London: Australia closed a dramatic second day of the first Test at Lord's on 100-4 and with a lead of 205 runs over Pakistan after 15 wickets fell on Wednesday.
After being bowled out in its first innings for 253, Australia took advantage of good bowling conditions to dismiss Pakistan for 148, with Shane Watson claiming career-best test figures of 5-40 after ripping through the middle order.
Australia took a 105-run cushion into its second innings but Pakistan pacemen Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul both grabbed two wickets in the third session to keep their side in the match, giving it a sniff of what would be a first Test win over Australia in 15 years.
Simon Katich was 49 not out and nightwatchman Mitchell Johnson unbeaten on 2 when bad light stopped play, with Asif having removed Watson (31) and captain Ricky Ponting (0), before Gul snared Michael Clarke (12) and Mike Hussey (0) in successive balls.
Australia lost its final first-innings wicket in the first hour after adding 24 runs to its overnight total of 229-9, before Pakistan imploded. Only opener Salman Butt (63) provided any resistance, hitting 12 fours in his 171 minutes at the crease, while captain Shahid Afridi excited spectators briefly with a cameo knock of 31 from just 15 deliveries.
Pakistan lost the first wicket of its reply in the seventh over when Ben Hilfenhaus, who switched to the Nursery End, moved the ball up the famous Lord's slope and got an edge from Imran Farhat (4) through to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
The seamer, playing his first Test in nine months after returning from a knee injury, made a second breakthrough in his final over before lunch as he moved a shorter ball down the slope. Azhar Ali (16) fended at it with the bat away from his body, only to give fellow debutant Paine one of four catches in the innings.
Umar Amin (1) fell just after lunch to make the score 54-3 and the slide continued, with the surprise bowling of medium-pacer Watson doing most of the damage as he removed brothers Umar (5) and Kamran Akmal (0), Afridi and Butt.
The Akmal brothers were both trapped lbw while Afridi was caught — but only after he entertained with his typically aggressive style, striking four fours and two sixes.
Watson had figures of 2-0 when Afridi came in. The batsman was beaten on the first ball he faced, but then struck a boundary through square leg, another over third man off the thick edge and then flicked a six into the stands off Watson's final ball.
In Watson's next over, Afridi clubbed him over long-off for another six but when he tried to repeat the stroke, he miscued and was caught at mid-off.
Butt registered his ninth test half-century with his 10th and possibly best boundary, a cover drive off Johnson, but became Watson's fourth victim when he was bowled by a full-length delivery that swung late into the left-hander.
Watson ensured his name would be inscribed on the famous Lord's honours board when he had Danish Kaneria (14) caught at third slip for his fifth wicket.
Ponting, who has never hit a fifty at Lord's, missed another opportunity in Australia's second innings. After Watson had been caught at second slip, Ponting came in but offered no stroke on the sixth ball he faced and was given out lbw to Asif. Ponting's 10-minute stay may well be his last innings at the ground.
Clarke was bowled by Gul when he also played no stroke, only to see the ball nip back down the slope to take his off-stump. Hussey, who finished 56 not out earlier in the day in the first innings, was caught at second slip the very next ball.
Pakistan is playing as the home team even though the match is taking place at a neutral venue because of the precarious security situation in its homeland.