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England fight back with Hales, Cook fifties

Alastair Cook (left) and Alex Hales (right) shared an unbeaten 120-run stand.
Alastair Cook (left) and Alex Hales (right) shared an unbeaten 120-run stand.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England 297 & 120-0 (Cook 64no) v
Pakistan 400 (Azhar 139)
Third Test, day three, Birmingham

After bowling Pakistan out for 400 runs in their first innings, England fought their way back as Alastair Cook and Alex Hales shared an unbeaten 120-run stand to eke out a slender 17-run lead by the end of day three of the third Test in Birmingham.

Pakistan resumed their batting on the overnight score of 257 for three. Seven overs into the morning session, Chris Woakes (3-79) had Younis Khan (31) caught behind.

Misbah-ul-Haq (56) steadied the boat and took Pakistan to 288 for four by the end of the first hour of the session.

However, Asad Shafiq (0), who failed to open his account during his 40-minute stay, was castled by Stuart Broad (3-83) in the 106th over.

Misbah and Sarfraz Ahmed (46 not out) took Pakistan to safety at 336 for five at the end of the first session.

The Pakistan captain completed his fifty in the start of the second session and along with Ahmed, he shared a 62-run stand.

The pair saw out 14.1 overs safely before the Pakistan captain dragged a James Anderson (2-54) delivery onto the stumps in the 121st over.

An over later, Yasir Shah (7) was given out LBW, but a review saved him as the impact was outside off. However, Shah was run out trying to get back for the second.

In the next over, Mohammad Amir (1) was sent back after England successfully reviewed an LBW decision and in the 125th over, Anderson was given a third official warning for transgressing the danger area on the pitch and was taken out of the attack.

Ahmed stayed unbeaten at one end, but Sohail Khan (7) and Rahat Ali (4) fell eventually as Pakistan were bowled out for 400 runs at the brink of tea. The visitors had managed to build a lead of 103 runs.

England were quite steady in their second innings with Cook (64 not out) finding the boundary regularly while Hales (50 not out) saw himself in at the other end.

The pair safely took England to 65 for naught in the first half of the final session. Cook brought up a 67-ball fifty while Hales continued to play a steady hand.

In the 30th over, Pakistan reviewed a not-out LBW decision against Hales, but the ball was pitching outside leg.

England erased their deficit in the next over while bringing up their first 100-run opening stand in the second innings since March 2013.

Hales completed his fifty off the last ball of the day. It was also the first time both the England openers scored fifties in an innings against Pakistan since August 2006.

At stumps on day three, England posted 120 for naught, having a lead of 17 runs.

© Cricket World 2016