• England solid in UAE tour opener

    England’s tour of the UAE began with a two-day match against Pakistan A, and several players impressed as they gear up for their three-Test series against Pakistan.

    The encounter in Sharjah, which got underway on Monday, saw four of England’s batsmen record half centuries as they reached 286-5 from 90 overs. They declared overnight, before Pakistan A laboured to 216-5 from their 90.

    Another two-day clash against the same opponents gets underway on Thursday, but the players that featured gave an idea of how the side might line up in the first Test in Abu Dhabi next week.

    Alastair Cook took strike with Moeen Ali at the top of the order, with fellow opener Alex Hales left out. Moeen missed out on his opportunity to impress with 22. His position at the top of the order created room for Adil Rashid to operate as the second spinner lower down the order. Cook, Joe Root, Johnny Bairstow and Adil Rashid all raised their bat for 50 on a patient, but solid day.

    While Moeen didn’t capitalise with the bat, he did with the ball on Tuesday, taking three of the first four wickets to fall on day two. Mark Wood put in a good shift and took a wicket, while Jimmy Anderson claimed the other scalp.

    Their second and final warm-up game takes place at the same ground on Thursday, as England look to acclimatise to the conditions in time for the series, as they look to become the first side to beat Pakistan in a Test series in the UAE. They then travel to South Africa for a four-Test series.

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