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Live Reporting

Marc Higginson and Justin Goulding

All times stated are UK

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  1. Farewell

    Right then... it's time for me to get outta here.

    We'll be back tomorrow morning from 05:40 BST. Until then, enjoy the football, Formula 1 and read Justin Goulding's cricket report.

    See you tomorrow.

  2. The Bell Debate

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ian Probert: Bell is quality undergoing a crisis of confidence. Let him work through it and he will once again be a valuable asset.

  3. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Cook has a bad back, I'm told, through his efforts in Abu Dhabi and here he's been on the field a lot, and he just seized up a little bit. Then we had the best batting from Ian Bell we've seen in some time - he made 46, got a ball which turned out of the rough, tried to let it go but couldn't get his hands out of the way."

    Has he saved his place?

    "I'm not so sure. He may get one game, he might just save his place but I'm not sure it's the right way to go."

  4. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jay: England should hold regular domestic matches between the pretenders (current players) & challengers & select based on that. Easy.

    Francis Edwards: I'd be much more concerned over Bairstow, Buttler and the fact we only have one opener, Hales is a slogger, don't need that.

  5. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If Root goes quickly tomorrow, it's game over. I'd be trying to frustrate the bowlers, make sure you're there at lunch, then tea."

    Can Bairstow do that?

    "He's normally an attacking player. It will help him if Joe's still there, as Stokes and Buttler are out of form. But I shouldn't wake up tomorrow with too much hope."

  6. From the press box

  7. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If Pakistan had slogged and got out, they wouldn't have got their target as their tail isn't great, they were worried they'd fall well short. Our bowlers weren't bad, but the seamers couldn't make it seam or swing, so if England can get their act together and bat properly, there's no terrors in the pitch. Moeen Ali showed he's a square peg in a round hole and nicked it to slip. He either goes over-defensive or his natural way playing shots, which won't work against good new-ball bowlers. At number eight he's very dangerous playing flashing drives to the old ball. He gets a few wickets and he's a nice little cricketer, but he gave his wicket away."

  8. 'There are no demons in the pitch'

    Paul Farbrace

    England assistant coach Paul Farbrace, speaking to Sky Sports: "We talked about resilience this morning. We know we didn't show enough character yesterday and it's a key thing for us moving forward.

    "Speaking to Belly when he came off, he thinks if you're watchful and play down the right line there are not too many demons in the pitch. It's important for all the batsmen to have a plan - like when Wahab comes round the wicket and tails it away, that's tough. But just play down the line of the stumps.

    "The way Belly played was very good, he needed a score and he wants to contribute big runs to the team. He was a little unlucky to get out the way he did but I thought he batted well.

    "Alastair is OK. He's not the best mover, I don't think there's any problems - he's got a bad back like a lot of opening batsmen get if they bat for long periods."

  9. Email

    Adam Ferjani: Personally I like the look of Jason Roy. Reminds me of a right-handed Tresco. No foot movement so to speak but does not miss all too often. The one-dayers could be his platform to get in as opener over and above Hales. Taylor for me has to come into the Test team.

  10. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Pakistan made one mistake this morning - Misbah tried to slog Jimmy Anderson and hit it kneecap-high to mid-off. After that, it was like stealing candy from children. Probably the best batsman was Shafiq, who looks well organised, a cocky, confident batsman and they took runs quite easily."

  11. Email

    Carrie Dalby: I have listened to TMS for 60 years. Bill Frindle was brilliant, but Andrew Samson has surpassed him. Since he joined the team, I have found cricket even more fascinating.

  12. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Do England have any hope?

    "Small - very tiny - as you've got Bairstow and Root, then you're down to people who failed - Ben Stokes, a keeper out of nick and a tail who won't be able to read the leg-spinner. If Adil Rashid plays a shot like he did in the first innings, it'll be over pretty quickly. There's no swing and seam, just nice slow turn."

  13. Post update

    Right then... it's time to see what Geoffrey thinks about it all.

  14. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Elliot GC: We backed Cook when he went through a barren spell and he came back with a bang. Why not support Bell too?

  15. Email

    Daniel Dyer: Give Bell a bit longer. Taylor has to come in, a good player of spin. Root to tidy up the opening spot. Team for final Test: Cook, Root, Bell, Taylor, Moeen, Bairstow, Stokes, Rashid, Broad, Wood, Anderson.

  16. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Ian Bell

    "The big talking point is Ian Bell - he batted much better today, but his place is still in jeopardy. You've got to start looking back at the last 15-20 Test matches... is he still one of England's best six batsmen in this party? If he is, keep playing him."

