Moeen Ali marked his first innings as a Test opener by featuring in a century stand with England skipper Alastair Cook on day three of the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

The Worcestershire all-rounder was selected at number eight throughout the Ashes series and finished as third top scorer behind Cook and Joe Root with 293 runs.

He was thrust up the order after the axing of Adam Lyth and once again did not let his country down.

Moeen dug in to score a dogged 35 off 131 balls with two boundaries and added 116 in 41 overs with Cook.

It was only the sixth century opening partnership by England since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012.

Moeen waited until the 29th over to strike his first boundary – a clip through mid on off Rahat Ali – and his other boundary came off the same bowler when he flicked him off his pads to the ropes.

He looked relatively untroubled but was eventually dismissed when he edged a good length ball from Imran Khan through to keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

Moeen helped lay the foundations for a strong England reply to Pakistan's 523-8 declared.

But Cook was the star of the day with a magnificent 168 not out from 329 balls with 15 fours – testimony to his powers of concentration after being in the field for 10 hours in the searing heat.

Ian Bell (63) helped Cook add 165 for the second wicket before he and nightwatchman Mark Wood (4) both departed shortly before the close.

Cook went onto complete his double century on Friday morning and England reached 400-3 by lunch.