Mark Wood says England’s bowlers can be proud of their display after Pakistan won the toss and reached 282 for four on the opening day of the second Test in Dubai.
Misbah-ul-Haq ensured the tourists were made to graft on another unresponsive surface in the United Arab Emirates, making good on his decision to bat with a ninth Test century.
But England, led by Wood, stuck to their task admirably and managed to secure a quartet of wickets, all four of which arrived following a stoppage in play.
Jonny Bairstow took two catches at short-leg to hand Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes scalps soon after the first drinks break, James Anderson struck with the first ball following lunch and Wood dismissed Younus Khan, for 56, early in the evening session.
The Durham paceman, whose skiddy pace troubled batsmen throughout, was pleased with the way he and his fellow bowlers went about their business.
“I think we can hold our heads up high, we put in some hard yards today,” Wood told ecb.co.uk.
“Maybe they come out on top with four wickets down, but we have got to believe that with two wickets to go before their bowlers that we can get a couple of early wickets and hopefully knock over the tail.
“There is a lot to play for. All in all, today’s work we can be proud of how we stuck at it.”
Wood changed his approach at the Dubai International Stadium from the one he adopted in Abu Dhabi, opting to bowl aggressively on a pitch offering more pace.
The 25-year-old appeared to have Misbah in trouble with the short ball during a couple of spells, but the Pakistan skipper survived to reach the close on 102.
Wood said: “The pitch is slightly different. The conditions are a little bit different, in the morning this stadium has a bit of cover from the sun so there is a bit of dew around and it might nip around a bit more early doors, we will have to wait and see in the morning.
“The pitch is a bit more skiddier and had a little bit more coming onto the bat, rather than Abu Dhabi which was really slow.
“I tried to be a little bit more aggressive today, sort of fuller-short, the old trick but it didn’t work all the time.
“It was frustrating. Stokesy, I have never seen a bowler go to third man as much as him. I feel so sorry for him.
“Broady and Jimmy, we all created half chances. Even the spinners, Misbah attacked the spinners but that gives them a chance. I think tomorrow morning will be interesting to see how he goes.
“I managed to take one wicket, Younus Khan, and he is a pretty good player so I am happy with that.”
England took all their chances, something they failed to do on the opening day in Abu Dhabi when Pakistan closed on 286 for four, with Bairstow leading the way.
After claiming a straightforward chance off Moeen at short-leg, the Yorkshireman held on to a one-handed catch in the same position after Shoaib Malik’s flick off Stokes had hit his chest.
“It was really good, he has obviously got that barrelled chest so it popped up nicely,” Wood said.
“We were really pleased that we managed to set out what we wanted to do and get some early wickets. After Shoaib Malik got 240 in the last game, it was nice to get him early.”
Wood admits England have got to employ the same approach when bowling on the second morning, hoping early wickets will expose Pakistan’s tail.
“We have got to stay patient again,” he added. “I know it sounds boring, we are harping on the same tune all the time, but we have got to stay patient and hopefully get those early wickets which bring in the tail, which we need to knock over quickly.”