England steady after Ali’s fall

Sharjah: England recovered from the early loss of opener Moeen Ali as they reached 87-1 at lunch on the second day of the third and final Test against Pakistan here today.

At the break skipper Alastair Cook was batting on a steady 48 and with him Ian Bell 24 not out as England trail Pakistan’s first innings total of 234 by 147 runs with nine wickets intact. Seeking to level the series after losing the second Test, England will hope to gain a big lead over Pakistan on a pitch which did not assist spinners a great deal. Resuming at 4-0, England lost Ali in the seventh over of the day when he miscued an aggressive shot off spinner Shoaib Malik and was caught in the slip by Younis Khan for 14. Cook, who made an epic 263 in the drawn first Test in Abu Dhabi, looked in no trouble as he negotiated Pakistan’s pace-cum-spin attack with confidence, hitting four boundaries off 110 balls. Bell smashed left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar early in the innings and ably supported his skipper, adding 68 runs for the unbroken second wicket partnership. James Anderson took four wickets to dismiss Pakistan for a low score of 234 on the opening day of the match.

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