England dismissed Pakistan for a lowly score of 174 as the pace attack started to put a week of scrutiny behind them in Yorkshire.
Broad leads the way
The hosts went into the contest under a hysteria of criticism following a nine-wicket thrashing in the opening Test of the two-match series. A lacklustre bowling display combined with a rash batting performance after a dismal winter tour of Australia and New Zealand left the critics baying for blood.
Yet England started the game with intensity and passion as Stuart Broad, one of the players to receive a scathing attack from press and pundits, responded in the perfect manner despite the home side losing the toss. Broad thought he had trapped Imam-ul-Haq LBW as early as his second ball before a review overturned the decision. However, the seamer had picked up his opening wicket by the end of the over as Joe Root held onto a swipe into the slip cordon from Imam.
As Pakistan struggled to adjust to the conditions and more prominent line and length from the England bowling attack, it took just another eight overs before the hosts struck again. Azhar Ali had been at the crease for 42 minutes but only scored two runs as Broad dismissed him LBW.
The tourists desperately needed a partnership and they eventually appeared to be carving one through Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq. However, with the pair on 32, Sohail was caught by Dawid Malan off the bowling of Chris Woakes who came into the squad for the injured Ben Stokes. Shafiq was then dismissed by England's replacement just 13 runs later with Alistair Cook providing safe hands at the second attempt.
Curran takes first Test wicket after Shadab flurry
The afternoon session then saw James Anderson return to the wicket with a more defined accuracy. England's premier bowler picked up two wickets in two overs with Broad squeezing another in between as Pakistan collapsed from 78-4 to 79-7.
Then came a period of relief for Pakistan as Shadab Khan played with freedom against the home bowling attack. Supported first by Mohammad Amir and then an attacking cameo by Hasan Ali, the tourists contributed 77 runs in 82 balls with a flurry of boundaries.
Shadab passed 50 but eventually fell to teenage debutant Sam Curran as the number seven departed for 56 from 52 balls with ten boundaries to his name. The offensive approach had spared some blushes for his side but Pakistan fell well short of par with a score of 174.
Cook and Root manufacture response
As the clouds disappeared and the sun dominated the Headingley sky, England made the most of better batting conditions on a track suited to the willow and the reason behind Sarfraz Ahmed opting to bat first.
There must have been some nerves for the two openers in the wake of the post-match batting analysis after the first Test. Yet Alistair Cook was perhaps the only player to be spared the scrutiny of an overly aggressive display and he again exemplified patience and discipline as he gradually went about his business.
Alongside the recalled Keaton Jennings, the pair made 53 before Jennings nudged at a Faheem Ashraf tempter and was caught behind by Sarfraz. Then came Joe Root, feeling the weight of the nation on his shoulders, before playing some fine shots square of the wicket to settle the nerves.
The only disappointment for England was losing another wicket before the end of play. Cook swiped at a short ball from Hasan, gloving behind to Sarfraz for 46. Yet England will resume in a strong position 68 runs behind their visitors with Root settled at the crease and supported by nightwatchman Dom Bess.