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Live Reporting

Stephan Shemilt and Marc Higginson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Post update

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

  4. 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
  5. Post update

    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."

  6. Email

    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?

  7. Post update

    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."

  8. Join the debate at #bbccricket

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

  9. Post update

    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.

  10. Post update

    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."

  11. Post update

  12. Post update

    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."

  13. 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?

  14. Post update

    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."

  15. Post update

    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."

  16. Post update

    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."

  17. 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

  18. Post update

    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."

  19. Post update

    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.

  20. 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
  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. Post update

    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
  26. 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
  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. Post update

    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."

  30. 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.

  31. 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?!?!"

  32. Post update

    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
  33. 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
  34. Post update

    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."

  35. 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

  36. From the press box

  37. Eng 279-1 (trail by 244)

    Wahab has more energy than a man who has fielded all day should have and is cranking up the pace as dusk starts to draw in. Cook cuts for a single, then Bell watchfully allows the ball to go past the off stump. Wahab, who bowled a 10-ball over including two wides and two no-balls earlier today, over-steps again. That's a particularly bad idea in these conditions.

  38. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "There's a few of the crowd moving towards the exits now. Maybe they want to beat 'the rush'?"

    A young cricket fan
  39. Eng 275-1

    Disaster. Pakistan are bringing pacer Wahab Riaz back on. That will definitely drag this out until 14:30 now. I am livid.

  40. Get Involved

  41. Eng 275-1 (Cook 164, Bell 61)

    It's almost as if both sides are playing for time, begging to get off the pitch and into the ice bath. Malik motors through his over, Bell is in position for a forward defence before the ball is even delivered, Misbah doesn't bother to move the field. If you offered the skippers the chance to knock this day on the head, I reckon they'd take it.

  42. Strauss's cabinet


    Alan Drakeley: I reckon KP should be Chief Whip and Flintoff could be the Culture Secretary.

    Joe Bibby: Is it harsh to suggest Adil Rashid as Travel Secretary?

  43. Eng 275-1

    Babar, starting to look like a man who hasn't got the energy to lift his arms to bowl, urges himself to the crease and explores Cook's off stump. As he has done umpteen times today, the skipper shuffles across, negates the spin and defends to the on side. One more ticked down, move along. Nine to go.

  44. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "The thing with Brian Lara is that once he got to 120 or 130, you'd start to think about the world record. Alastair Cook still has another 240 runs to go!"

    Brian Lara in action
  45. Eng 273-1 (partnership 157)

    Shoaib Malik benefitted more than most on this deck for his 245, so it's only right that he shoulders the burden of some of the bowling. He might be considering asking wife Sania Mirza for her tennis racquet to belt the ball down with. You're missing none of the action. Unless I say different, assume England are nudging the spinners hither and thither.

  46. Former pros speak out

  47. Eng 271-1 (Cook 161, Bell 60)

    Joe Root has been waiting to bat for so long that the zinc he applied on his face this morning has now worn off. Babar is over the wicket to right-hander Bell in the lengthening shadows. Will four men catching around the bat, Bell works to the leg side. Only two catchers for Cook, which shows who Pakistan think they have a better chance of removing.

  48. Text 81111

    Charlie Martin: Has there ever been a Test where a player has been active in the field for all five days? Cookie could be closing in on that..

    Alastair Cook takes a drinks break
  49. Eng 270-1 (trail by 253)

    I'm just wondering of ways to redress the balance between bat and ball. Maybe on pitches as flat as this, the umpires could be given discretion to implement new rules? Perhaps a batsman has to remove an item of protective gear every time he plays and misses? Or he must hit it every three balls? Or a false shot means three 'dog lives', where he turns that bat upside down and has to hit it with the handle. Cook drives Malik for four to bring up the 150 partnership.

