Senior pace pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad were the driving force as England bowled Pakistan out on day one of the must-win third Test.
Broad, especially, and Anderson (four for 17) closed down one end for 28.1 of the 85.1 overs needed - conceding only 30 runs, and taking six wickets as England bid to level the series in this final match.
Those outstanding efforts were all the more valuable after third seamer Ben Stokes suffered a worrying injury, leaping for a catch off Samit Patel - a dislocated right shoulder the most plausible layman's diagnosis as he left the field in evident pain, his arm in a makeshift sling.
Only Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq (71) held England up, continuing a sequence of four consecutive half-centuries and sharing a sixth-wicket stand of 80 with Sarfraz Ahmed as the hosts eked out 234 .
England have made one tough call for the must-win Sharjah Test, but will leave a potentially even trickier one until the last minute.
Alastair Cook admits it was "not much fun" having to tell out-of-form wicketkeeper Jos Buttler he was being dropped as England try to battle back for a 1-1 series draw in the final match of three.
More enjoyable was informing James Taylor he will finally get another chance in England's middle order - more than three years after he was cast aside following two Tests against South Africa.
But Cook and coach Trevor Bayliss must still decided whether they bring in a like-for-like replacement for rested seamer Mark Wood. Liam Plunkett is the obvious first port of call ahead of Chris Jordan - or they could take a punt on conditions and recall all-rounder Samit Patel as a third spin option.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket with immediate effect.
Considered one of his country's greatest batsmen with 8586 runs from 104 Test matches, Sehwag chose the occasion of his 37th birthday on Tuesday to declare the news.
Sehwag said in a statement: "I have always done what I felt was right and not what conformists thought to be right.
"God has been kind and I have done what I wanted to do - on the field and in my life and I had decided some time back that I will retire on my 37th birthday.
"So today, while I spend my day with my family, I hereby announce my retirement from all forms of international cricket and from the Indian Premier League."
Sehwag, who last played for India in 2013, remains the only Indian batsman to score a triple-century in a Test match, having done so twice against Pakistan and South Africa respectively.
England captain Alastair Cook led his side to an extremely comfortable position against Pakistan by hitting 263.
The opener batted for almost 14 hours in the opening Test to ensure earned a lead on a flat wicket in Abu Dhabi.
England allrounder Ben Stokes believes debutant spinner Adil Rashid will bounce from a nightmare first innings with the ball.Read the full story ›
Steven Finn is to return home from England's Test tour of the United Arab Emirates, with a bone stress injury to his left foot, and will be replaced by Chris Jordan.
Finn had made a late run into the reckoning for selection as third seamer for the ongoing first match of three against Pakistan, in Abu Dhabi, only to suffer pain in his foot.
He took four for 16 in England's warm-up match against Pakistan A in Sharjah but was then ruled out of the first Test and has spent the past three days on crutches.
The last of Jordan's eight Tests to date was against West Indies in his native Barbados in May. He also featured in the Royal London Series against New Zealand a month later, before suffering a side injury.
He will also replace Finn in next month's one-day international squad to face Pakistan.
England fast bowler Steven Finn has been ruled out of the first Test against Pakistan through injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.
The 26-year-old is suffering from a stress injury to his left foot and will play no part in the opening match in Abu Dhabi, which begins on Tuesday.
A statement on @englandcricket read: "Fast bowler @finnysteve has been ruled out of first Test with stress injury to left foot #PAKvENG."
Finn first felt pain in his foot after bowling in England's second warm-up match against Pakistan A in Sharjah four days ago - but was able to take a full part in nets in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
England captain Alastair Cook said: "It's a bitter blow for him. He bowled really well in that warm-up game, and over the last 12 months he's made huge strides back to where we'd like him to be.
"We'll monitor him, and hope he could be right for the second Test.
"But we'll have to wait and see."
Luke Wright has been named Sussex's new club captain following Ed Joyce's decision to resign last week.
Wright was the favourite to succeed the Irishman in all three formats next year after leading the county to the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast this summer. He also enjoyed a fine season with the bat, although his 1,210 County Championship runs were unable to prevent Sussex's relegation.
The 30-year-old said: "I am hugely proud and honoured to be the captain of this fantastic club. To think that I am following in the footsteps of some great captains is a massive privilege."
James Taylor is determined to prove he belongs in England's Test team as he relishes his second shot at international cricket.Read the full story ›
Opener Adam Lyth has been left out of the England squad for their three-match series against Pakistan in UAE.
Nottinghamshire opener Alex Hales and Surrey allrounder Zafar Ansari have both been included in the travelling party.
The England and Wales Cricket Board also confirmed the appointment of former one-day captain Paul Collingwood and recently retired Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene in consultancy roles.
Squad: Cook, Ali, Anderson, Ansari, Bairstow, Bell, Broad, Buttler, Finn, Hales, Plunkett, Rashid, Root, Stokes, Taylor, Wood.