Pakistan finished the third day of the first test in a strong position after Yasir Shah took six wickets as England were dismissed for 272 then the visitors reached eight for 214 in their second innings for a lead of 281.
Wickets fell regularly at a sunny Lord's as Pakistan looked to maximise their first-innings lead of 67 but Sarfraz Ahmed (45) and Asad Shafiq (49) kept the scoreboard ticking with valuable contributions.
Chris Woakes took 5-31 as England tried to limit the damage of losing their last three wickets for 12 runs in the morning session when they added only 19 runs to their overnight score.
He removed Sarfraz, caught behind by Jonny Bairstow, having earlier bowled Shafiq. Shortly before the close he had Wahab Riaz caught behind for a duck to give England a glimmer of hope on Sunday.
Moeen Ali also took two wickets.
Woakes has 11 wickets for 101 runs in the match - the second best match figures of an England player in this decade.
It could all be in vain though as Pakistan are in the driving seat, albeit still a few runs short of the total they would ideally have posted second time around.
England had resumed on 253 for seven in reply to Pakistan's 339 all out but Yasir's leg spin outfoxed the hosts.
His figures of 6-72 were the best recorded by a visiting spinner against England at Lord's since Sid Pegler's 7-65 for South Africa 104 years ago.
Stuart Broad only managed to add six runs to his overnight total before he fell to a full inswinger from Wahab.
The 30-year-old Yasir then trapped Steve Finn leg before for five and, with no reviews left, he had no choice but to walk.
Debutant Jake Ball was run out by Shan Masood as he looked for a second run to keep Woakes on strike but was short by some distance as Pakistan wrapped up the England tail.
Ball had sliced his second ball behind square leg with an outside edge to record his first four test runs.
Woakes was unbeaten on 35.