  50. Eng 262-1 (Cook 153, Bell 59)

    Our 'let's get through the overs' plan is momentarily halted by a problem with the sightscreens. That's all quite baffling, because the screens have fine since a lot of nonsense on the first morning. On the England balcony, James Anderson sits in his flip flops, like a man on holiday that will head to the pool as soon as the close comes.

  51. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Saj Sadiq: Wickets like these the reason why Pakistan has only won 1 Test in Australia or South Africa in the last 17 & a half years.

  52. Eng 261-1 (97 overs)

    I sense a plan to rattle through the overs and I like it. Chris Gayle is an excellent man for this tactic. His two-pace walk to the crease gets overs bowled so quickly that the bowler at the other end barely has time to to get to his fielding position. When Gayle bowls in tandem with Marlon Samuels, West Indies can get through 30 an hour. Shoaib Malik, one from it.

  53. Post update

    Ramiz Raja

    Ex-Pakistan captain & Test Match Special pundit

    "We can expect more of the same in Sharjah and Dubai. But, like the players, the commentators need to hang in there. There will be boring sessions but that is how Pakistan have managed to survive and beat the opposition here."

  54. Eng 260-1 (trail by 263)

    Ian Bell certainly thinks we're going to have lots of spin. He's got rid of his helmet and is batting in a cap, revealing a face that is looking a little pink. The crowd, now here after two days off, is making some decent noise with horns and cheers. Imagine how noisy they would be if there was a decent contest going on. There are 15 overs left in the day. It would be good if they could bowl them in half an hour.

  55. Eng 260-1 (Cook 151, Bell 59)

    Shoaib Malik is back into the attack. He must have modelled his creeping, high-armed run-up on Saqlain Mushtaq. Outside Cook's off stump, turning away, a couple of singles. I wonder if we'll see an abundance of spin between now and the end of the day, just to get through the overs, to get us all off home that bit sooner.

  56. Post update

    Ramiz Raja

    Ex-Pakistan captain & Test Match Special pundit

    Alastair Cook salutes after hitting 50

    "It's a special record Alastair Cook has got in Asia, but his technique is suited to playing over here. He has a good defence and plays the sweep shot well."

  57. 150 for Alastair cook

    Eng 258-1

    To rub a little salt into the wound, Alastair Cook nudges a single on the leg side to go to 150, his ninth score of 150 or more in Test cricket. If he's offering one chance every 150 runs, expect him to get 300.

    Alastair Cook celebrates
  58. Cook dropped on 147

    Eng 257-1

    Dropped! Alastair Cook has given a chance and Pakistan have spilled it. A top-edged sweep off Babar goes to deep backward square leg, where the sub fielder Fawad Alam comes in, dives forward, gets both hands to it, but spills the chance. Cook has actually looked a little loose for a while, a few swipes and iffy cuts, and now he has presented a chance. When might he give another?

  59. Post update

    Phil Tufnell

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "With the batting line-up which England have, and the explosive batters still to come, once they pass the follow-on target maybe they will re-jig the order and try and blast their way towards Pakistan's total. Maybe elevate Jos Buttler or Ben Stokes?"

  60. Latest scorecard

    England 255-1 (93 overs) - trail by 268; follow-on target 324

    Batsmen: Cook 147*, Bell 58*

    Fall of wickets: 116-1 (Moeen 35)

    Bowling figures: Rahat 16-1-43-0, Khan 15-3-39-1, Babar 31-12-60-0, Riaz 15-1-66-0, Shafiq 7-0-19-0, Shoaib 9-1-23-0

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

    Full scorecard

  61. Drinks break

    Eng 255-1

    Ian Bell and Alastair Cook take a drinks break

    After all the excitement of a review, the umpires decide we need another drinks break. It's just dawned on me that we've probably got more than an hour of play left today. That seems a long time. Australia being bowled out in a session at Trent Bridge seems a long time ago. That wasn't proper Test cricket either. Is it too much to ask for something in the middle?

