• Reuters


England is aiming to score at least 500 in its first innings, a tired captain Alastair Cook said after his unbeaten 168 helped the tourists reduce Pakistan’s lead on Thursday, the third day of the first test.

Pakistan, playing in the United Arab Emirates, is unbeaten in seven series in its adopted home, a run that includes a 3-0 whitewash against England in 2012.

The tourists looked set for more misery after Pakistan declared on 523-8 on Wednesday, but Cook then batted all day as he made a record-extending 28th England test century to help his side reach 290-3 by the close.

“It has been tough physically and I’m pleased to have got through that last hour and a half when I was a little bit tired,” Cook told Sky Sports. “We have got to get ourselves up to 500.”

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