Pakistan transformed the third Test against England at the Oval on Friday in a spectacular passage of bowling immediately after tea on the third day.
Six England second innings wickets fell for 26 runs as they collapsed from the comparative comfort of 194 for three at tea to 221 for nine when bad light stopped play.
England, who are 2-0 ahead in the four-match series, hold an overall lead of 146 with one wicket in hand.
After Alastair Cook had ended a batting slump stretching back to the start of the season with 110 including 16 boundaries, England appeared in no trouble on a good pitch against some lacklustre bowling.
Cook made a fast start after coming into the match with 106 runs from eight innings.
He scored two boundaries in succession through the slips off Mohammad Asif and carved Wahab Riaz for another four through the vacant fourth slip position.
Cook continued to go for his shots, contributing 87 in a second wicket partnership of 116 with Jonathan Trott before he was out after more than doubling his previous Test aggregate of 106 runs from eight innings this season.
His hundred came up in bizarre circumstances when Asif, who looked out of sorts all day, gathered the ball on the bounce and threw it over wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal for four overthrows.
England's rot started in the first over after tea when Kevin Pietersen was clean bowled through the gap by off-spinner Saeed Ajmal for 23.
Ajmal, who had toiled throughout the afternoon session without reward after dismissing nightwatchman James Anderson for 11 with his first delivery of the innings, followed up by bowling Eoin Morgan for five.
In the meantime Trott, who had crawled to 36 in 3-1/2 hours, was caught in the gully off Mohammad Amir. He failed to score from 110 of his 130 deliveries.
Paul Collingwood (3) and Matt Prior (5) were caught behind off Amir, who was now jagging the ball late off the pitch at high pace from the Pavilion end and Graeme Swann (6) became Ajmal's fourth victim when he was also bowled.
When the players left the field, Amir and Ajmal had taken six wickets between them after the tea interval.