Sharjah - England's Alastair Cook hit a painstaking half-century in what
looked like a losing cause as Pakistan took four key wickets in a
vicious spell to move within sight of a 2-0 Test series victory on
At lunch on the last day, the skipper was unbeaten on 50
for his 46th half-century with Stuart Broad on 10 and 164 more runs
needed for an unlikely victory.
England could also bat out the
last two sessions for a draw, but Pakistan need just three wickets on a
turning pitch at Sharjah stadium to win the third and final Test.
were in danger of losing the match before lunch but Adil Rashid (22)
helped add 49 for the seventh wicket with Cook to delay Pakistan's win.
Cook punched paceman Rahat Ali for a single to reach 50 and has so far hit two boundaries in his 148-ball knock.
leading the three-match series 1-0 after winning the second Test in
Dubai and drawing the first Test in Abu Dhabi, dominated with
leg-spinner Yasir Shah (2-28) and left-armer Zulfiqar Babar (2-31).
England were rocked right at the start of the day, losing four wickets in the space of 31 balls after resuming at 46-2.
trapped Joe Root in the second over with a delivery that kept low and
caught the batsman in front of the stumps before he had added to his
overnight score of six.
James Taylor survived nine deliveries to
score two before Babar spun one across his bat for Younis Khan to take
the edge in the slip. In the next over, Shah trapped Jonny Bairstow
leg-before for nought.
It became 59-6 when Samit Patel was
leg-before in Babar's next over, leaving England in fear of being bowled
out for their lowest total of 72 against Pakistan they crumbled in Abu
Dhabi in 2012.
But Rashid-Cook stand get England past 100-mark before Rahat bowled Rashid with 15 minutes to go before lunch.