SHARJAH: England managed to get the better of Pakistan for a second consecutive day when they finished on a score of 222 for four at stumps on Day Two of the ongoing third and final Test at Sharjah.
They were trailing Pakistan’s first innings score of 234 by 12 runs at the end of day’s play with six wickets in hand, although they would be missing out on the services of Ben Stokes after he sustained an injury on his right shoulder on Day One of the series finale.
James Taylor was batting on a score of 74 his maiden Test fifty with Jonny Bairstow batting at the other end on 37.
The duo look in solid control of the game at the moment, having added 60 runs for the fifth wicket so far, and will look to preserve their stand atleast until their side gets within the 300-run mark.
Both batsmen handled the pressure well following the departure of Ian Bell after tea, playing slow, patient knocks while flexing their arms for a boundary on an occasional basis.
Pakistan had exerted pressure on the two batsmen for the most part, although the situation was reversed towards the closing stages of the day’s play.
The day began with England resuming from their overnight score of four for no loss, with skipper Alastair Cook yet to get off the mark.
Pakistan drew first blood shortly after the start of play, with Shoaib Malik getting the breakthrough after Moeen attempted a sweep off a delivery that was pitched between the middle and off-stump. It resulted in a simple catch for Younis Khan at the slips.
Ian Bell, who has received the backing of coach Trevor Bayliss for the No. 3 slot despite a poor run of form, arrived at the crease alongside Cook as the duo began to tackle the Pakistani spinners.
Much like the opening day, Cook managed to help England recover from the early blow, guiding them to 87 for 1 at lunch. The England skipper himself was batting on 49, just a run away from his 46th Test fifty.
The similarities between the first two days of the final Test did not end there. Much like the opening day, a set batsman was dismissed shortly after lunch as Yasir getting the prized wicket of Cook, who departed for a 119-ball 49.