Like a driver who has ignored the warning lights on the dashboard for many miles, England can hardly be shocked that their vehicle has finally broken down.
A team that has dropped, on average, two chances an innings (15 so far this series), cannot be shocked that their fielding errors have finally cost them dear.
A team that, Alastair Cook and Joe Root apart, has not produced a century from the top five since May 2015 (when Adam Lyth made 107 against New Zealand), cannot be shocked when that over-reliance is exploited.
And a team that has, in recent years, played its domestic cricket on green seamers that provide copious assistance to medium-pacers and allow little space for spinners cannot be surprised when, on the better batting surfaces prevalent in international cricket, its spinners, in particular, are found wanting.
These problems have been apparent for months. It should surprise nobody that, from time to time, they come back to bite.
None of this means that England are a poor side. They have, in Root, Cook and Ben Stokes, the basis of a strong top six and, in James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes, the basis of a strong attack.
But what they also have, what they had at the start of the year and have still, is holes. They are still looking for an opener, they are still looking for at least one middle-order batsman and they are still looking for a replacement spinner for Graeme Swann who, even in unhelpful conditions, can bowl economically and provide a measure of control in the field. The emergence of Woakes and the successful promotion of Root to No. 3 are the only areas of progress this summer.
Alex Hales' performance in this match has been painful. He has, at times this summer, shown improvement as a Test opener. Three times he came close to a maiden century against Sri Lanka (he made scores of 86, 83 and 94 in successive matches), each time demonstrating a tighter technique and increased composure. It is true that the Sri Lankan attack is not the strongest, but conditions were often bowler-friendly.
Against this higher-quality attack, he has struggled. Only once in eight innings has he reached 25 and five times he has fallen to edges caught in the cordon. His lapse of judgment here - going to remonstrate with the TV umpire - was a manifestation of his growing anxiety. The same might be said of his use of the DRS (without consultation with his batting partner, Root) in the second innings here: it was the review of Nick Compton in Centurion or Shane Watson in Cardiff. It was the review of a desperate man.
Before this match, Hales still had a decent chance of making the trip to Asia. But the combination of his poor catching - whatever the promise of his batting, we really have seen enough to know that he should not be fielding in the cordon - and his immature response to adversity has done him no favours. England may well be back to square one with the opening position. The fact that Lyth is a fine slip fielder - an aching absence within this side - should do his prospects of a recall no harm at all.
England are also still in the market for a middle-order batsman. Seven Tests, 11 innings and an average of 19.27 tell their own story about James Vince's first foray in Test cricket. Those flowing drives that have been such a strength in the Championship - or in the lower division of the Championship, anyway - were a weakness at this level. Bowlers have encouraged the stroke, knowing that, sooner or later, it would bring opportunity.
It doesn't necessarily mean the selectors were wrong to persist with him. It means they backed their hunch and demonstrated their consistency. They were true to their ethos of giving a player "a game too many" rather than "a game too few." But the experiment has to end here. To pick him for the Asian tours would not just be stubborn, but insanely optimistic. He is young enough and talented enough to go back to county cricket and make the weaknesses of this season the strengths of next, as Bob Woolmer used to say.
England's seamers didn't bowl badly here. They were defeated by a combination of a great batsman, a decent pitch and the inability of their fielders to accept regulation chances. Yes, they were worn down and yes, Anderson's declining pace has to be acknowledged, but they don't have too many reasons for beating themselves up.
Which brings us to Moeen Ali. This has been a match that could be used by his critics to attack him and his supporters to praise him. Suffice to say, he has batted beautifully but, with the ball, been unable to contain the Pakistan batsmen. By conceding 4.62 runs an over throughout the series, he has been unable to fulfil a major part of his role. Whether any other spinner available to England would have performed notably better is debatable - Moeen really may be the best they have to offer - but it remains an area of considerable weakness. On the brink of two Asian tours, that is a major worry.
Perhaps Moeen et al will pull off a major recovery act on day four. It seems unlikely, not least on the basis of the way Gary Ballance groped at Yasir Shah's leg-spin on the third evening, but we live in strange times.
Whatever happens, though, England should not use it to mask their faults. They are a decent side with a few players of outstanding potential. They have gone, in little over 18 months, from no-hopers to the brink of No. 1 in the world. The fact that it looks as if they will fall short of that mark for now might be no bad thing in the grand scheme of things. It would have been a premature accolade and, potentially, a burden.
Besides, whichever side you support in world cricket, it is hard not to admire and warm to this Pakistan side who, despite every challenge and setback, may be on the brink of reaching that No.1 ranking for the first time themselves. England can learn much from their resilience, their determination and their spirit.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo