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February 6, 2012
News : 'Victory will drive new generations to play cricket'
Audio/Video: Bamboozled by Ajmal
Matches: England v Pakistan at Dubai (DSC)
Series/Tournaments: England tour of United Arab Emirates
Gallery: Relentless Pakistan shut out England
Mohsin Khan, the Pakistan coach, compared his team's whitewash against England to the 1992 World Cup triumph after the 3-0 margin was sealed with a 71-run victory in Dubai. It was the first time since 1907 that a team had won after being dismissed in double figures in the first innings of a Test and completed Pakistan's first cleansweep over England.
"Today is like a dream come true," Mohsin told Sky Sports. "It's not a very experienced team but it's very talented. Today, the captain and all the players have proved they are one of the best in the world. It's a great achievement for the Pakistan team."
Pakistan's captain Misbah-ul-Haq always believed his team could fight back from their poor first innings which had seen them 44 for 7 before lunch on the opening day. The fightback started with the bowlers and was built on by Younis Khan and Azhar Ali who struck the only hundreds made in the series.
"After being bowled out for 99 nobody thought we could come back," Misbah said. "But that is what this Pakistan team has been doing for the last year and a half, coming back in pressure situations. Everybody performed well, especially the bowlers. Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman brought us back into the game then there was a wonderful batting performance from Younis Khan and Azhar Ali. I think that was the difference in this game."
As they have throughout the series, England struggled to combat Pakistan's spinners. Ajmal took four wickets in the final innings to take his series tally to 24 at 14.70 which earned him the Man-of-the-Series award. But it wasn't all spin that ended England's hopes of a consolation victory as Umar Gul took out key middle-order scalps in another penetrative spell.
First he struck with the old ball to extract Ian Bell and then Eoin Morgan with the new ball to ensure no lower-order heroics from Stuart Broad or Graeme Swann. Having also taken a four-wicket haul in the previous Test in Dubai at the start of the series Misbah was full of praise for his senior fast bowler.
"He's a wonderful bowler, whenever we need him he performs well," he said. "Today he gave us four precious wickets. He's a matchwinning bowler and he showed that again today."
For Andrew Strauss the defeat completed a chastening three weeks where England's credentials as the leading Test team have been left in tatters. The bowlers couldn't have done more to try and keep their side in the series but time and again the batting failed to respond and Strauss admitted the constant failures were unexpected.
"I'm a little surprised we didn't get bigger scores over the three matches," he said. "That was a consistent failure on our part but you have to give credit to Pakistan. When they got their noses in front they didn't let us back in. We have to learn lessons from this. I'm a great believer you don't become a great team overnight or a bad team overnight."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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