  62. Strauss's cabinet


    Dan in Yorkshire: KP - foreign secretary, Mike Gatting - food, David Gower - culture.

    Dan Poole: If Andrew Strauss is made PM then KP is a shoo-in for leader of the opposition.

  63. Eng 253-1

    Reiffel does that low wave of the arms, signifying that he's got the decision right. We've seen nothing to suggest that the decision should be over-turned. Misbah might have reviewed just for something to do.

  64. Umpire review

    Eng 253-1

    No Hotspot, no snicko. Almost impossible to tell if there was anything on that. Then again, Misbah was given out on day one.

  65. Post update

    Ramiz Raja

    Ex-Pakistan captain & Test Match Special pundit

    "We'd need a magnifying glass to know if that has been gloved or not. But it is close."

  66. Post update

    Ed Smith

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Pakistan wicket keeper Sarfraz Ahmed looks on

    "The chances are so few and far between, that if the wicketkeeper thinks there might have been a chance it's worth a review."

  67. Umpire review

    Eng 253-1

    Hang on, something's happening. Ian Bell trying to pull Riaz, a noise, taken by the keeper. Out? No, says Paul Reiffel. Pakistan take an age, then review out of sheer desperation.

  68. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "You need a batsmen less than you normally go with on these pitches - so have your keeper batting at six. If I was an England selector, I would have said to Jos Buttler that Jonny Bairstow is taking the gloves for this game and I'm coaxing Ryan Sidebottom out of retirement to bowl left-arm seam - his footholes were one of the main reasons I signed for Nottinghamshire."

  69. Eng 244-1 (Cook 137, Bell 57)

    Duncan, I'm extremely interested. Mainly because I want to know who would be in his cricketing cabinet. Alastair Cook as deputy PM? Nasser Hussain as chancellor? Geoff Boycott as defence secretary? Graeme Swann as a spin doctor? There are 20 overs left in the day, but they have to be bowled by 14:30. Babar to Bell is the first of them. Six balls pushed back.

  70. Email

    10 Downing Street

    Duncan: A mate of mine has just got 250-1 on Andrew Strauss being Prime Minister within the next 20 years. Just thought you might be interested.

  71. Eng 244-1 (trail by 279)

    The shadows are lengthening in Abu Dhabi and there's a reasonable amount of noise coming from the crowd. Outside the stadium, there's a game going on in the sand between a group of blokes, while a couple of diggers stand idle. Maybe get them going to dig up this pitch? Riaz continues to go short to Bell, getting cut for four for his trouble.

  72. Post update

    Phil Tufnell

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Pakistan's fielders take a water break

    "On days like this, you just make sure you bowl your overs in time You don't want to be out there any longer than you need to be - you don't get paid overtime."

  73. Close!

    Eng 239-1

    Ooofff, Alastair Cook is lucky not to lose his off stump there. The skipper tries a very un-Cook-like heave towards the leg side off Babar and has his heart in his mouth as the ball shoots underneath his bat. That's missed the timbers by a coat of varnish. Babar has now got through 30 wicketless overs.

  74. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mark Wellman-Riggs: Can we now leave Ian Bell alone? 46 Test 50s = legend.

  75. Eng 237-1 (Cook 135, Bell 52)

    Joe Root is padded up, towel around his neck, having a laugh with James Taylor and Alex Hales. Root will need some cream for his pad rash before much longer. Wahab Riaz tests Ian Bell with some bumpers, but Bell is adept at ducking and diving. Remember, he owes England 188 runs, so is still 136 short.

  76. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Alastair Cook

    Jonathan France: Imagine if this was a timeless Test! Reckon they'd be playing into the 10th day.

  77. Eng 234-1 (trail by 289)

    Just going back to the pitches debate, one thing that kills my the-bowlers-haven't-been-skilful-enough argument is this point: in nearly three days, I reckon there have been only five genuine wickets. I say that because four Pakistan batsmen got themselves out trying to get on with it. No matter how you look at, even if Darren Pattinson was bowling at Don Bradman, you should see more than five wickets in three days.

