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Alastair Cook and Alex Hales haul England to parity against Pakistan

• England 297 & 120-0; Pakistan 400
• England lead by 17 runs with all 10 second-innings wickets remaining

For a team who have so often played their cricket by the seat of their pants, high?wire artists without a safety net, the performance of Pakistan in the third Test has been a contrast. Prefaced by a shrewd change in personnel, which brought personal rewards for the two individuals concerned, their strategy has largely been spot on.

Opting to field first against England may have seemed a gamble but was based on considerable precedent, whereupon they bowled with discipline and caught swallows. Nor, until the last five wickets fell for 42, did the batsmen let down the bowlers. By tea on the third day, with the fall of their final wicket, they had taken the score to a round 400, and a lead over England of 103 – not quite enough to be decisive but sufficient to cause some jitters.

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