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Summary

  1. Cook 168* - 28th Test century
  2. Bell - dropped on 1 - makes 63
  3. Riaz removes Bell & Wood late on
  4. England need 324 to avoid follow-on
  5. Pakistan 523-8d: Malik 245, Shafiq 107

Live Reporting

By Stephan Shemilt and Marc Higginson

All times stated are UK

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And that's the end of a long old day of Test cricket.

It was just what England needed, but not great for fans of entertainment. Join us tomorrow if you can take any more.

The report

Captain Alastair Cook led England's reply to Pakistan's daunting 523-8 declared with a fine unbeaten 168 in the first Test in Abu Dhabi.

He batted throughout the third day but England lost two wickets in three overs late on as they closed on 290-3, needing 34 more to avoid the follow-on.

Cook added 116 for the first wicket with Moeen Ali (35) and 165 for the second wicket with Ian Bell.

Bell fell for 63 to Wahab Riaz, who also removed nightwatchman Mark Wood.

Just joining us? Maybe you've just woken up? Allow me to provide you with the day three report.

Player reaction

England captain Alastair Cook, speaking to Sky Sports: "It's been tough physically but I'm pleased to get through. It's a different style of cricket on these slow, low wickets and if you can be patient you can bat for long periods of time. Mahela Jayawardene is in our dressing room now and he was the master of it. At tea, he was at me to keep going and telling me to go through the day.

"I like to think I have developed against spin and I do think I can score aggressively when I need to. For the first 30-40 balls, they have men around the bat and you can't run down the pitch. You have to trust your defence. Ian Bell did that and got his rewards.

"I'd take 295 tomorrow. I said if I ever got close to 294 again, I wouldn't get out caught at deep point. Not that it still bugs me or anything..."

Alastair Cook leaves the field
Getty Images

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"They should be ferrying in bucket loads of soil from Perth to make it a faster, bouncier pitch and it would become a better spectacle for everybody. They have soil like that in the nets over here, you know, so it can be done."

Email tms@bbc.co.uk

Paul Telford: One of the sponsor logos painted on the pitch is for a paint company. Do you think they knew this game would be like watching paint dry and are taking advantage?

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"You can't sell this product to spectators. I used to commentate in Pakistan and the crowds were already dwindling because they like one-day cricket better. Now they have been playing a while in the UAE, people won't give up time to watch this when they are working. Just getting money for television is not good enough."

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Football Fragmento: This Test - 3 days, 11 wickets - 0 wickets for spinners. Rashid performance was par on this pitch

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I don't know of any bowler who can bowl a team out on this - apart from somebody like Saeed Ajmal who bowled the doosra. But he's not here because he threw it."

If you're counting, we've had 130 overs of spin in this Test match (including one bowled by Ben Stokes). Not one has brought a wicket. This is the most wicketless overs of spin in Test history.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Moeen is a stop-gap opener and always will be. I won't be wrong, trust me. He is a driver of the ball, fluent on the front foot and back foot, but up front I don't think he has enough other scoring areas or that his defence is tight enough."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Ian Bell struggled for runs. Since his hundred in Antigua, he's had one decent innings and he's in trouble. If he doesn't make runs, he doesn't keep his place. It was an unpleasant innings, not pretty, and it was a struggle. He looked ill at ease and scratched around but I think it's better that he made an ugly 63 than a pretty 10. He needs confidence to go on and play like the Ian Bell we normally see, the one who is easy on the eye."

Join the debate at #bbccricket

James Wettern: Umpires can stop games if a pitch is unsafe. Should the rules be changed to allow them stop matches on non-competitive pitches?

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"Normally, when somebody gets a century, it's the batsmen who rush to congratulate him. With Alastair Cook, it was the bowlers - he's the bowlers' best mate. He's given them a day in an air-conditioned dressing room sipping tea."

Simon Mann

BBC Test Match Special

"Alastair Cook look assured all day, especially for his first 100 runs - then there were a couple of lbw appeals."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Alastair Cook batted as I expected. He went serenely along like Malik did for Pakistan. He's always had patience, determination, desire and skill. He knows his game and plays certain shots well - that's all you need. He made it look simple and easy, which is what he's good at."

Close-of-play scorecard

England 290-3 (110 overs) - trail by 233; follow-on target 324

Batsmen: Cook 168*, Root 3*

Fall of wickets: 116-1 (Moeen 35), 2-281 (Bell 63), 3-285 (Wood 4)

Bowling figures: Rahat 16-1-43-0, Khan 15-3-39-1, Babar 38-15-67-0, Riaz 19-1-79-2, Shafiq 7-0-19-0, Shoaib 15-2-38-0

Pakistan 523-8 dec: Malik 245, Shafiq 107, Hafeez 98; Stokes 4-57

Full scorecard

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"I think it should be more of the same tomorrow - they need to bat as long as possible and make it as awkward as possible for Pakistan no the final day. They will just be wary of losing a few quick wickets in the morning and then letting Pakistan back in."