  78. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "That 50 is a personal triumph for Ian Bell after the start he had. He has gritted it out and now has as many runs as he scored on England's last tour here."

  79. 50 for Ian Bell

    Eng 234-1

    Ian Bell salutes his 50

    Well batted, Ian Bell. Earlier, Bell looked like he could get out to almost every ball, but he has persevered to score a 46th Test 50. It might not be the most fluent knock he's ever put together, but the dogged nature might make it one of the most rewarding. 134 balls, the milestone reached with a hook off Rahat for four. That's only his third boundary - dabs behind square on the off side and nudges to leg have been the order of the day.

  80. Get Involved

  81. Eng 228-1 (Cook 132, Bell 46)

    Plenty of chat about the dead-nature of this pitch, but allow me to play devil's advocate for a second. Would better bowlers get more out of it? Might Yasir Shah have been the difference - it has turned. Have pitches been like this in the past, only we had results because there were better bowlers, spinners especially - Warne, Murali, Kumble, Mushtaq, Vettori. Maybe both sides are missing that extra yard of pace. Babar tosses it up, but Bell isn't taking the bait.

  82. Post update

    Charles Dagnall

    BBC Test Match Special

    Ian Bell in bat for England

    "Ian Bell had a tricky period in the 20 minutes before lunch, he's still there. Credit to him for that."

  83. Eng 224-1 (trail by 299)

    There are plenty of cars coming towards the stadium, locals looking for an evening's entertainment. They might not stay long. I'm starting to think of things that are more interesting than this Test match. Going to the dentist? A long journey in a lift? Ironing? Answers on a postcard. The good news for England is that Ian Bell is looking more fluent, clipping Imran Khan over the leg side for a couple.

  84. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Joshua Baxter: If Trent Bridge were fined for a poor pitch then so should Abu Dhabi for this. Cook could reach 10,000 runs by the end

  85. Eng 220-1 (Cook 128, Bell 42)

    Thanks, Marc. Has anything happened while I've been away? I can report that the crowd has swelled to a decent number - maybe 3,000-4,000. All are sitting in the shade and not one is being treated to an entertaining spectacle. A Pakistan fan that has been here throughout leads the singing. He's got a wonderful, Poirot-style moustache and is waving a Pakistan flag. Rahat Ali begs the new ball to do something, but it's as likely to move as Julian Assange.

  86. Excellent from Luton Town...

  87. Eng 217-1 (trail by 306)

    It's been pointed out to me (thanks Ben in London) that I've mentioned Peter Kay twice in this live text today. I don't have my own material, you know. I'm sure Peter's character Max Bygraves will be following the action closely. He's got a few Pakistan one-day shirts in his locker. I promise not to mention Peter again today - partly because Stephan Shemilt is hovering nearby ready to take the live text reins.

    Peter Kay
  88. Email

    From Ben in London: I'm starting to wonder if Peter Kay has paid for endorsements on TMS or if it's just Marc Higginson's secret obsession. Maybe a potential TMS lunchtime guest in future?

  89. Eng 217-1

    Big, big appeal from an excitable Pakistan fielding side when Imran Khan runs one back into the pads of the right-handed Ian Bell. Looks good - but there's an inside edge. Moving on...

  90. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Tom Scarborough: If Cook's gonna nail a triple, he needs to get a shift on.

  91. Eng 216-1 (trail by 308)

    A dab down to third man from Alastair Cook brings up the 100 partnership between these two, in 249 balls. Steady stuff.

  92. Eng 215-1 (trail by 308)

    I compared Imran Khan to Ben Hilfenhaus earlier, but he also reminds me of Umar Gul. The new nut isn't doing anything yet as Ian Bell helps himself to three through square leg.