  17. Email

    Samuel Harvey-O'Connell: I feel Moeen Ali's position should also be in question. Neither specialist batsman or bowler, he seems to have survived on being able to do a bit of both. I think Rashid deserves a run in the side. Full-time spinner with the potential to bat. With confidence he could establish himself as a proper number seven or eight and solve our current spin issue. All these part-time spinners are not the answer. Moeen, Bell, Buttler to go please. Taylor and Rashid in. I'm unsure as to the opening batsman issue but I would like to see how James Vince fares.

  18. View from the press box

  19. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Moeen's proved what we all knew - he's not an opening batsman. They thought it was the only way they could play spinners, but they could drop Buttler, give Bairstow the gloves, put Moeen back in the middle order and open with Alex Hales. And get James Taylor in at three, a good Notts lad."

  20. Recap

    Jonny Bairstow bats for England

    When Pakistan finally declared after lunch, England lost Moeen Ali and Alastair Cook with just 19 on the board. Perhaps more worryingly, skipper Cook was clearly hindered by injury and looks like he could be a doubt for the final Test.

    Pakistan's hopes of winning on the fourth day were quickly snuffed out by Joe Root and Ian Bell, who were almost chance-less until the latter was caught behind off Zulfiqar.

    Root (59) and a nervy Jonny Bairstow (6) saw England through to the close.

  21. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Kendall: I want to see every time-wasting trick in the book from England after the last day of the previous Test.

  22. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "The fact that they've only lost three wickets is kudos to England. Very poor misjudgement from Pakistan to bat on after lunch, they were very laissez-faire. But England won't be thinking about scoring 361 more, unless they get within 50 with five or more wickets left."

  23. Close of play scorecard

    England 130-3 (54 overs) - victory target 491

    Batsmen: Root 59*, Bairstow 6*

    Fall of wickets: 9-1 (Moeen 1), 19-2 (Cook 10), 121-3 (Bell 46)

    Bowling figures: Imran 6-2-16-1, Riaz 8-1-15-0, Yasir 16-5-37-1, Malik 6-0-32-0, Zulfiqar 18-7-24-1.

    Pakistan 378 (Misbah 102, Shafiq 83) & 354-6 dec (Younus 118, Misbah 87, Shafiq 79, Hafeez 51)

    England first innings 242 (Root 88, Cook 65, Riaz 4-66, Yasir 4-93)

    Pakistan won toss

    Full scorecard

  24. Recap

    So, let's recap on the day.

    It started with Pakistan batting, and the hosts increased their lead slowly but surely to set England an improbable world-record chase of 491. Younus Khan top-scored with 118 while Asad Shafiq played well for his 79. James Anderson was the pick of the England bowlers with 2-22 off 15 overs.

  25. Eng 130-3

    As the players troop off, England coach Trevor Bayliss inhales sharply up on the players' balcony. It could have been a lot worse but for Joe Root's superb 59 from 134 balls.

  26. Close of play

    Eng 130-3

    Phew... it's been a nerve-wracking final half hour, but England reach the close without further loss. Jonny Bairstow plays out a maiden. Never in doubt.

  27. The Bell Debate


    Rick, London: Ridiculous to think someone with one or two failed Test match innings and no recent cricket would do better than a player with 7500 Test runs and four Ashes victories. Well played today Belly!

  28. Eng 130-3 (target 491)

    As the floodlights begin to take over from natural light, the sweat glistens on Joe Root's face - which, by the way, is a study in concentration. He might be a cheeky chappy, but he knows when to knuckle down. Maiden over, and England have just one more set of six to survive.

  29. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Bowling at Northampton was a help and a hindrance as I knew how to bowl on turning pitches, but didn't know how to bowl on flat ones. I improved as a bowler after moving to Notts."

  30. Eng 130-3 (Root 59, Bairstow 6)

    Yasir Shah rips one out of the rough and Jonny Bairstow is nowhere near it. He looks like a rabbit in the headlights. I want him to succeed... but does he have the game to?

  31. The Bell Debate

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    JoElle: So do England stick with Bell, or pick another player who's prepared to be the whipping boy for the vocal minority of whingers?

    Alastair McCloskey: Bell averaging 39 in the series so far - not amazing, but seems odd to drop now rather than earlier in the summer.

  32. Eng 130-3 (target 491)

    Maiden over from Zulfiqar. England still in there fighting as we debate the top line in our match report.

    Is it that England are facing defeat? Or is there still hope?

  33. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I would only go over the wicket to left-handers as a final act of desperation, and even then, pitch the ball on leg stump and try to get them lbw or caught at slip. I wouldn't bowl outside leg stump, even into rough.

    "If I go round the wicket to left-handers, I try to pitch it on middle and leg and get them lbw, bowled or caught. That's why I enjoyed bowling to left-handers more than right-handers."

  34. Eng 130-3 (Root 59, Bairstow 6)

    Jonny Bairstow, despite being relentlessly chirped by the close fielders, survives. Four overs left in the day if the light holds.

