Three wickets in the hour of play that was possible after tea tipped the day in the hosts' favour after Abid Ali's half-century had set up the Pakistan innings.
Azhar Ali won the toss in bright sunshine and chose to bat first, but the skies soon darkened and James Anderson took just eight balls to remove Shan Masood, pinning the left-hander on the pad with an in-swinger.
Azhar and Abid Ali managed to battle through the remainder of a challenging opening salvo from Anderson and Stuart Broad, surviving in part thanks to a couple of dropped catches from the England slip cordon, and Pakistan reached lunch without further loss.
Just over 10 overs were possible after lunch before rain forced the players from the field, but Anderson found enough time to claim his second wicket, drawing an edge from Azhar on 20, with the chance being held by Rory Burns.
The rain came shortly after the wicket of the Pakistan captain, with Abid having to wait for his third half-century as he spent the break on 49*. After resumption, the opener edged a ball into the ground and past the slips for a couple to move to his fifty.
Sam Curran – picked ahead of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood – made the breakthrough, pushing one across Abid with some sharp bounce to take the edge, taking a wicket which marked the start of an excellent spell of play for England.
Asad Shafiq pushed at a ball outside his off stump from Broad, with Dom Sibley taking a low catch at slip, and Chris Woakes managed to trap Fawad Alam – playing his first Test since 2009 – in front for a duck.
Throughout this, Babar Azam held firm and had reached 25* from 51 balls by the time rain returned to end the day after only 45.4 overs, with Pakistan having reached 126/5.
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