England 184 & 235-6: Root 68, Buttler 66*, Bess 55*
Pakistan 363: Babar 68 retired hurt
England lead by 56 runs
Jos Buttler and Dom Bess both made fifties to give England a lead of 56 in the first Test against Pakistan.
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.
However, for as long as Buttler and Bess remain together, England’s slim hopes will continue to grow.
Reaction to the third day’s play
Buttler and Bess rescue England
Buttler, who played his last Test at the end of 2016, was given a surprise recall to bat at number seven on the strength of his form in the Indian Premier League.
Off-spinner Bess was handed a first cap after Somerset team-mate Jack Leach suffered a broken thumb. The 20-year-old made his maiden first-class hundred for the MCC against county champions Essex in March.
When they came together, England were in disarray and Pakistan were rampant. However, in glorious sunshine and on a pitch suited to batting, they absorbed the pressure before cashing in as the shadows lengthened.
Buttler, so destructive in limited-overs cricket, showed restraint to nudge and work the ball into gaps. He played occasional drives or hooks on the way to only his second first-class half-century in three years.
Bess showed the maturity of a player far beyond his years and experience, playing some classical cover drives when the bowlers over-pitched.
Between them, they showed the patience, discipline and control that had been beyond the majority of England’s batsmen during the rest of the Test. By the end batting was being made to look easy.