  35. The Bell Debate

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Lewis James: I think that's time up for Bell. Excellent servant for English cricket, but we have introduce James Taylor into this team.

    Arbab Bhatti: Why did Bell not walk?! Wasn't even close he knew it hit his glove!

    Joe Parkes: ...and cue the Bell Whingers...

  36. Eng 130-3 (target 491)

    A number four should never have to protect a number five batsmen, but you sense Joe Root taking a single and exposing Jonny Bairstow to Yasir Shah for five deliveries might not be the wisest thing to do...

  37. The Bell Debate

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Steve Clark: Getting a 40 or 50 every five innings isn't enough. Time to say thanks and goodbye to Bell.

    Seb Waddington: If Bell's going to pad that away his hands have to be higher! Shouldn't get out like that.

    David: Stop the Ian Bell abuse, such a great player.

  38. Eng 129-3 (Root 58 off 121)

    Oh my days! Jonny Bairstow is playing extravagant leaves to Zulfiqar who is getting straighter and straighter in his line before he's almost cleaning out the off stump. Who's the nightwatchman? Get padded up.

  39. Howay the lads

  40. Email

    Ben Bartlett: Would love to see Scott Borthwick get a chance as number three. Has become a classy and consistent batsmen for Durham with over 1,200 runs again last year, and along with Root can offer some overs of spin to back up Ali in SA.

    Team for South Africa: Cook, Hales, Borthwick, Root, Taylor, Stokes, Bairstow, Ali, Broad, Wood, Anderson.

  41. Eng 129-3 (target 491)

    Yasir Shah

    Yasir Shah is also going round the wicket - if he lands one in the rough it could spin a country mile. Knowing, however, he's unlikely to be given out lbw with this line of attack the batsman is happy to stick his back pad out. Root plays out a maiden.

  42. Eng 129-3 (Root 58, Bairstow 6)

    Zulfiqar tries the same mode of attack to Joe Root which got rid of Ian Bell. Root, however, drops his hands and waits for the single opportunity to come around. Jonny Bairstow is less convincing.

  43. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Peter Swales: So what has Bairstow done wrong? Kept well - as opposed to Buttler - scores consistently - fields well too; what's to dislike.

  44. Eng 127-3 (target 491)

    Joe Root is attended to by a physio

    Joe Root, by the way, has been doing back exercises with the physio every time there's a break in play. Let's hope it's more preventative than something more sinister. I dread to think how England would fare if both Root and skipper Alastair Cook were ruled out of the next Test.

  45. The Bell Debate

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    The 95th: Ian Bell only seems to score runs nowadays in the innings before he's about to get dropped.

    CDNesbitt: Bell departs. Is that it for England in this match? And is that it for Bell's international career?

    Chris Harden: So is that Ian Bell's last Test match innings for England? If so then well played and thanks for the memories!

  46. Eng 125-3 (Root 56, Bairstow 4)

    Jonny Bairstow

    It's down to Yorkshire to see England to the close now, and Jonny Bairstow gets off the mark with a smart cut for four.

  47. Double centurions for Ireland

    Ireland are going well on day two of their four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup game against Namibia in Windhoek. Having bowled the hosts out for 251 this morning, the Irish are 239-1 with captain William Porterfield 101 not out, and Ed Joyce unbeaten on 121.

  48. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Yasir Shah caused a bit of a threat going round the wicket, then Babar went over the wicket and got the ball to spit out of the rough. It's a shame for Bell - playing like that, I'd like to see him get another Test match in Sharjah. His game was back, and he played nicely."

  49. WICKET

    Bell c Sarfraz b Babar 46 (Eng 121-3)

    Ian Bell is dismissed

    He's gone. Great review by Pakistan, with replays showing the ball flicked the glove on the way through.

    Does that one innings sum up Bell's career in a nutshell? Promising, hopeful and then snuffed out.

  50. Review

    Eng 121-2

    Please don't lynch me if this is out.

    You know Babar, the innocuous-looking fella, well he goes over the wicket to Ian Bell who sticks out his back pad. The ball grips and flies to the wicketkeeper. Not out... but Pakistan are convinced.

  51. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "The physio's just had a trot out to have a word with Joe Root, who always seems to have a bad back, and give it a good stretch. It's probably superstitious as he's scored a lot of runs with the physio coming out. It can't be that bad, the way he's played over the last few months."

  52. 50 for Joe Root

    Eng 120-2

    Cries of 'Rooooooooootttt' echo round the stadium as Joe Root edges four past slip to bring up his 16th Test fifty. He knocks them out at will now, doesn't he? In 12 matches this year, he has reached 50 eight times. Not too shabby.

    Moments later, two byes bring up the 100 partnership between he and Ian Bell. England going along nicely.

