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Summary

  1. England chasing 284 to win
  2. Moeen & Bell fall in two overs
  3. Chase would be England's highest in Asia
  4. Pak 355: Hafeez 151, Shafiq 46; Broad 3-44
  5. Pakistan lead three-Test series 1-0

Live Reporting

By Stephan Shemilt and Justin Goulding

All times stated are UK

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Are England really doomed? That seems a bit strong, but they are certainly in a very dark corner of the woods. There is, however, a chink of light for them to follow. If they pull off - or even get close to - this target, we're in for a cracking final day. See you then.

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Thomas Broadley: With Cook and Root at the crease, the morning session tomorrow will decide the outcome. Lose them both early and we are doomed.

Julian Croker: It's likely to go horribly wrong for England tomorrow when Ali and Babar start bowling in tandem.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Moeen Ali is not an opener. He is a free spirit and you have to get him in the right spot. England have a problem and they are trying to solve it by putting in a lad who isn't fit for role. He got runs at number seven but he can't open the batting. It's staring them in the face."

Cook and Root, England's best players, were hanging on against the spinners before the close. 284 looks three mountains away.

More from James Anderson: "It's not ideal missing opportunities but it happens. I thought we stuck at our task very well. If you would have given us around 250 to chase we would have taken that before the game. It's a bit over that and a couple of players are going to have to bat really well.

"I'd love it if I didn't need to get my pads on tomorrow."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"England's spinners are poor. I've been saying so and one or two people said I was harsh but our spin bowling is very ordinary.

"With the spinners all you have to do is wait for the bad ball. There is a lack of decent spin bowling at county level in England, let alone quality. You can't get blood out of a stone. The English game is not breeding decent spin. It's not Alastair Cook's fault."

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Mark Pettman: To put Hafeez's innings into context, he has scored twice as much as any other batsman in the game. A real match-winning innings that took the initiative away from us. Well played.

Jimmy Anderson
Reuters

England bowler Jimmy Anderson speaking to Sky Sports: "There's a chance, definitely. We are going to have to bat very well. It will be difficult on a fifth-day pitch.

"We don't want to leave UAE with nothing. We have played well this series and don't want to leave with nothing. We saw the way Pakistan batted in their second innings and they were positive."

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Fenners: "Nobody better" than Bell? How about Carberry, Vince, KP, Hales, Compton, Hildreth for starters.

Sports Retort: Ian Bell has developed making an elegant 30 and falling into an artform. Average still good but no longer a matchwiner.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

On the missed stumping in the first over of the day that reprieved Mohammad Hafeez...

"Jonny Bairstow didn't pick it at all, which is quite unusual. He keeps to Adil Rashid for Yorkshire. It was a big miss.

"It was a terrible shot. Hafeez went down the pitch and was two yards out of his crease but Jonny's body wasn't going for the googly. If England got Hafeez out then it shows the captain was right to open with Rashid. It wasn't to be.

"At this level, sometimes you only get one chance and the game gets away from you and it started to get away from England from there on."

To add a little perspective, Ian Bell is currently England's third highest runscorer in this series. Granted, there are only four men in the team picked exclusively to bat, but he has more runs that both Moeen and Bairstow, who have both batted in the top six all series.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Ian Bell won't retire and they won't sack him because there's no-one else. He's got all the talent in the world but he's flaky in the head. He missed a straight ball from an off-spinner- how do you miss that with a four-and-a-quarter-inch bat? You can't understand it - when you want him to stand up for you he can't do it. England should move on."

Day four report

England's hopes of winning the final Test against Pakistan were dented by the loss of two wickets in quick succession late on day four in Sharjah.

Moeen Ali and Ian Bell perished in the space of 13 balls as England - chasing 284 for victory and a 1-1 series draw - reached 46-2 in the 22 overs possible.

Shoaib Malik, who announced his retirement from Test cricket on Tuesday, claimed both wickets.

Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez hit 151 as Pakistan were bowled out for 355.

Read more here

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"England are not totally out of it but there chances have gone from one in six to one in 15 or 20. England are now two down and there were lots of ooohhs and aaahhs. Joe Root and Alastair Cook are quality players but they didn't look at ease. If they go I think it is all over."

Joe Root and Alistair Cook
AP

Ian Bell is trending on Twitter, in between the Investigatory Powers Bill and Chris Coleman.

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Luke Sugg: England missed an opportunity with the top order. This was the option to use Hales as an out and out opener. Right and left hand.

Fenners: Once again with England in a pickle our 117 Test senior player is nowhere to be seen. How many more times?

