Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 4th day February 6, 2012

Pakistan secure series whitewash


Pakistan 99 (Broad 4-36) and 365 (Azhar 157, Panesar 5-124) beat England 141 (Strauss 56, Rehman 5-40) and 252 (Prior 49*, Gul 4-61, Ajmal 4-67) by 71 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan duly completed their first clean sweep against England in a Test series, an extraordinary achievement for a side with no home to call its own, a side that lives out of a suitcase and does it rather well. Along with the socks and the toothpaste they certainly unpacked quite a shock for the No. 1 ranked side.

Twice in a few months, the leading Test side in the world has been found wanting. India were whitewashed in England last summer and now England have suffered a similar humiliation. Test cricket in Asia, described by England's captain, Andrew Strauss, as "the final frontier," has proved as unconquerable as ever.

The sunny disposition of Saeed Ajmal, the Man of the Series, and the stiff-limbed tenacity of Abdur Rehman tormented England to the end. They shared 43 wickets between them in a three-Test series and England barely played a shot in anger. Even after dismissing Pakistan for 99 in their first innings, they could not summon either the method or confidence to prevail. Only when the game was as good as lost did Matt Prior, who has looked likelier than most throughout the series, play with gusto in making an unbeaten 49.

There was plentiful spin for Pakistan's spinners, not quick turn but leaping turn at times when the ball struck the rough. Fittingly, the match finished on an lbw referral as Monty Panesar swept at Rehman, only to find that his retro scoop bat had no magical qualities. DRS upheld the umpire's decision and the all-time record of 43 lbw decisions in a series was equalled.

Until then, Rehman had counted Strauss as his sole success as he bowled unchanged for two sessions, 30 overs sent down with unerring accuracy. He is the sort of spin bowler who looks slightly weary from the outset, but never noticeably tires after that.

The emphasis has been upon spin, but Umar Gul reminded England that the quicker bowlers carried their own threat. His four wickets set the course of the Test unquestionably towards Pakistan. Ian Bell averaged more than 100 last summer, less than 10 in this series and when he slapped a long hop wide of point it summed up his state of mind. Reverse swing accounted for Eoin Morgan, whose dance down the pitch was nothing compared to the merry jig from the wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal, after he had caught it. If Pakistan had doubts about taking the new ball, Gul allayed them as Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann risked all-out attack and got out almost immediately.

Cook had put up statuesque resistance, 187 balls for 49. Along the way he became the second youngest person, at 27 years and 43 days, to reach 6,000 Test runs. Only Sachin Tendulkar has reached the landmark at a younger age. His most attacking shot of the morning, a loft into the leg side against Rehman, caused the bowler to taunt him with applause. He lived on scraps, combating the turning ball with thoughtful defence and numerous works to the leg side and that proved his undoing as a leading edge was brilliantly held by Younis Khan, diving to his left at first slip.

England, 36 runs banked the previous evening, needed a further 288 at start of play. Strauss fell in the sixth over of the morning, lbw on the back foot once more. He reviewed it, although he would have been better advised to head smartly for the dressing room. When it comes to captain's reviews Strauss cannot match Misbah-ul-Haq. Misbah was lbw on five occasions in this series and took a review every time. It must be a captain's prerogative.

Without lapses in the field, Pakistan might have won sooner. They had dropped Cook the previous evening, a relatively simple chance to Taufeeq Umar at third slip and Gul's drop in the shadows of the stand at deep square gave him another reprieve as Pakistan lost the efficiency that has characterised their cricket throughout this series. Rehman made his frustration clear when he caught Jonathan Trott at deep square and flung the ball into the turf with feeling at the errors that had gone before.

Kevin Pietersen was bent upon playing enterprisingly. The first ball of the afternoon provided a reminder of his vulnerability when a bat-pad against Rehman flew high past short leg, but he had the fleeting satisfaction of striking him straight for six before Ajmal, from around the wicket, spun one through the gate and beamed at further bounty.

Adnan Akmal's fumble behind the stumps to reprieve Strauss, although not costly as the England captain was out in the next over, was the worst miss of all. Adnan has had a good series behind the stumps and has the opportunity to be Pakistan's first-choice keeper for many years to come but his excitable chatter was at times counterproductive. Strauss' edge flew to him at comfortable height but he put it down. For a few minutes he was quiet and you could hear your ears ringing.

Adnan's cacophony of cries often rent the air for inexplicable reasons. As do parrots, Adnan vocalises for many reasons. He may be excitedly greeting the day or summoning his family at sunset. He may be screeching when he is excited or when he is merely trying it on. He may screech when he thinks things have got too quiet or when he thinks it is his duty to scream. He just likes screeching. At one point he burst out coughing as if in sore need of a lozenge and Trott looked at him in deadpan fashion.

