Mohammad Hafeez
Hafeez is three runs short of his century and holds the key for Pakistan.Getty Images

Pakistan produced a fine counter attack to temper England's dominance of the third Test with an authoritative display with bat and ball in Sharjah. The hosts lead by 74 runs with seven second innings wickets in hand and Mohammad Hafeez 97 not out, after dismissing Alastair Cook's side for 306.

The tourists lost their last six wickets for 78 runs with James Taylor (76) and Jonny Bairstow (43) failing to add sufficiently to their overnight total, but Samit Patel (42) gave England a healthy lead heading into the Pakistan second innings, before he was bowled brilliantly by the mercurial Yasir Shah. As the spinners continued to toil, James Anderson and Stuart Broad failed to yield any early scalps with the new ball as Hafeez and Azhar Ali put on a century opening stand to put the home side ahead.

But a mix-up between the opening pair gave England the breakthrough and sparked a string of wickets that leaves the spoils shared heading into the final two days of the series. Hafeez ran through from the non-strikers' end and though there was an England overthrow, Ali (39) failed to get back in time amid a calamitous run-out.

Malik - who had earlier taken four wickets - was trapped lbw first ball to give England a second wicket in as many overs as Anderson discovered some rare reverse swing, but Pakistan pulled down the shutters to seemingly restrict the damage until the close. However, Younis Khan was given out not playing a shot off Broad to leave Pakistan ahead on 146 for 3 but facing an England onslaught on day four, with Hafeez three runs short of his ninth Test century.