Stumps: James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow lend England solidity in Sharjah

In his first Test since 2012 after coming in with his side delicately placed at 97 for three, Taylor came to the wicket after Alastair Cook and Joe Root had fallen in quick succession, Paul Radley reports from Sharjah.

James Taylor, right, of England bats during Day 2 of the third Test between Pakistan and England at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on November 2, 2015 in Sharjah. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
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Stumps: England 222 for four, trail Pakistan by 12 runs

James Taylor is making the most of his belated second chance at Test cricket, after posting an unbeaten 74 by the close of play on day 2 in Sharjah.

The diminutive batsman blunted Pakistan’s spin threat, as he shared a fine alliance with Jonny Bairstow to take England to within 12 runs of Pakistan’s first-innings 234.

Bairstow was undefeated on 37 at stumps.

With six second innings wickets remaining, England will feel well set to force a win and therefore a draw in the series. That said, they are effectively five-wickets down, with Ben Stokes likely to be ruled out for the remainder of the game after his shoulder injury on day 1.

Tea: England 135 for three

James Taylor was handed the chance to prove his worth to England in his first Test since 2012 after coming in with his side delicately placed at 97 for three.

Taylor came to the wicket after the two most prolific batsmen in Test cricket this year, Alastair Cook and Joe Root, had fallen in quick succession.

Cook was caught at bat-pad by Azhar Ali off Yasir Shah for 49, before Root fell to a catch at the wicket off Rahat Ali for four.

Taylor, who was recalled for this Test in a bid to shore up England’s middle order, reached 26 not out by the tea break.

Ian Bell was providing a dogged vigil at the other end on 40, as just 48 runs were added in the session.

Lunch: England 87 for one

Alastair Cook showed no obvious ill effects of the groin strain he suffered in the previous Test in Dubai, as he made it through to lunch on Day 2 undefeated.

England’s captain has placed much emphasis on scoring heavily in the first innings of matches in the UAE, and is doing his best to make good on that in Sharjah.

On a turning pitch, Cook batted in characteristically watchful fashion as he made 48 not out, with Ian Bell unbeaten on 24 at the other end.

Having bowled Pakistan out for 234 on the opening day, England have lost just the wicket of Moeen Ali so far.

The all-rounder chipped a top-edge to slip while attempting a slog-sweep in Shoaib Malik’s first over.

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