  93. Email

    Nigel, Leeds: Officially losing the will to live here! Blimey what an ad for test cricket this game is! No reflection on the sides on show but I doubt we could have a result in eight days, let alone five.

  94. New ball

    The brand, spanking new cherry is gobbled up by Pakistan. Imran Khan will get first use of it.

  95. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Lee Jackson: @KP24 is everywhere just lately, well everywhere apart from Abu Dhabi that is. I am sure Cook couldn't care less what he thinks.

  96. Eng 209-1 (80 overs)

    Peter Kay

    What's that Peter Kay joke about buffets?

    "Vol au vents, chicken legs, cheesecake. Repeat."

    It's the same here. Dot, dot, single, dot, single, dot. And repeat.

    But at least the new ball is now due.

  97. Your disappointing debuts

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matt Jeffery: Batted on debut for Binfield CC men's aged 15. Ran out 5 of our own batsmen!

  98. Eng 206-1 (Cook 121, Bell 35)

    There's actually nothing happening. Pakistan have the part-time bowlers on and England are just ticking along at the speed of a Sunday driver.

  99. Eng 203-1 (trail by 320)

    Shoaib Malik might look innocuous but he has got Ian Bell out twice in six meetings, and Kumar Sangakarra as many times as Bell but in 11 innings. His 'bunny' is South Africa's Boeta Dippenaar - he got him twice in four meetings. And that concludes your Shoaib Malik history lesson. Two from the over.

  100. Eng 201-1 (Cook 119 off 231)

    More part-time spin from Asad Shafiq, with Pakistan knowing England will remain watchful whatever bowling they send down. This is not of the highest class, but just one from the latest set of six which are over and done with in next to no time.

  101. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Paul Harris: It's all about the game within the game now: Ian Bell is 31*. Needs another 157.

  102. Eng 200-1 (76 overs)

    It's a waiting game for Pakistan now. They're waiting for the new ball, which becomes available after 80 overs.

    Shoaib Malik gets us under way after lunch, looking to add to his 21 Test wickets, but he is easily milked for singles. Three of them in fact, which brings up England's 200.

  103. Post update

    Alastair Cook has changed his shirt, had a brew and is now ready to dig in for another session. Can he bat the day out? Let's find out.

  104. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Sewell: It's nice to see some good old-fashioned proper Test match cricket. If this was the Ashes, the Test would be already over.

  105. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Ian Bell is just hanging in there. He is finding batting very difficult, but he is doing the right thing. If you stay out there, things might click. You can't find it when you're back in the dressing room."

  106. KP backs Cook

  107. Remembering Brian Close

    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    Former England seam bowler Mike Selvey: "What many people don't understand is that Brian didn't let the ball hit him. In that famous innings against West Indies, he didn't have any option. He dropped his hands and bat, protecting his wicket. It was an astonishingly brave performance."

  108. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Pakistan have tried everything but there's not a lot there. If you play straight and find the boundary when the right ball comes, then just knock the other balls into the gaps. England are in a good position, but Pakistan will be hoping to turn the match on its head with the second new ball."

  109. Tea report

    Alastair Cook's unbeaten 116 led England's assured reply to Pakistan's 523-8 declared in the first Test in Abu Dhabi.

    The skipper's 28th Test hundred dominated a total of 197-1 at tea on the third day, leaving England needing a further 127 to avoid the follow-on.

    Cook added 116 with Moeen Ali, who fell for 35 shortly before lunch, and an unbroken 81 with Ian Bell for the second wicket.

    Bell overcame a scratchy start to reach 31, hitting only three fours off the 104 balls he has faced on a pitch that continues to offer the bowlers precious little assistance.

