Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Pakistan whitewashed England for the first time in cricketing history as they defeated them by 71 runs in the final Test match at Dubai.
The hosts started in dreadful fashion, being bowled out for just 99 runs, with Asad Shafiq top scoring, making almost half the teams’ score with his 45.
Pakistan Captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, who was shocked after the first inning collapse, said: “I just can’t explain this in words. Getting out for 99, nobody thought we could come back.”
England paceman Stuart Broad claimed four wickets for 36 runs, but he was helped by good all-round bowling by the other bowlers.
England, hoping to take advantage of Pakistan’s poor first inning, were kept at bay by accurate Pakistan bowling. The only decent score came from Captain Andrew Strauss, who made 56, before England were dismissed for 141.
Pakistan’s spinning duo, Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman, did all the damage. Ajmal getting three and Rehman finishing with five.
Ajmal, who was named Man of the Series, said: “Rehman’s bowling very well with me. I’m a happy guy, I enjoy my cricket.”
The hosts proved to still have some fight left in them as Azhar Ali and Younis Khan pulverised England all over the place, en route to Pakistan’s second inning total of 365. Ali, the star batsmen, made 157, while Khan supported him nicely, with a sensibly played 127.
Ali, who was extremely pleased with his batting performance and awarded the Man of the Match award, said: “When you score when the team wins, it’s very satisfactory. I want to play more such match-winning innings.”
The tourists were given a target of 324 to win, started off in mediocre fashion, but with the Pakistani bowlers’ striking regularly, England could not manage the task, as they were bundled out for 252. Alastair Cook and wicketkeeper Matt Prior were both the top scorers with 49 each.
Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal both had four wickets as their tight bowling cut England down and gave Pakistan the big win.
England Captain Andrew Strauss was disappointed with the teams’ performance, but still said that there were some good moments. “I’m surprised we didn’t get bigger scores but you have to credit Pakistan. When they were ahead, they didn’t allow us to come back…I’ve got great faith in our players but this is an eye opener” he said.
With Pakistan sweeping the test series 3-0, England will look for redemption when the two sides meet in the first ODI, scheduled to begin on the 13th of February in Abu Dhabi.