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Match is truly in the balance - James Taylor

Match is truly in the balance - James Taylor
James Taylor in action during day two of the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England batsman James Taylor feels that the third Test between England and Pakistan in Sharjah is in the balance heading into the fourth day's play.

After England took a handy 72-run lead, the Pakistan openers replied solidly with a 101-run opening stand.

However, Stuart Broad and James Anderson struck late in the day to leave Pakistan three wickets down at 146.

Taylor observed that if England can get a few quick wickets early in the fourth day, they will have a great chance of winning the game.

"It is well and truly in the balance, if we can get a couple of quick wickets then we're right in there.

“I think the wicket now is playing better than it has done all game, but it's obviously a decent batting track and they're playing well at the minute so hopefully we can get a couple of early ones tomorrow."

When asked what kind of a target England will be aiming for, Taylor sounded confident of overhauling any target that Pakistan set them.

"Never set too many limits.

“I haven't really thought too far ahead and we can't look too far ahead ourselves.

“We'll take it session by session and if we can get those early breakthroughs that we need in the morning, you never know what will happen and you never know what we can chase."

The 25-year-old himself has had a good comeback to the Test side after more than three years, having scored 76-runs in the first innings.

Though Taylor is happy with his innings, he expressed disappointment at the way he got out early in the third day.

"I was more excited to be fair.

“I know these tracks aid the spinners and I love playing out here.

“I'm enjoying my cricket more than I've ever enjoyed it, and it's always nice when you're playing for your country and you're enjoying it and you're scoring runs.

“Luckily I got a few yesterday and I felt good at the crease as well.

"I was just frustrated and bitterly disappointed with the way I got out today and it's a better batting track today.

“I got out at a bad time, especially when the pitch is playing as it is at the minute.”

Anderson and Broad have been England’s best bowlers in this Test match after having shared six wickets in the first innings.

The duo also have to share the extra load after Ben Stokes was ruled out for bowling and fielding with a collar-bone joint injury.

Nevertheless, the two pacers have been hitting excellent lines and lengths, giving nothing away to the Pakistan batsmen – thereby making runs hard to come by.

Lauding Anderson and Broad for their efforts in the series, Taylor termed their contribution on the third day as “priceless”.

“They’ve been unbelievable all series.

“They showed a lot of character there.

“The overs they’ve bowled at the back end were priceless for us and they got their just reward (with) Broady (Stuart Broad) getting that final wicket.

“The way they are bowling together, in tandem and their discipline – their economy has been outstanding.

“They’ve got the wickets as well.

“The spinners have done their role as well.”

Pakistan at stumps on day three have a lead of 74 runs with seven wickets in hand while Mohammad Hafeez is batting unbeaten on 97 runs along with the night-watchman Rahat Ali. 

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