  53. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ben: Five months ago, Geoffrey said Cook was "arrogant", "so far up himself", "thought himself untouchable". Now he's world best opener.

  54. Eng 111-2 (target 491)

    Zulfiqar will be hoping to evoke the spirit of Dubai 2014 as he attempts to spin Pakistan to victory here. It's just turned 12 months since the slow left-armer took 5-74 against Australia.

    His biggest wicket that day was David Warner, with Yasir Shah getting rid of both Michael Clarke and Steve Smith cheaply.

  55. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stephen Gardner: Hoping spirit of St. Crispin's Day & #Agincourt600 inspires English batsmen Bell & Root in final hour's play & all tomorrow.

  56. Eng 110-2 (target 491)

    Is Joe Root a once-in-a-generation cricketer? He can't have seen very much leg-spin, certainly quality leg-spin, in his career yet he looks good against Yasir Shah. Sitting back in his crease, he forces a single into the off side before England benefit from three byes.

  57. Post update

    Back to the leg-spin of Yasir Shah...

  58. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mark Savile: Babar looking innocuous? Potential mockers if ever I've heard.

  59. Eng 105-2 (Root 46, Bell 45)

    Zulfiqar Babar

    The shadows are lengthening now and there's a few flutters in the England dressing room when Babar rips one past Joe Root's outside edge. Told you he was good.

  60. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Charles Isere: Getting a bit ahead of myself... Imagine the grief Misbah will get if England bat this out with only 350 on the scoreboard.

  61. Eng 104-2 (target 491)

    Wahab Riaz

    Wahab has cranked up the pace now, testing out Joe Root's dodgy back with some chin music. The batsman plays it well though, forces the bowler to try from round the wicket and then smashes a short ball through cover for four. Class. And off the back foot too.

  62. Post update

    Charles Dagnall

    BBC Test Match Special

    "This is where Riaz did the damage yesterday, ripping through the middle order. England have got to be on their mettle."

  63. Eng 99-2 (Bell 45, Root 40)

    I'm struggling to see how Zulfiqar Babar has ever been a match-winner for Pakistan. He's looking innocuous here, especially as he comes round the wicket. Two more runs for England.

  64. Email

    Mike Norwich: I get really frustrated by the comments that it's only in the recent period that players try to score fast and do not defend enough. As long ago as the 1970s batsmen such as: Barry Richards, Viv Richards, Gary Sobers, Gordon Greenidge, Mike Procter and Clive Lloyd scored as fast as most today and played all round the wicket.

  65. Post update

    Charles Dagnall

    BBC Test Match Special

    "Did you see that little set-to between Joe Root and, we think, Wahab Riaz? There was an indication that Root wasn't happy with someone standing on the ball. We'll keep an eye on that one."

  66. Eng 97-2 (target 491)

    Mmm... this doesn't look good. It appears that one of the Pakistan players has kicked the ball during the drinks break. Joe Root is furious and lets his feelings be known. He's not happy, believing it could give the hosts an unfair advantage if spikes were involved.

    Ian Bell, meanwhile, is lucky not to chop on to his own stumps when he gets into a tangle with a Wahab bouncer. Wisely, he drops his hands to the next one and it sails through to the keeper. He then manages a single to allow Wahab and Root to resume hostilities.

  67. The Bell Debate

    Text 81111

    Ben: Glad Bell is finally scoring but is it worth the previous innings he hasn't? Would rather have open door rotation of in/out of form players than persist with a few out of loyalty.

    Matt Warwick: I have nothing against Bell, but he is a mediocre player these days. Over the last four years (48 Tests) he has averaged 34. He had one good series against Australia, but nothing else of note.

  68. Eng 96-2 (Bell 42, Root 40)

    For those ticking off the overs, another harmless set of six pass by. England's score is advanced by two.

  69. Scorecard update

    England 94-2 (36 overs) - victory target 491

    Batsmen: Bell 41*, Root 39*

    Fall of wickets: 9-1 (Moeen 1), 19-2 (Cook 10)

    Bowling figures: Imran 6-2-16-1, Riaz 6-1-9-0, Yasir 9-2-24-1, Malik 6-0-32-0, Zulfiqar 9-4-12-0.

    Pakistan 378 (Misbah 102, Shafiq 83) & 354-6 dec (Younus 118, Misbah 87, Shafiq 79, Hafeez 51)

    England first innings 242 (Root 88, Cook 65, Riaz 4-66, Yasir 4-93)

    Pakistan won toss

    Full scorecard

  70. Eng 94-2 (Bell 41 off 103)

    Ian Bell and Joe Root

    I do understand the theory of wanting somebody to fail because you don't want one knock to mask their deficiencies... but surely an in-form Ian Bell would be an asset to England for two or three more years? If he plays like this more often, he's up there with the best. Hopefully there isn't a silly shot around the corner with the close of play looming. Just one from the over - a scampered single to mid-off for Joe Root.

