortune. Even though Misbah-ul-Haq took three slip catches off the quicks, Taufeeq Umar dropped Kumar Sangakkara on 27 and Younis Khan reprieved Rangana Herath off the first ball he faced. Consequently 73 for 5 became 154 for 6, and 154 for 8 turned into 239 all out. However, the early damage was so severe the day still belonged to Pakistan, especially because the openers brought the deficit under 200 in the nine testing overs bowled at them.
That the successful completion of regulation catches came as a huge relief in the morning tells the story. Three days after they had been ground into the Abu Dhabi dust thanks largely to their own fielders, Umar Gul and Junaid Khan somehow found heart to create opportunity after opportunity once again. It was a new-ball pitch, and the two hit the seam with regularity to take five wickets in the first session.