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Written by Matt Andrews
England’s test tour of the Middle East ended in defeat in Dubai after the target of 324 proved to be 71 runs too many for England’s abject batsmen. With the defeat came a notable whitewash 3-0 series victory for Pakistan, their first ever against the tourists.
England will be particularly disappointed by their batting on this tour, as all the top 6 have performed well below their average, and with Matt Prior the only batsmen to average above 30.
After scores of 192 and 160 contributed to a 10 wicket defeat in Dubai, England went to Abu Dhabi where they posted a respectable 327 before crumbling to 92 all out in their second innings.
When one thought the heatstroke or whatever it was that was making England’s batsmen look hopeless might have worn off, England returned to Dubai to post 141 and then 252. Most disappointingly, England’s top eight no less scored double figures in their second attempt in the third and final test, but could not convert their good starts to chase down an elusive dead rubber victory.
Cook fell for 49 whereas Prior remained unbeaten one short of a half century, Morgan scored an attacking 31, and Trott, Pietersen and Broad scored 18 at varying paces. Strauss (26) fared little better, and Bell (10) scarcely worse.
As has so often been the case on this tour, England were ripped apart initially by the spin of Saeed Ajmal, who claimed 4-67, before the pace of Umar Gul became more accountable, as he took his four wickets for 61. This deadly duo seem to have put Pakistan’s match fixing issues to the back of many minds for the moment, as Pakistan savour their historic achievement.