DUBAI – After wiping the Pakistan team out for 99 in the first innings, England’s bowlers must have known what would follow.
That Broad, Anderson and Panesar (Swann was quiet for once), shined is without question, the trouble is there was precious little else.
England are hanging onto that number one position through default and luck and nothing else because they were outplayed by a far superior Pakistan side, who despite their many frailties geeled as a unit whenever it mattered.
The first innings was perhaps the only time through this three-match series when England actually looked like winning, and that lasted for one and half sessions before Pakistan’s bowlers spearheaded by the inspired Abdur Rehman reclaimed the initiative.
From there it was a simple case of self belief for a very young Pakistan side who never really looked like losing.
For those who have followed Pakistan cricket, the words professional, stable, teamwork have come as a refreshing surprise.
The age of the Imran Khans, Wasim Akrams and Shahid Afridis, talented players who let their egos get in the way, is now over.
Instead, Pakistan has Saeed Ajmal, whose seven wicket haul in the first innings of the first innings began it all, inspiring his nation’s players onwards and forwards under the cool captaincy of Misbah ul Haq.
England will go back to the drawing board and work something out, however the world of cricket may just have witnessed the emergence of the next cricketing superpower.
ENGLAND 141 REHMAN 5 – 40
PAKISTAN 365 AZHAR ALI 157, YOUNIS KHAN 127
PAKISTAN WIN BY 71 RUNS TO COMPLETE SERIES WHITEWASH 3 – 0