  71. The two sides of The Bell Debate

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Horatio McSherry: It's a sad state of affairs when you partly want Bell to get out so the usual suspects can't hail him as the saviour of cricket.

    Karl Barrett: This is why you keep Bell in the team, has the experience to grind down attacks.

  72. Post update

    Ramiz Raja

    Ex-Pakistan captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Pakistan have looked a bit low in their body language. They're waiting for the batsmen to make a mistake. It's been England's session so far - they have weathered the storm."

  73. Eng 93-2 (35 overs)

    Joe Root plays this shot as well as anyone in world cricket... he sits back in his crease to the off-spinner and then forces the ball off the back foot and square of the wicket. This time it brings him three.

  74. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    James Lovegrove: I have faith Eng can salvage this Test. Root to lead the charge and Bell to anchor him. Might put a cheeky fiver on an Eng win.

    Peterfeet: Good for England - six-minute overs. Pakistan not helping themselves.

  75. Eng 89-2 (Bell 40, Root 35)

    Wahab Riaz

    Wahab is one of those bowlers who seems to need a bit of time to go through the gears and then, all of a sudden, he's whistling the ball past the batsman's grille at 90mph and bowling stump-seeking inswinging yorkers. He's still in second gear for now as he hangs the ball outside the off stump. Joe Root refuses to nibble.

  76. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Andy McHale: Things aren't that bad England. You only have another 400odd to get in 100+ overs. I mean look what India have to chase in 50!

  77. Superb De Villiers rocks Mumbai

    AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis

    South Africa have made a massive 438-4 in their fifth ODI against India in Mumbai - equalling their score from that famous run-fest against Australia back in 2006.

    There were three centurions - Quinton de Kock (109), Faf du Plessis (133) and AB de Villiers (119 from 61 balls with 11 sixes). Four if you count Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took 1-106 from 10 overs.

  78. Eng 89-2 (21 overs left in the day)

    A lofted sweep gets Pakistan briefly excited, but Ian Bell knows what he's doing today - another two runs edge him closer to the forties. Shoaib Malik looks more of a threat than Zulfiqar, while Yasir Shah appears to be keeping his power dry for the middle to lower order.

  79. Post update

    Phil Tufnell

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Lionel Messi

    "Joe Root has just looked head and shoulders above all the English batsmen. It must be like playing football with Messi or Ronaldo. It's great that he's in your side, but it must make you feel a bit inadequate."

  80. Eng 85-2 (target 491)

    The five players to have dismissed Joe Root the most are all pace bowlers (Ryan Harris, Tim Southee, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Trent Boult). Interestingly, all of them are capable of some movement off the seam and the latter three are left-arm quick - as is Wahab, who dismissed Root in the first innings. Expect a fiery spell before the close of play.

    Just one (a no-ball) from the over.

  81. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ben Thomas: Bairstow has hardly set Test cricket alight, why does everyone assume he should automatically keep his place ahead of Buttler?

    Totum: Is Bell going to, once again, snatch a stay of execution from the jaws of Gest cricket expulsion? He's been a bit Houdini before.

  82. Post update

    Wahab Riaz

    Wahab Riaz is back for a blast. This could be a key time tonight.

  83. The two sides of The Bell Debate


    Harry in Bucks: Would be typical of Bell to score a pointless 100 in a losing effort, keep his place for another year.

    TH, London: It saddens me how disrespectful 'fans' are to Bell. Through years of Aussie misery he was one of the key men to allow England to compete in the Ashes again. If anyone in the England team deserves chances, he's earned them well and truly. Never wanted a player to get a ton more than Belly. Come on lad!

  84. Eng 84-2 (Bell 36, Root 35)

    Tim Sherwood

    Aston Villa supporter Ian Bell might be checking his phone tonight, reading up on Tim Sherwood's sacking as Villa manager. You mean you didn't know? Head over here for reaction to the sacking as it happens.

    A little wobble for Bell too, as Shoaib spins one past the Warwickshire man's outside edge. A slow turner.

  85. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Andy Donley: You need your batsmen to be selfish in this situation. You've got two days, play for yourself and improve your stats.

    John-Paul Kesseler: Operation Save My Career has started pretty well for Ian Bell.

  86. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "There are two predators at short leg and silly point waiting to scavenge a catch."

  87. Eng 81-2 (target 491)

    Zulfiqar looks like he's trying to push the ball through a little quicker, trying to hurry the batsmen. The two Englishmen look to have loads of time, however, as they wait for a bit of width and knock the ball into gaps.

