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Summary

  1. Taylor 74* - maiden Test half-century
  2. Taylor adds 83 with Bairstow (37*)
  3. Cook 49, Bell 40, Moeen 14, Root 4
  4. Stokes has scan on shoulder injury
  5. Pakistan lead 1-0 in three-Test series

Live Reporting

By James Gheerbrant and Stephan Shemilt

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

James Taylor
Getty Images

So a good day for England, but still plenty of work to do to hammer home their advantage.

Join us tomorrow for what promises to be a gripping day three. Until then, goodbye.

England favourites to win?

And England are back in front on #WinViz - Taylor & Bairstow have hauled England back into contention. #PakvEng

And England are back in front on #WinViz - Taylor & Bairstow have hauled England back into contention. #PakvEng

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Up towards the end of the day, Pakistan had a plan - they stifled England and there were only 48 runs in the afternoon session. Later on the bowlers tired.

"England did a very good professional job - they should be proud of themselves. They won the battle today but they haven't won the war."

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Alex in Dubai: Headline pun: 'Tinker Taylor, Solider Sharjah'.

Advance notice. During lunch tomorrow (8am) @MichaelVaughan & @GeoffreyBoycott will be taking your questions #asktms

Advance notice. During lunch tomorrow (8am) @MichaelVaughan & @GeoffreyBoycott will be taking your questions #asktms

Day in summary

James Taylor
Reuters

James Taylor's maiden half-century moved England into a good position on the second day of the third and final Test against Pakistan in Sharjah.

Taylor, playing his first Test for three years, made an unbeaten 74 to move the tourists to 222-4.

England accelerated late on a largely painstaking day to close 12 behind.

Alastair Cook made 49, Ian Bell 40 and Jonny Bairstow 37 not out for the tourists, who must win to avoid a series defeat.

Read more in Stephan Shemilt's

report.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Bairstow played very well. He is an attacking player but he tried - and, as a unit, the batting did well. What they did, they did well - slow, patient batting to put England in a position from where they can win."

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Ian Bell
Reuters

Guy Giles: Are the people going after Bell those who were calling for Cook's head 12 months ago?

Player reaction

More from Ian Bell: "James Taylor is a wonderful player of spin, the way he swept and used his feet. His partnership with Jonny was really good - they were busy and looking to score.

"Ben Stokes is alright but absolutely gutted. He's going around with a smile on his face. Hopefully it's not as bad as people think."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I wouldn't say England are fully on top. But they've put themselves in such a condition that it might allow the bowlers that bat to attack the bowling tomorrow. A lead of 50 or 70 would be good but anything else would be outrageously marvellous."

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

Jonny Bairstow and James Taylor at the end of the day's play
Getty Images

"England have applied themselves - you can see they're very committed to getting a first-innings score. It looks like they have learned from that collapse in Dubai.

"If they can bat another session and a half, they will get a 100-120-run lead, which will be huge in this match. You just never know with England - but they're in the box seat."

Player reaction

England batsman Ian Bell on Sky Sports: "It's been a really tough day's Test cricket. I thought Pakistan bowled really well, but we're really happy with how today has gone.

"We knew that run-rates wouldn't be high. It's not about what it looked like, but trying to get the job done. Whatever lead we get will put in a good position.

"Anything up to 100 would be fantastic. It's really teed up for a good Test match.

"Today was a batter day to bat so hopefully we can cash in tomorrow morning."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Well done to Bell for trying so hard to rein in trying to whack the ball hard. He made 40 good runs - 40 slow, patient runs is better than hitting a quick two or three fours and then getting out."

Taylor really was the star of the show today. To come in and play an innings like that after three years out was immensely impressive - is he now a fixture in England's middle order? Is he the long-term heir to Ian Bell?

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

Moeen Ali
Getty Images

"Taylor played very well and I'm pleased for him. He has got a good defence, he's got nice footwork, quick footwork, lovely hands, he can manoeuvre the ball, and he's quick on his feet, and he run quick singles.

"England adapted very well today. They were error-free apart from Moeen Ali playing the daftest shot early on."

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"What a day it has been for England. When the fourth wicket fell, Pakistan were right on top. But James Taylor has played with control - I can only think of one error.

"He has swept hard, he has swept fine, he has cut the ball, he has hit the ball to mid-off and mid-on and run singles. We have been reliant on Joe Root and Alastair Cook for many Tests, but Taylor has held the innings together - he has been the glue."

Close-of-play scorecard

James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow leave the field of play
Getty Images

England 222-4 (92 overs) - trail by 12

Batsmen: Taylor 74* (141), Bairstow 37* (93)

Fall of wickets: 19-1 (Moeen 14), 90-2 (Cook 49), 97-3 (Root 4), 139-4 (Bell 40)

Bowling figures: Rahat 6-8-35-1, Yasir 29-3-79-2, Riaz 15-4-23-0, Babar 25-2-60-0, Malik 5-2-16-1, Azhar 2-0-7-0

Pakistan 234: Misbah 71; Anderson 4-17

Pakistan won toss

Full scorecard

Text 81111

Lee Welsh: Clumsy sportspage headline tomorrow might be, 'Someone else other than Cook or Root top scores for England'.