Close-of-play scorecard

England 46-2 (22 overs) - target 284

Batsmen: Cook 17*, Root 6*

Fall of wickets: 1-34 (Moeen 22), 2-34 (Bell 0)

Bowling figures: Rahat 2-0-15-0, Riaz 2-0-10-0, Babar 9-2-11-0, Malik 7-3-8-2, Yasir 2-0-4-0

Pakistan 234 & 355: Hafeez 151, Shafiq 46; Broad 3-44

England 306: Taylor 74; Malik 4-33

Pakistan won toss

Full scorecard

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"It's been a tough day for England. Alastair Cook has gone up to shake hands with Hafeez and the Pakistan batsman's innings could be the difference. He got a big score for his side and then Shoaib Malik took two wickets. Pakistan are favourites but you just never know if England can get one player to a 100. There's a 15% chance of an England win."

Close of play

Eng 46-2

Misbah is having a long old chat with the umpires as he departs, I think asking about the lbw Joe Root got away with. Cook shakes hands with Shoaib Malik, congratulating him on his two-fer. Nice touch.

Close of play

Eng 46-2

England get through two down, which is at least one more than they would have liked. They will need another 238 runs tomorrow for a level series, all effectively with a man down. Not impossible, but a very tough ask. It could, however, be a thriller.

Joe Root leaves the field
Reuters

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Wayne Kilford: Looking ahead to the South Africa series we are going to get another new opener!!!!! That will be the last four series in a row (WI, NZ, Aussies & PAK) Captain Cook has had a new opening partner.....Hales - Then how long until he gets dumped?

Eng 45-2

Yasir with the final over, a Joe Root single passing responsibility to captain Cook.

Eng 44-2 (target 284)

It's dark out there now. If the pacemen were on I think we'd be off for bad light. Cook has been stoic in defence and forces Babar to come over the wicket, a more comfortable angle for the skipper. An uneventful maiden leaves one over left to play.

Alastair Cook bats
Getty Images

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Perry: Feel for Ian Bell surely suffering having to come in facing a new ball every time.

Mike Doney: Why should Bell's career end? People can be rested and come back. He isn't a pensioner yet?

Eng 43-2 (target 284)

Yasir wants to target Cook's pads, but a long hop gets the England skipper away from the danger end. As Pakistan optimistically appeal against Joe Root, TV cameras pick up the sight of Adil Rashid, padded-up as nightwatchman. England get through. 12 balls until the close.

Alistair Cook bats
AP

Ramiz Raja

Ex-Pakistan captain on BBC Test Match Special

"The partnership between Alastair Cook and Joe Root is vital for England - and Pakistan. It is about constant adjustment when playing on a day four or five pitch."

Eng 41-2

Now it's Yasir Shah. Two overs from him before the close. Danger.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"You can understand the huge appeals for Alastair Cook and Joe Root lbws and I could have understand if the umpire had given them both out. You could tell from Joe Root's body language he thought he had gone."

not-outEng 41-2

Ooofff. Joe Root survives by the skin of his teeth. No edge, the ball clipping leg stump, but not enough to send the Yorkie on his way. Both of Pakistan's reviews are gone. A slight silver lining for England.

Umpire review

Eng 41-2

Whatever Pakistan are appealing for, this is close. Babar to Root. Lbw shout, but it's also been caught. Chris Gaffaney says no, but Misbah is eager to look again...

Eng 40-2 (target 284)

And still no Yasir Shah. How curious. Cook, a couple of strips of tape wrapped around his bat, plods forward to defend Malik. England in survival mode, clawing their way to the close. There are four overs remaining.

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Andrew Neill: Sadly this innings wasn't to be a re-run of the tv show 'Saved by the Bell'.

Grant Kennett: Underperforming spinners, yes.But what about the same old top order issues that have plagued us all year? Sort it out!!

Henry Walmsley: Bell should have been dropped for Taylor, not Buttler. Should have retired after Ashes. Time to call an end to a great career.

Eng 38-2 (Cook 13, Root 2)

Just picking up on Michael Vaughan's comments, I'm not sure any member of the current England side draws more opinions than Ian Bell.

#bbccricket is now awash, mostly will people who want his career on a spike. Harsh? Who's better? Babar round the wicket to Root with the shadow creeping menacingly behind him. Root, fleet of foot, is forward and back, picking the length.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"There will be plenty of talk now about Ian Bell in the team. I would stick with him for the tour of South Africa and add James Vince in the squad to add some competition. But I'd certainly say that's the last innings we've seen of Moeen Ali as an opener."

Ian Bell leaves the field
Reuters

Eng 37-2 (target 284)

England are two down and we haven't even seen Yasir Shah yet. Still Malik from round the wicket, threatening the outside edge of left-hander Cook and the pads of right-hander Root. Are England already toast in this match? If they can get to the close without further losses, would they still have a chance?

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Amos Kemp: Describe Ian Bell in three words: Test. Career. Over.

Rakesh Pradhan: The end of Bell ... not a number 3 4 5 or 6 anymore.

Jonathan France: Ali's had a poor series. He's been shown as an average test cricketer. Yet he'll still play as we've no-one else coming through.