  88. Email

    Neil, Birmingham: I'd love to see Somerset's Tom Abell around the squad. He's not torn up the Championship but he's built to be a Test cricketer. Great technique and doesn't try and rush things.

  89. Eng 80-2 (Bell 35, Root 32)

    Joe Root

    Joe Root is quite crouched in his crease and has an open stance against the off-spin of Shoaib Malik who is going round the wicket. Very little spin and the right-hander chops four backward of point.

    Another seven chipped from the target. From small acorns grow mighty oaks and all that...

  90. Eng 73-2 (target 491)

    Joe Root and Ian Bell

    You can get odds of 74-1 on England winning this Test. The draw is 8-1 with some bookmakers. A good guide as to the likely result?

    Maybe not, because Ian Bell and Joe Root look comfortable out there. Please don't allow this to be a commentator's curse, but it has to be said how well they are batting.

  91. Post update

    Charles Dagnall

    BBC Test Match Special

    "A bit of a concern for Misbah because Yasir Shah is his big weapon - he has 1-14 off nine but he has not looked overly threatening."

  92. Text 81111

    George: Oh look. No one texting in to say how well Bell is playing. Typical...

  93. Eng 73-2 (Bell 35 off 73)

    Ian Bell sweeps a single to bring up the fifty partnership between himself and Joe Root - well done, boys. Just do that another eight times please.

  94. Text 81111

    Mick, London: Bit of a net this. Serene from Root and dare I say it, Bell.

  95. Eng 68-2 (Root 23 off 51)

    Brad Pitt

    I've also done an internet search on Joe Root and discovered he'd like Brad Pitt to star in the movie of his life, his favourite fancy dress costume is Super Mario and he'd choose to be a lion if he was an animal. Maiden over.

  96. Email

    Michael Deighton: Just a thought - Pakistan were 80-odd for 3 in both innings and have compiled big totals over significant periods of time in this match. England just need to show some fight. And concentration.

  97. Eng 68-2 (target 491)

    A quick internet search tells me that Ian Bell's favourite night in involves watching CSI and eating pizza. Perhaps if he stays there until the close, we can persuade Claudio Ranieri to get the pizzas in for Belly later? England's number three looks in good touch today - particularly quick to latch on to a half-tracker from Yasir Shah and pull it to the boundary. The second of two fours in the over.

  98. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If I'm the England batting coach, I would show Jonny Bairstow how Joe Root and Ian Bell play that shot - with a straight bat rather than a horizontal bat. As I told the prime minister, play it with more left elbow, left shoulder."

  99. Eng 60-2 (target 491)

    Joe Root scores only the second boundary of his innings when he rocks back in his crease and punches through point off the back foot. He's helped by some poor fielding from Mohammad Hafeez.

  100. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    First Line: Very confusing to hear the news of Pakistan threatening a Boycott! What did he say this time?

  101. Eng 54-2 (Bell 24, Root 17)

    Joe Root

    Joe Root, wearing long sleeves, is watchful against the fizzing leg-breaks of Yasir Shah. Just one from the over when the right-hander picks the googly and works it round the corner.

  102. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Simon: Batsmen have to love defence in this situation - enjoy the bowler's expression when he charges in hard just for you to block it.

  103. Eng 53-2 (target 491)

    Sarfraz Ahmed

    Sarfraz Ahmed is a noisy wicketkeeper - screaming and shouting his way through each over. Ian Bell has seen it all before though and he punches Zulfiqar for two off the back foot.

  104. Email

    Adam Roberts: So let me get this right, Paul Donnelly (10.59) is dropping Anderson?

    Nigel Webb: Why is Jason Roy never talked about as a Test opener? His first class average is very similar to Marcus Trescothick's before his Test debut.

    Joe McLusky: The problem with making wholesale changes for the next Test is we still have a series to save. If we lose it looks disrespectful to some classy opposition, but this current batting line-up can't continue which means that's got to be worth the risk.

  105. Eng 51-2 (Yasir 7-2-15-1)

    Yasir Shah puts more energy into his delivery than some medium pacers. A little hop, skip and sprint to the crease and he really fizzes the ball through. Joe Root is sitting deep in his crease, enabling him more time to pick the variations and choose which shot to play. Another maiden.

  106. Eng 51-2 (target 491)

    Zulfiqar Babar

    Zulfiqar is coming round the wicket to Ian Bell, trying to run the ball across the face and bring the two slip catchers into play. It doesn't seem to be working so one of the slips becomes a silly mid-off. Bell just pats back a maiden over.

