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Alastair Cook’s double ton frustrates Pakistan in first Test

Alastair Cook completed his third double century to guide England to 400 for three at lunch in the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

At the break Cook was batting on a solid 204 and Joe Root unbeaten on 76 as England added 110 runs after resuming at 290 for three in the extended two-and-a-half hour session due to Friday prayers.

The pair has added 115 for the unbroken fourth wicket stand with England just 123 behind Pakistan’s first innings total, leaving little chance of any result in the match.

Cook flicked paceman Wahab Riaz to backward square-leg for two to complete his double century off 395 deliveries, the second of the match behind Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik’s 245.

Cook has so far hit 16 boundaries in a 407-ball stay.

Root also batted with authority, reaching his 14th Test half-century with a reverse sweep boundary off Malik. He has hit seven fours during his 124-ball innings.

Pakistan were once again sloppy in the field as they missed another chance to dismiss Cook when wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed failed to take an inside edge off Riaz when the England captain was on 173.

Fawad Alam had let off Cook on 147 off spinner Zulfiqar Babar on Thursday.

Riaz, who has figures of 2-109, bowled with venom but without further success as Root also edged a few deliveries.

Root also survived a confident leg-before shout when fast bowler Imran Khan trapped him but Pakistan’s review once again went unsuccessful.

Pakistan’s frontline spinner Babar also struggled to take a wicket, conceding 96 runs in his 48 overs.

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