London: Jos Buttler and Dom Bess both made fifties to give England a lead of 56 in the first Test against Pakistan at the Lord's on Saturday.
The recalled Buttler and debutant Bess came together when England still needed 69 to make Pakistan bat again and shared an unbroken stand of 125.
Buttler reached 66 not out and Bess an unbeaten 55 to take England to 235-6.
Despite 68 from captain Joe Root, a collapse of four wickets for 19 runs had earlier left England in danger of losing by an innings inside three days.
Pakistan remain strong favourites, but further occupation by England's seventh-wicket pair and healthy contributions from the tail could give the hosts an outside chance of pulling off a remarkable victory.
Poor weather is forecast at Lord's on Sunday, when Pakistan are due to have the second new ball available.
The tourists have dominated the majority of the match, showing superiority with bat, ball and in the field until late on day three.
And, for as long as Buttler and Bess remain together, England's slim hopes will continue to grow.