  107. Email

    Richard, Norwich: It is all very well demanding change but only if there are genuine alternatives. Agree Taylor deserves a chance, but Hales's technique has been found wanting against pace even in one-day cricket. Bairstow averaging even less than Bell this series, even if more than Buttler. Scoring loads in a County Championship bereft of genuine Test-class bowlers is no guide either. Ask Compton, Carberry, Robson and Lyth. Trescothick had barely scored a run in county cricket when Fletcher picked him on attitude and temperament as much as anything else. There will be other players like that. Get the umpires heavily involved in selection. They have the best seat in the house in all conditions, are still mostly former players and not swayed by team allegiances like captains.

  108. Eng 51-2 (Bell 22, Root 16)

    Ian Bell

    Ian Bell averages 35 in the fourth innings of Tests throughout his career, with Joe Root averaging 48.

    Both men are scoring quite freely against the leg-spin of Yasir Shah for now - Bell forcing three through the off side and Root playing a similar shot which brings two.

  109. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The people who had to play on uncovered pitches had to have better technique. We didn't have T20, we didn't even have 50-over cricket. I thought Christmas had come early when they covered pitches in 1979, I was 38 years old."

  110. Eng 46-2 (target 491)

    Zulfiqar averages 40.42 with the ball in Test cricket. Surely he won't be causing England too many problems? A steady start after tea, just one run from it.

  111. Proteas looking ominous

    South Africa look set for a big total in the final ODI against India in Mumbai. The tourists are 309-2 in the 41st over, with Faf du Plessis (98 from 103 balls) and AB de Villiers (72 from 42) having already added 122.

    Follow the latest scorecard here.

  112. Swann & Tufnell Q&A

    Graeme Swann and Phil Tufnell

    If you missed the lunchtime Q&A with Graeme Swann and Phil Tufnell on TMS, you can listen again here or download it as a podcast.

  113. Eng 45-2

    Let's crack on with the cricket then. There's 37 overs left in the day if the light holds.

  114. Clowning about in the press box

    The Mirror's Dean Wilson has been perfecting his wrestling moves on Graeme Swann...

  115. Email

    Judith Tanner: We all know Moeen Ali is a misfit as an opener, but he shouldn't be dropped. So: Bring in Alex Hales (I'm not totally convinced about him as a Test batsman, but he's the next cab on the rank), give Jos Buttler a rest, in view of his current form, and give the gloves to Jonny Bairstow, and you've now got a space for Mo at number seven.

    Paul Donnelly: Team for 3rd Test: Cook, Bell, Taylor, Root, Hales, Bairstow (wk), Moeen, Stokes, Rashid, Broad, Wood.

  116. Post update

    Phil Tufnell

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Moeen Ali

    "I'm not sure Moeen Ali is suited to opening. He gives us so much flair lower down the order, either ramming home the advantage or seizing the momentum. He's such a free spirit, but let's put this experiment back in its box. I think they might try Alex Hales in the third Test."

  117. Post update

    There's something inside me which always makes me believe victory is still possible. I know it defies all logic, but if there's no hope there's no point, right?

  118. Post update

    It's not looking good for England, is it? But while England have got Root, they've got a chance. If these two can just get through to the close...

  119. Post update

    Morning all. Marc Higginson checking back in. Have I missed anything?

  120. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jon Evans: To be fair, when in form, these two are both capable of double hundreds...

  121. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England have got an Ian Bell who looks more positive than recently. I don't think 50 or 60 will do for him this knock, I think he needs a 100 to save his place. Joe Root looks in good form and then the rest of the boys in the middle order need to show their worth.

    "This is a tall order... but if anyone can do it, Joe Root can."

  122. Post update

    Indeed. England's job is that much harder than it was two hours ago, with Moeen Ali and, more importantly, Alastair Cook gone. Ian But Ian Bell, a veteran of 117 Tests, is still there alongside all-round legend Joe Root.

  123. Post update

    Simon Mann

    BBC Test Match Special

    "That's another session won by Pakistan. England have got four more to survive."

  124. Tea on TMS

  125. Tea scorecard

    England 45-2 (17 overs) - victory target 491

    Batsmen: Bell 18*, Root 14*

    Fall of wickets: 9-1 (Moeen 1), 19-2 (Cook 10)

    Bowling figures: Imran 6-2-16-1, Riaz 3-0-7-0, Yasir 5-1-10-1, Malik 1-0-9-0, Zulfiqar 2-1-2-0.

    Pakistan 378 (Misbah 102, Shafiq 83) & 354-6 dec (Younus 118, Misbah 87, Shafiq 79, Hafeez 51)

    England first innings 242 (Root 88, Cook 65, Riaz 4-66, Yasir 4-93)

    Pakistan won toss

    Full scorecard

  126. Tea interval - Eng 45-2 (target 491)

    Root making good use of a big stride forward in defence - and working to leg for a couple when Yasir just drifts on to his pads. A good contest, this. The over is negotiated. And that's tea.

  127. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    CDNesbitt: Give Hales a go at opening in the next Test, put Moeen in at five or six, drop Buttler and make Bairstow keep wicket.

