Pakistan were set a target of just 64 runs to win the first Test at Lord's on Sunday following England's latest batting collapse.
England, resuming on an overnight 235 for six, lost their last four second-innings wickets for a mere seven runs in 18 balls on the fourth morning to be bowled out for 242.
But, in truth the damage had long been done by a pair of top-order slumps that saw England, so often dominant in early-season home conditions, dismissed for 184 in their first innings before declining to 110 for six second time around.
That they had not already lost this match by an innings was down to a century stand between the recalled Jos Buttler and Test debutant Dominic Bess that allowed England to resume Sunday on 235 for six, a lead of 56 runs.
Buttler was then 66 not out and Bess 55 not out.
But eight balls into Sunday's play and having added only one more run, Buttler was lbw to Mohammad Abbas for 67 after missing an intended drive.
Buttler reviewed but, with replays indicating the ball would have clipped the top of the stumps, Australian umpire Paul Reiffel's decision was upheld.
England's were now 236 for seven and that soon became 241 for eight, after the tourists took the new ball, when Mark Wood edged Mohammad Amir to Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.
Stuart Broad made his Test-best 169 against Pakistan at Lord's in 2010 -- a match that became known for a spot-fixing 'sting' that saw three Pakistan players, including Amir, jailed by an English court and given five-year bans by the International Cricket Council.
But Broad's batting has gone downhill since he was struck in the face by a bouncer from India's Varun Aaron in the fourth Test at Old Trafford four years ago.
And on Sunday he fell for a duck when prodding outside off stump at Abbas, with Sarfraz holding a routine catch.
The innings ended when Amir knocked over Bess's off-stump as the batsman went to drive.
Amir finished with innings figures of four for 36 and the impressive Abbas had eight in the game after a second-innings haul of four for 41 in 17 overs.
Pakistan were now on the brink of going 1-0 up in this two-match series and recording their fifth Test victory at Lord's following wins at the "home of cricket" in 1982, 1992, 1996 and 2016.