Adnan is also incorrigibly optimistic about reviewing umpiring decisions. "Do it, do it, yes, yes, all good," you could sense him saying from first moment to last. Misbah learned not to take his evidence into consideration and looked askance at him. He will not be looking askance tonight - every Pakistan player will share Adnan's excitement.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 9, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    @ karthik_raja - Yes I remember your big words from a while ago. I believe you're an Indian fan right? Quite funny how you've waited so long - til the end of the series when the result was safe and secure to start ranting again in that text dialogue.Just wondering if you will stay posting on the England threads until the end of the SL series when we will all know whether it was purely the conditions that defeated us or a combo of the conditions and the best Asian team which beat us

  • John on February 9, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    Re the excuses. I'm actually really annoyed with Flower saying Eng didn't prepare properly. There was an article saying that Eng had set up a training camp in India before this tour. Strauss - to be fair - has NOT said the prep was insufficient. Maybe the prep wasn't correct and they worked too much on the physical side of it and not enough on the technical side. Maybe Pakistan just had England's number. Maybe Eng will be found wanting in India and SL. Regardless , I think if there are prep reasons Flower should keep it behind closed doors as it seems like it's trying take the glory away from Pakistan.

  • John on February 9, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    @KKSid on (February 06 2012, 22:02 PM GMT) Fair play to you for your foresight. However re the openers , in the 1st test I think they put on quite a decent stand which possibly set the tone for the series and I'd still say that Broad and Anderson are (along with the SA's) the beat new ball pace attack in the world . Re the pace of the batsmen , Ali might not have scored that big 100 had he tried to up the run rate. A big criticism of Pak in the past was that they'd give their wickets away by being a little kamikaze . Re bowling and fast pitches - I',m not sure. It's probably more of an unknown so time will tell. Things look pretty rosy for your guys from where I stand…

  • John on February 9, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    @darsh127 on (February 06 2012, 20:48 PM GMT) I think you'll find Pakistan achieved the win for themselves. I've not seen one comment from one postee or one player who has dedicated the great series win to India

  • John on February 9, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    @NaniIndCri on (February 06 2012, 18:16 PM GMT) I think you'll find that the ICC ranking points reflect who you played and where you played the team on top of the result. I believe that Pak got something like 7 points from this 3 match series win whereas SA will get significantly less for beating NZ 3-0. I don't know the exact ranking points system but I'm sure we would not have got so many ranking points for winning the last Ashes had it been in England and likewise if we had beaten NZ or WI 4-0 at home we'd not have got so many ranking points as we did for beating India. If we (Eng) beat SL we get a paltry amount of points whereas the winners of the SA/Eng series will more than likely score well.

  • John on February 9, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    @ thenewrocknrolla on (February 07 2012, 14:55 PM GMT) Whoaa ! A bit aggressive there. 1,I feel that even on one's own threads its tasteless/ classless to gloat and snipe at other teams fans regardless of which country you are from.We've very few Pak fans who have behaved in this manner which has led to a decent rapport between the 2 sets of fans.If folk from elsewhere go out of their way to come on to our threads purely to gloat/stir/snipe then that is IMO out of order and bad behaviour.Even in my responses where I have compared the 2 nations they have been directed at the postee who posted sniping trash on this thread in the 1st place and all content was factual.I never once posted anything of such content on Indian threads during the Oz series and it would have been so easy to do so. 2 If you have read my posts throughout the series I have continually slated our batsmen PLEASE PUBLISH

  • Sai on February 8, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    Even before this series started, I had predicted that Pakistan would win 3-0. My prediction was correct, and England helped. I thought they would at least win the second Test but they collapsed to 72 all out. I am already dreaming when England come to India this year..... I can smell a whitewash!!!

  • Ridhwan on February 8, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    England can remain No 1 this year , they have ashes and south africa tour i guess , alongside sri lanka and india on the list... i hope so... they wil perform. Pakistan has to work harder now.. Good luck to both of them.. from pakistan.

  • Sharky on February 8, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Did the English thought that because they were number one, they were going for a holiday in Dubai ??? They should have practised in Cricket Camps way harder than they prepare for The Ashes. But no-matter what the unprepared English excuses are, that won't be remembered, but what will be remembered is that since the time before Imran Khan, thru the times of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram, and now Umar Gul & co, will always be remembered as devastating bowlers. Pakistan are always up there with the worlds top bowling & fielding sides. They can get 20 wickets in a match and they can white-wash a team in a series, even if that team were the world's number one.

  • karthik on February 8, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    It again proves my point.. Any team will fail miserably the moment they step out of their comfort zone.. Thr is no world beaters in current situation.. Atleast now, all my Eng frnds will settle down and v can all njoy the game instead of pulling other teams down..

  • No featured comments at the moment.