  128. Eng 43-2

    There's a tiger teddy bear lay on a chair in the stand. Why would you bring that the cricket with you? Unless it doubles as a cool bag? Has anyone got any strange stories of objects in the crowd? Maiden from Zulfiqar. Time for one more before tea.

  129. Text 81111

    Peter, did you mean to send this to the cricket live text..?

    Peter: I love the dark nights: the chickens are penned up, the horses done, dogs walked, heating on and supper on the stove. Great.

  130. Eng 43-2 (target 491)

    Malik's job is done - Yasir Shah just fancies a change of ends. He almost hurries one through Root's forcing shot. That's awfully straight to be aiming to cover, Joe.

  131. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Poor Shoaib Malik does his skipper a favour by bowling one over to allow the bowler to change ends and the fielder chucks four overthrows. He could have had a wicket too, but now he's got figures of 1-0-9-0."

  132. Eng 41-2 (14 overs)

    Zulfiqar Babar

    Another bowling change... and Zulfiqar Babar finds turn and bounce straightaway. Bell watchful. Close catchers noisy. An edge just evades slip.

  133. Email

    Mark, Madrid: 45 teams have batted at least 135 overs (approximately what England's ration will be with bad light to survive) in the fourthth innings of a Test. There have been:

    Six wins (twice England have batted at least 135 overs in the fourth innings to win, the last time v NZ in 1997, when England took 146.1 overs to score 307-6), 18 draws and 21 defeats.

    Not very encouraging for England, but not so desperately depressing. Such long fourth innings have happened only five times in Asia (twice in India, twice in Bangladesh & once in Sri Lanka), leading to four draws for the batting side and one win.

  134. Eng 39-2 (Bell 15, Root 10)

    We have spin at both ends Shoaib Malik replaces Imran Khan. The offie is slightly loose - he can't quite find his length - although he's not helped by four overthrows from Mohammad Hafeez as the ball bounces over keeper Sarfraz. Sloppy.

  135. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Ian Bell is batting like a man who knows it could be his last knock. If he gets a hundred here, we should always tell him it's his last chance because of the effect it has had on his feet."

  136. Eng 30-2 (target 491)

    Bell is making a conscious effort to get his feet moving, particularly to Yasir Shah. By coming down the wicket one ball, he persuades Yasir to drop the next one a little shorter - and cuts through a packed off-side field. On saying that, I'm still not convinced by Bell - It all looks a bit pre-meditated to me. Then again, what do I know?

  137. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Joe Root

    "With that Joe Root shot to the boundary, we saw the difference between England's current best player and England's former best player. Ian Bell poked around at the same ball and Root smashed it to the boundary."

  138. Eng 25-2 (Khan 6-2-16-1)

    Khan has been on the money so far in this spell. But even he can't keep Joe Root in check. Everyone's favourite Yorkshireman forces behind point for four to get off the mark.

  139. Email

    Robert Allen: Come on Ian, if there ever was a time for a career-saving hundred, this is it.

    Mike in Greece: So, of his previous 20 innings, Bell's already bettered eight of them. There can't be many in the side that can lay claim to that.

    Glen, Leeds: Worst thing for England, with SA looming, is for Bell to get a century here in a nothing match. His time has come - Taylor all the way for me, not a negative thought in his head.

  140. Eng 19-2 (target 491)

    Joe Root

    Joe Root, the new man, pads up to one that pitches well outside leg stump - but no joy for the bowler. Yasir wants a review. His captain disagrees. "Don't be silly, young man."

  141. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Alastair Cook

    "He's not fit, he doesn't look comfortable. He went for the sweep which served him so well when he scored 200 in Abu Dhabi but found the top edge. One of the two reasons why England could possibly save this game is out and is replaced by the other."

  142. WICKET

    Cook c Riaz b Yasir 10 (Eng 19-2)

    Alastair Cook is caught

    Game over, perhaps? Cook goes. And it doesn't make pretty viewing. Yasir goes round the wicket, Cook top-edges a sweep from well outside off stump and Wahab Riaz runs to his right at deep backward square-leg to take a smart catch. England's lynchpin is back in the hutch.

  143. Scorecard update

    England 19-1 (9 overs) - victory target 491

    Batsmen: Cook 10*, Bell 7*

    Fall of wickets: 9-1 (Moeen 1)

    Bowling figures: Imran 5-2-10-1, Riaz 3-0-7-0, Yasir 1-0-1-0.

    Pakistan 378 (Misbah 102, Shafiq 83) & 354-6 dec (Younus 118, Misbah 87, Shafiq 79, Hafeez 51)

    England first innings 242 (Root 88, Cook 65, Riaz 4-66, Yasir 4-93)

    Pakistan won toss

    Full scorecard