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  1. Cook 263 off 528 balls (836 mins)
  2. Longest Test innings by Englishman
  3. Third longest Test innings in history
  4. Root 85, Stokes 57; Riaz three wickets
  5. Pakistan 523-8 dec: Malik 245

Live Reporting

By Stephan Shemilt and James Gheerbrant

All times stated are UK

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Geoffrey has spoken. It will be a draw. That settles it then, there's no point us turning up tomorrow.

But, on the very slim chance that he's wrong, wouldn't is be something if England can conjure a remarkable win?

Join us in the morning to find out if they can.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"The players have done the best they can with a poor pitch, but it will be a draw. I'm not putting my house on it - I lost one last time with England - but I'm convinced."

Match report

A superb double century from captain Alastair Cook saw England to 596-8, a lead of 46, at the end of day four of the first Test against Pakistan.

Cook batted for 836 minutes in Abu Dhabi for his 263 - the third-longest innings by time in Test history, and the longest ever by an Englishman.

Joe Root made 85 and Ben Stokes hit 57 as Pakistan's bowlers toiled.

With just two wickets remaining and England's first-innings lead slim, a draw remains the most likely result.

Read the full report here

Just joining us? You've missed an epic day, full of records. Allow us to recap.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Jack Lennon-French: I was doing my GCSEs when Cook started batting in this Test. I'm now half way through my Masters.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I think England will bat 'til lunch. Stuart Broad and Adil Rashid can bat - get some runs, get some confidence. And if we can knock over one or two of theirs...

"Only if Pakistan lose early wickets, only then is it tricky. But you shouldn't lose wickets on there. You could play for 10 days on there and you'll still get a draw."

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Sasha in Oxford: Why didn't Cook review? He had one left, only three more wickets to fall and nothing to lose. Pakistan had already sent down 10 no balls.

More from Joe Root: "As the day went on you saw it turn more and more. Having a wrist-spinner in the side will help. We're still believing we can get a result out of this.

"There's shouldn't be too much pressure on Adil, he should be able to go out there and show all his tricks.

"I didn't feel in good form. It's not a fluent place to score and I felt scratchy. It was good to contribute and it meant we could get in some sort of a position to win the game."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Jonny Bairstow is very bottom-handed - in Test cricket you have to play straighter.

"Ben Stokes was a bit scratchy to start but all of a sudden it started to click. He wants to be batting, bowling - he gets bored doing nothing. That innings will have done him the world of good.

"We know Buttler needs runs. He has so much talent but the only thing he wants to do is reverse-sweep, which is stupid. The brain isn't in synch yet, It was a nothing innings."

England batsman Joe Root on Sky Sports: "Alastair Cook is knackered, as you would expect him to be. He's played out his skin. It takes concentration and skill to bat for that long. We're thrilled for him and it's given us a chance of a result.

"It will be very hard, but we've given ourselves a chance. If we can get as close to 100 lead as possible, then you just don't know.

"Lots has been said about the pitch, but it can change quickly. Fingers crossed we can put them under pressure."

Alastair Cook

Phil Tufnell

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"It's a very flat pitch still and conditions are tough. It's the first time you can see a few rough patches appearing at each end. England will slog a few in the morning and then try and get a few wickets."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Alastair Cook carried on with his patience and determination to stay there; he just went along serenely. It was a splendid innings of everything that's needed to bat. Unfortunately it's not going to save a Test match or win a Test match.

"The best batting came from Joe Root - his touch, his timing, he was busy. He almost made it look easy."

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Ian Ericson: Bad light saves England from another batting collapse.


England 569-8 (196.3 overs) - lead by 46

Batsmen: Rashid 6*, Broad 0*

Fall of wickets: 116-1 (Moeen 35), 281-2 (Bell 63), 3-285 (Wood 4), 426-4 (Root 85), 443-5 (Bairstow 8), 6-534 (Stokes 57), 7-549 (Cook 263), 8-563 (Buttler 23)

Bowling figures: Rahat 26.3-1-73-1, Khan 25-6-72-1, Babar 70-17-180-0, Riaz 33-3-116-3, Shafiq 7-0-19-0, Shoaib 35-4-97-2

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

Full scorecard

Pint-sized TMS

Pint-sized TMS is very speedy today. You can already watch TMS highlights from the third day right here.

Watch as Alastair Cook hits a third career double century.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Morgan Peters: Why is it when England are bowling the umpires always remember to check for the no ball but not when it's the other way round?

Phil Tufnell

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"Alastair Cook the marathon man - a fantastic exhibition of concentration, determination, a will to say out there. He must be sitting there with a big smile on his face. As he does so often for England, he has led from the front."

Bad light stops play

Eng 569-8

Pakistan knew exactly what they were doing there. A Rahat Ali bouncer to Stuart Broad has umpires getting twitchy enough to take the players off. That will be the close, with England 598-8. Misbah-ul-Haq was so keen to get off that he managed a sprint. I think that's the quickest he's moved all day.