It's been a brilliant effort from Cook, giving England a very good chance of saving this Test match. But apart from the skipper's tireless efforts, that day will not be remembered with any great fondness. As the ball barely competed with bat, it has been a slog.

Close of play

Eng 290-3

England get through without further loses, Alastair Cook seeing off the over in much the way he has blunted the Pakistan attack for the entire day. The skipper, who takes handshakes from all the Pakistan team, will sleep on 168 not out, England on 290-3.

Alastair Cook walks off at the end with Joe Root
Reuters

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Jake Wilkinson: That's as bad a shot as I've ever seen from a nightwatchman. Maybe he thinks it's a genuine promotion!

Eng 289-3

What were we saying about the use of the nightwatchman? Was always bound to fail. #banthenightwatchman. Riaz bowling the final over of the day.

Eng 287-3

Now then. Has Alastair Cook just had another life? Babar the bowler, short leg interested as the ball loops off the pad. It's academic, because the catch wasn't taken, and it's not entirely clear if any bat was involved. However, Pakistan are finishing this day strongly. Three minutes for England to survive.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"It was good bowling from Wahab, who came round the wicket straight away to Mark Wood. Joe Root had a towel around his neck five minutes ago - now he has to go and have a bat."

Eng 287-3 (Riaz 18-1-76-2)

Root has towelled himself down and has made his way to the middle. The replays don't do Wood any favours. A man playing for the close should not be trying Tendulkar-esque back-foot drives. From nowhere, England are on the verge of being in a spot of bother. One more wicket tonight and Pakistan will have a glimmer.

Ed Smith

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"That was not a convincing nightwatchman performance from Mark Wood. England's almost impregnable position is now looking a little more insecure."

Wahab Riaz celebrates
Reuters

WICKET

Wood b Riaz 4 (Eng 285-3)

Get Joe Root out of the shower, Mark Wood has gone after one of the scratchiest nightwatchman performances you will ever see. After that edge through the slips in the previous over, Wood is needlessly trying to force a chest-high delivery from Wahab Riaz and gets an inside edge on to his stumps. It's a baffling stroke to a ball that Wood should be leaving alone.

Mark Wood is bowled out
Reuters

Text 81111

Soumen: As bad for cricket as this pitch is, I think Cook and England ought to be given more credit for an excellent response to the situation at tea yesterday when Pakistan were 499-4.

Eng 285-2 (trail by 238)

In amongst the chaos, Alastair Cook remains, but even he is being given a tricky time by the returning spin of Zulfiqar Babar. Swipe at one down the leg side, leading edge. As the floodlights flicker into action, England's batsmen are being their trickiest time of the day.

Ed Smith

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"That's not the most reassuring of shots by a nightwatchman. It's heartbreak for the bowler. When wickets are falling at a rate of two a day, two an over is like a double hat-trick."

Close!

Eng 285-2

I tell you what, it's all happening now. Wood, perhaps with ideas above his station, drives at Riaz and gets a thick edge between the two slips, who do not move. Perhaps he really is intent on that Test ton. A definite chance for Pakistan.

Eng 281-2

That really was very, very wide from Riaz, with Bell stretching so far that he ended up on his knees. I imagine that Mark Wood galloped (on his imaginary horse) from the dressing room, eyeing the best chance he'll ever have to get a Test hundred. I'm just imagining the news being relayed to Joe Root, who might have been in the shower. "You what, a wicket? I've sat in my pads all day and as soon as I take them off, Belly does that?!?!"

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"He'll kick himself. Ian Bell worked hard and had to fight for everything but he's just spooned one to backward point. It was a tired shot at the end of a difficult innings."

Pakistani players celebrate
Getty Images

WICKET

Bell c Malik b Riaz 63 (Eng 281-2)

That nightwatchman is needed because Ian Bell has fallen on his sword late in the day. It's a horrible delivery to get out to, a wide half-volley from Wahab Riaz that Bell simply steers to Shoaib Malik at point. That partnership of 165 runs is over in the only way likely - batsman error. Bell has scratched around and is on his way back late in the day.

Ian Bell leaves the field
Getty Images

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"Mark Wood has the pads on, so England will be using a nightwatchman and trying to protect Joe Root. The fact Root's been sat there all day, it's good for him to get in the shower a little earlier."

Eng 281-1 (105 overs)

You have to be kidding. At the end of a day where only wicket has fallen, in a test where nine have fallen in three days, England have a nightwatchman padded up. Surely Joe Root is dying to get out there? Instead, it's Mark Wood ready to come in if a wicket falls and (potentially) bat in the morning. That would push Adil Rashid down to number nine. Right now I'm starting a campaign. #banthenightwatchman