Close of play

Eng 222-4

James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow run between the wickets
Getty Images

The day has belonged to James Taylor and he signs off in style by rocking onto the back foot and leathering Zulfiqar through the covers for four. And that's stumps. A superb day for England.

Eng 217-4 (trail by 17)

Wahab has had a long day running in and it shows as he commits a dreadful misfield, allowing Taylor to pick up three for a flick through midwicket. One more over to survive...

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Chris Rose-Angus: Why do we keep going on about Bell when it's clear to see that the real weak link is Root. To get four in the last innings is nothing short of a national disgrace and he should be dropped ahead of the second innings.

Eng 212-4

England, understandably, edging back into ultra-cautious mode as stumps approaches. Just a flicked Taylor single of the over.

Eng 211-4 (Taylor 65, Bairstow 36)

Just four overs for England to survive, and it looks as though two of them are going to be bowled by Pakistan's go-to partnership-destroyer Yasir Shah. Plenty of effort from Yasir as usual, a lot of spring still left in the delivery stride, but he can't find a way past the solid defences of Taylor and Bairstow.

.@jamestaylor20 thoroughly deserves his chance and has never let @englandcricket down when he's been called upon. He deserves a good run now

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

James Taylor in bat for England
Reuters

"It's been a real tough wicket to bat on. But Taylor has made it look simple, which is the biggest compliment you can give him. He clearly trusts and believes in his game. I'd say he's going to be a fixture now in the Test team."

Eng 210-4

Pakistan are flagging a touch here in the evening gloom, allowing England to pile on some valuable runs - Bairstow creams Rahat to the fence for four. But the left-armer has a great riposte up his sleeve - slanting one across Bairstow and almost inducing an edge.

Scorecard update

James Taylor reaches his 50
Getty Images

England 206-4 (87 overs) - trail by 28

Batsmen: Taylor 64* (128), Bairstow 32* (77)

Fall of wickets: 19-1 (Moeen 14), 90-2 (Cook 49), 97-3 (Root 4), 139-4 (Bell 40)

Bowling figures: Rahat 15-8-31-1, Yasir 27-3-73-2, Riaz 15-4-23-0, Babar 23-2-55-0, Malik 5-2-16-1, Azhar 2-0-7-0

Pakistan 234: Misbah 71; Anderson 4-17

Pakistan won toss

Full scorecard

Eng 206-4 (trail by 28)

Yasir is back to try and winkle out a wicket before the close. He's been the most threatening of the Pakistan bowlers so far, but he doesn't trouble Taylor and the increasingly assured Bairstow in this one - two singles from it.

Eng 204-4

The 200 comes up, off a rather sedate 85.4 overs, with a Taylor flick to square leg, before Bairstow swivels and dispatches an authoritative pull through square leg.

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James taylor
Getty Images

Jack Harrison: Knew I should've put that tenner on Taylor scoring a Test century when I first saw him bat aged 16 at Shrewsbury School.

Tattz: Ladies and gentlemen - we have a third batsman in the team! No longer will Root & Cook suffer alone! Welcome Mr Taylor!

Tom Staunton: This Taylor fellow looks handy. I know what will be good for his England career! Opening the batting...

Eng 199-4 (Taylor 62, Bairstow 27)

James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow
Getty Images

The new ball is just allowing Taylor to lift the tempo - he times it beautifully through the covers and picks up a boundary. It's been a disappointing day for Zulfiqar - he'd have woken up this morning licking his lips after the way the pitched behaved yesterday, but so far he's bowled 22 wicketless overs.

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Andy: People can defend Bell, but the stats don't lie! He isn't making match-winning contributions and he's not the player he was.

Keith Woodley: Bell's issue is not his ability to make 40 or so, it's making that score into a match-changing innings. That's what the best do.

David: Good 40 in the circumstances this is Test match where a side got 240 batting first - perspective ladies and gentlemen.

Eng 193-4

Bairstow glides Rahat down to third man and some strong running turns it into three. England have hung in there really well today - now can they negotiate their way through to the close?

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Northern Horners: Here's hoping a nice new cherry will bring about an acceleration in scoring and we get up to parity tonight.

Eng 190-4 (trail by 44)

Taylor and Bairstow acknowledge their 50 partnership
Reuters

Zulfiqar is going to have the new conker from the other end - can he get a bit of grip and purchase with the pronounced seam? Not much in evidence in his first over - and off the final ball Taylor punches a single to bring up the 50 partnership. He and Bairstow celebrate with a good old-fashioned handshake. Lovely.

Phil Tufnell

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"Taylor has looked busy, he's pushed for singles, but the shot selection too: he's played positively in defence, swept nicely, always looked in control."

New ball taken

Eng 188-4

Taylor's excellent vigil is almost ended in the most comical of circumstances as he defends one from Rahat Ali, sees the ball bounce up behind him but can't locate it as he desperately tries to stop it rolling back onto his stumps. He manages to boot it away just in time. Midway through the over, Rahat opts for the new ball. Now it's Bairstow's turn to get lucky, cutting one too close to his body and seeing an inside edge fly a whisker past the stumps. Close.

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James Taylor and Ian Bell
Getty Images

Francis Edwards: Bell makes 40 and he should be dropped, Taylor makes 50 and his best score by quite a bit and suddenly he's class... fickle.