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Jamie Holmes: 3 wickets falling for 29 runs.... England are collapsing.

Eng 568-8

In the gathering gloom, Pakistan bring back the pace of Rahat Ali. Perhaps they want an early bad light finish. The umpires check the lightmeters, but decide we can carry on for a little while.

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Matt Lord: Somebody must take responsibility for monitoring no-balls. It's an utter shambles and has robbed Cook of a huge score.

Eng 568-8 (Rashid 5, Broad 0)

So there you have it, Alastair Cook was out to a no-ball. Last night he alluded to how he still thinks about missing out on a triple century when making 294 against India four years ago. I wonder how long this will rankle him for. The light is fading, but Adil Rashid is flourishing, wristily working Babar through the leg side for a couple. Four overs to go. Or 16 minutes. Or neither, if the light draws in. Whichever comes first.

Was Cook out off a no-ball?

For clarification on the no-ball verdict, here is

Law 24 courtesy of the MCC:

"For a delivery to be fair in respect of the feet, in the delivery stride... the bowler's front foot must land with some part of the foot, whether grounded or raised... behind the popping crease."

Eng 565-8 (lead by 42 runs)

Still England bat on, with Stuart Broad no in the middle. If there's any sneaky thought from England that they may bowl tonight, they'll have to be quick. A declaration now would only get them three overs. You know how we thought that Alastair Cook may have fallen to a no-ball? We have clarification and it's not good news for the skip.

How's stat?!

Andrew Samson

BBC Test Match Special statistician

"That's five wickets today - the most in the match after four on the first, four on the second and three on the third."

Pakistan players celebrating
Getty Images

Phil Tufnell

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"Selfless knock there by Jos Buttler - he realises England have got to take the game to Pakistan. Why not get a few more tonight and put Pakistan under pressure?"


Buttler c Shafiq b Babar 23 (Eng 563-7)

Hit yourself into form? Forget that Jos Buttler, it was a terrible idea. Looking for a third lofted stroke in Zulfiqar's over, Buttler doesn't get hold of an inside-out drive and finds Asad Shafiq at deep cover. More importantly, Babar has a wicket after 68 overs and five balls. Denis Atkinson's record of 72 wicketless overs will not be falling in this match.

Jos Buttler reacts
Getty Images

Eng 563-7

I reckon it's a good idea for Jos Buttler to try to hit himself into form and he makes a good start by plonking Zulfiqar Babar straight down the ground for a maximum. He follows that up by going inside-out over cover for four.

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Edward Jacobs: Very disappointing. Cook got himself in, got a start but didn't go on. Needs to learn to sell his wicket more dearly.

Eng 553-7 (lead by 30)

We've made much of Adil Rashid's expensive figures on debut, but the struggles of all the other spinners put his effort into context. Also, we haven't really reflected on his batting, which is more than handy. He has a first-class average of 35. Shuffly and wristy, he defends Malik and must wait for his first runs in Test cricket. Seven overs left in the day.

Dropped catch

Eng 553-7

All happening now, with the out-of-sorts Jos Buttler being dropped by Shan Masood at short leg. It would have been some catch, going very quickly off the inside edge and hitting the fiedler on the shoulder. More importantly, it would have ended Babar's 67-over wait for a wicket. As it is, he's now bowled the second-most overs in a Test without taking a wicket.

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Thomas Harris: Anyone who remembers

Adelaide in 2006-07 will know that this isn't finished yet.

Eng 549-7 (Malik 33-3-96-2)

You won't believe this, but there's a hint of controversy about the Cook dismissal. Malik's front foot landed beyond the crease, but then dragged behind. Is that a no-ball or not? We'll get clarification. Imagine if Cook was denied a triple century by a delivery that should have been chalked off. Adil Rashid is the new man, England batting on.

Graeme Swann

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"A very tired sweep. A very weary but very proud Alastair Cook walks off. Everyone on their feet - Pakistan and England supporters alike. Magnificent knock."

Cook leaves the field


Cook c Masood b Malik 263 (Eng 549-7)

Alastair Cook is out! I'll write that again in case you don't believe me. Alastair Cook is out. After an epic, marathon, 836-minute effort, the England skipper falls for 263. It's a little tame in the end, a top-edged sweep from Shoaib Malik simply loops to the man at short fine leg. It was a tired shot, but Cook still can't believe it and has to drag himself from the crease. He gets handshakes from the Pakistan players and huge applause from the meagre crowd.

Alastair Cook leaves the field dejected
Getty Images

Since Alastair Cook started batting...

Join the debate at #bbccricket

ChrisNUFC1972: Since Cook started batting... we've remembered what an astonishingly good Test match opener he is.