ENG 129-6 beat PAK 124-6 by 5 runs:
Matt Prior top-scored with a combative unbeaten 49 for England but it wasn’t enough as they succumbed to a 71-run defeat and resulting 3-0 series whitewash at the hands of Pakistan in Dubai.
The tourists began the day on 36 without loss, but soon lost Andrew Strauss – leg before to Abdur Rehman for 26 – to resume the top-order’s troubles against Pakistan’s quality spin duo. Jonathan Trott followed next for a pained 18 – finally losing patience against Saeed Ajmal and attempting a lofted shot on the on-side, which was caught by none other than Rehman running in from deep backward square leg – and when Alastair Cook (49) and Kevin Pietersen (18) fell an hour into the afternoon session with over 200 runs still needed the end seemed nigh.
Ian Bell ended his series contribution on a fitting note when he slapped a long hop from Umar Gul to cover point to make it 156 for five, while Eoin Morgan (31) played his best innings of the series before feathering a ball through to Adnan Akmal off the same bowler.
Prior then delayed the inevitable with his 58-ball innings, but Rehman returned to take the final wicket of Monty Panesar, again leg before, to sum up England’s woes this series in a nutshell.
Azhar Ali took the man of the match award for his measured 157, while the man who started the rot back in the first Test, Saeed Ajmal, was named man of the series.
For England, the defeat – the first time since 1907 that a team has lost a Test match after bowling the opposition out for less than a hundred in the first innings – means that they face losing their number one ranking if South Africa can beat New Zealand 3-0 in their upcoming series.
© Cricket World 2012
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