Moeen, Hales fail to impress
England 198 (Taylor 61, Bell 53, Hamza 4-34) drew with Pakistan A 192 for 12 (Akmal 74*, Finn 4-16, Rashid 3-53)
England completed their final warm-up match ahead of the Test series with an increasingly farcical day of batting against Pakistan A in Sharjah. Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler batted twice in pursuit of time in the middle and England called things off after 78 overs, having officially lost ten wickets to go with the retirements of Ian Bell and James Taylor.
Moeen had begun the day auditioning to be Alastair Cook's opening partner alongside Alex Hales. Both fell for single-figure scores and the sight of Moeen coming out again for a slightly more lengthy stay either side of tea was perhaps confirmation of his elevation for the Abu Dhabi Test.
Buttler also fared better second time around, adding an unbeaten 32 to the 8 he made during the afternoon session. Jonny Bairstow, a potential alternative with the gloves, made a golden duck and could find his position at No. 5 come under threat after Taylor, having retired not out on 45, returned to top-score in the innings.
Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid also failed to trouble the soon-to-be-overworked scorers as England lost 5 for 14 and the innings went down a similar route to that of Pakistan A. Mir Hamza, who collected 4 for 34, was the chief beneficiary.
When Moeen and Hales strode out to bat, England would have been hoping for at least one of them to stay at the crease for most of the day. Instead, the openers were dismissed to slip catches inside four overs and it was left to Bell, who recorded a half-century, and Taylor to take England through to lunch with a century stand.
Both then retired and the innings descended into something of a procession, as Stokes was bowled playing back to Iftikhar Ahmed's offspin, Buttler and Bairstow fell to successive deliveries from Hamza, and Rashid was stumped off the bowling of left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar. Liam Plunkett fell in the same manner before Moeen trooped back out to join Samit Patel.
When Patel gloved Junaid Khan through to the keeper after a 41-ball stay, Buttler also returned for another go in the middle. Moeen fell for a second time, lbw to Hamza after tea, allowing Taylor the opportunity to complete his half-century; his dismissal for 61 signalled the end of the innings with 12 overs theoretically left to bowl. Four days ahead of the start of the first Test, England had seen enough.