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Cook, Hales century stand caps England fightback

England 297 and 120 for 0 (Cook 61*, Hales 50*) lead Pakistan 400 (Azhar 139, Aslam 82, Misbah 56) by 17 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The worm turns again. There is some wonderful Test cricket being played at the moment and the Edgbaston Test could bubble up into a humdinger after Alastair Cook and Alex Hales wiped out Pakistan's lead with an unbroken stand of 117 on a day that England showed commendable resilience.

Cook closed on 61, during which he become England's leading run-scorer across all formats - overtaking Kevin Pietersen - although of more immediate relevance was the assurance with which he played, reaching fifty off 67 balls. Hales was less fluent, but showed the determination he had against Sri Lanka earlier in the season and brought up his fifty from 116 balls off the final delivery of the day. The century stand was this pair's first in Test cricket, in their 18th innings together, and England's first since Cook and Moeen Ali in Abu Dhabi last October.

Pakistan's eventual advantage of 103 was good, but perhaps short of what they would have hoped for late on Thursday before Azhar Ali edged the final delivery of the day. In total, their last eight wickets fell for 143, with the last five managing just 42 as the flimsy lower order was exposed once Misbah-ul-Haq's diligent half-century was ended.

England's seamers bowled well (Moeen was only entrusted with two overs in the day) although James Anderson was ordered out of the attack after encroaching on the danger area for a third time - the second time in the year he had been removed having also transgressed in Johannesburg. But by then Pakistan were eight down and England were able to soak up his absence. Chris Woakes continued to impress to finish with three wickets while England earned another scalp through their fielding when Yasir Shah was run out.

Unlike the opening day, England's openers were able to start in sunshine and the surface remained placid. The Pakistan seamers fed Cook with too much width early on and the fifty stand came up in the 15th over, with Cook contributing 36 of them. The pace did not slow, aided by Hales also finding his groove after some hard work, notably when he flicked Yasir over the leg side. There was little help for Yasir, although he did spin one to bring an lbw appeal against Hales which went to review but had pitched outside leg.

It was Hales who took England into the lead with a textbook back-foot punch off Sohail Khan who struggled to replicate his first-innings performance. Mohammad Amir was the pick of the quicks, but Misbah will need a telling contribution from Yasir on the fourth day. When the players walked off, with nine overs unbowled due to various delays, there was a very different feel to the match than a few hours earlier.

A key element to this match could yet be the control England managed to exert with the ball, meaning that even when wickets were not falling the innings did not run away from them. The third morning, which began with Pakistan 40 adrift, started in a similar manner to the previous day with them willing to soak up the pressure: Anderson's opening five-over spell cost just four runs and while Pakistan had plenty of wickets in hand they were content, but their approach did mean the lengthy tail remained a get-out for England if they could break through.

Younis Khan was slightly less jumpy than in the first two Tests but could not escape his rut, providing England their first wicket of the day when he glanced Woakes down the leg side - a similar dismissal to the first innings at Old Trafford off Ben Stokes.

Misbah continued to leave and defend against some tight bowling, only occasionally breaking free when he drove Stuart Broad for consecutive boundaries, in a manner very similar to how he has played throughout this cluster of England Tests in the last eight months. By lunch, the runs had started to come more freely.

Asad Shafiq started brightly at Lord's but has been slightly less productive since and could not break the shackles in an 18-ball stay before losing his off stump when Broad made a delivery nip back which he was late on. At that point, Pakistan were yet to take the lead and England sniffed a chance to keep the Test even.

Not for the first time, Sarfraz Ahmed's appearance brought energy to the innings, both in his punchy strokeplay and eagerness to keep the strike rotating. Misbah's early caution was also rewarded as he moved from 7 off 39 balls to a half-century off 93, although one of his boundaries came when an edge flashed past Joe Root who was stood at a very close third slip.

His dismissal had a dose of bad fortune about it, although Anderson was unlikely to see it that way, when he defended at a ball which then came off pad and boot into the stumps. It gave England an opening at the lower order and brought a period where the umpires were in the thick of the action.

A superb piece of fielding from Woakes at deep square beat Yasir attempt to come back for a second, Jonny Bairstow doing well to gather the throw and break the stumps with his elbow - a dismissal which led to a thumbing of the Laws: it was perfectly legal, a run out can be completed by hand to arm providing the ball is under control.

Amir's wicket also needed the intervention of the TV umpire when Woakes rightly thought the lbw shout had struck pad first, while Sohail was lbw walking across his stumps at Broad. By then Anderson had been removed from the attack by Joel Wilson, following further feedback from the third umpire, and his over was completed by Steven Finn who was destined to end wicketless again when Cook added to England's list of dropped catches by shelling Rahat Ali at slip. It was the last moment that did not go right for them.