  110. Tea scorecard

    England 197-1 (75 overs) - trail by 326; follow-on target 324

    Batsmen: Cook 116*, Bell 31*

    Fall of wickets: 116-1 (Moeen 35)

    Bowling figures: Rahat 13-1-33-0, Khan 12-3-28-1, Babar 27-10-54-0, Riaz 12-1-47-0, Shafiq 5-0-15-0, Shoaib 6-1-15-0

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

    Full scorecard

  111. Post update

    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    So, as the players head off for refreshments, TMS will spend tea remembering the late Brian Close. If you haven't seen it, watch this video of Close standing up to Michael Holding. Incredible cricket.

    Alastair Cook leaves the field
  112. Email

    Sam in Reading: Dull it may be, but I'm used to seeing us 30-3, so this is a nice change.

  113. Tea

    Eng 197-1

    Asad Shafiq to deliver the last over before tea, and Alastair Cook just pats back four dots before taking a single into the leg side when the part-time slow bowler chucks in a half-tracker.

  114. Eng 196-1 (74 overs)

    Alastair Cook, who is normally gives little away at the crease, curses himself when Shoaib Malik pushes one through and almost causes the England skipper to pop up a return catch. It lands wide of the bowler, however.

    There's a break in play now after Shan Masood is hit on the helmet by Cook's sweep shot. He should be OK after a little breather.

  115. Your disappointing debuts

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Bryony Lever: My 1st time batting a few months ago. 3rd ball I got a cricket ball to the (unprotected) thigh. Had a bruise for weeks. Ouch!

    HAL's Pal: Worst debut. Selected for school XI, silly mid off - ball to privates. Batted, dolly 1st ball straight back to bowler, Last match.

  116. Eng 193-1 (Imran 12-3-28-1)

    Don't give it away now, Ian Ronald. The England number three chases one down leg and is almost strangled by an Imran Khan-Sarfraz combo. Luckily for him, the sound we all heard was the ball hitting the pad. Not the bat.

  117. Your disappointing debuts


    Richard Thorogate: I remember my first match for a local team in West London, my Father-in-Law came to watch me who was the ex -captain of Farnham and had the played game for about 50 years. I dropped 2 catches and was out first ball LBW playing a forward defensive shot. I never played again

  118. Eng 193-1

    Close your eyes of think of a trademark Alastair Cook shot into the leg side and you will picture his latest boundary, a pulled four when Imran Khan pops one into the centre of this pudding of a pitch.

  119. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    JoElle: It's 3.20am, I'm designing a pizza store logo, and only the cricket is giving me the will to live.

    Robert Bownes: Is there a metric for boring test matches? Cause I reckon this is the benchmark...

  120. Get Involved

  121. Eng 188-1 (trail by 335)

    Shoaib Malik is the latest spin option for Pakistan, who are badly missing injured talisman Yasir Shah. Malik is steady if nothing else, but should pose no threat to Alastair Cook who sweeps a single. Three from the over. Slow going.

  122. The Bell debate

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Peter Collins: England will miss Bell, but it won't be terrible; we have batsman to fill is spot. When Cook goes we'll have no openers!

    Chris Ward: The way Bell is playing here makes the decision not to include James Taylor look all the more baffling.

  123. Eng 185-1 (Cook 106, Bell 29)

    Alastair Cook has gone a little quiet since bringing up three figures. Finally, he tucks into one however when Imran Khan overpitches and the left-hander drives three into the off side.

    Alastair Cook batting
  124. Post update

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "It would take England another 133 overs to reach Pakistan's score if they keep going at the current rate. That would take us until the end of tomorrow."

  125. Not out!

    Eng 181-1

    Another big lbw shout when Rahat rushes one into Alastair Cook's pads but the umpire again says no. Sounded like there was some bat on it. And it was pitching outside the line and missing off stump. Apart from that it was a decent shout.

  126. Eng 181-1

    The next test for England will be the new ball, which is available to Pakistan in 10 overs - presumably after tea. I'm sure Wahab will be cranking up the pace with the new nut. The match is coasting along now, with Ian Bell angling a solitary single down to third man.