Ben Stokes removed Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed with the final ball of the afternoon session as England battled to keep the deficit down at Lord’s.
The tourists reached the tea break 43 runs ahead on 227 for five, but Sarfraz’s ill-judged hook robbed his side of some momentum.
It was England’s second timely success of the day, Mark Wood having kicked things off by taking Haris Sohail’s outside edge for 39 just before drinks in the morning.
Azhar Ali ground his way to 50 in 136 balls at the other end but was pinned lbw almost as soon as James Anderson switched to the Nursery End.
From 136 for three at lunch, Pakistan then enjoyed a profitable partnership of 84 between Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam.
Stokes saw Shafiq dropped by Jos Buttler at gully on 59 but struck in near identical fashion with the very next ball, Dawid Malan holding a simpler chance at second slip this time.
Stokes bagged a second when he tested Sarfraz with one more short ball and saw the skipper flail to fine leg where Wood made a safe catch.
Babar remained in place on 59 not out.