Humiliated England lose series to Pakistan
Pakistan 257 & 214 beat England 327 & 72 by 72 runs
Saturday 28 January 2012
England today collapsed to 72 all out against Pakistan to lose the second Test and the three-match series.
It was the tourist's lowest ever Test total against their 'hosts'.
The world number one side needed to make only 145 to win on day four at the Zayed Stadium but had no answer to Abdur Rehman, whose maiden five-wicket haul helped to sentence them to a hapless 72 all out.
No one was able to resist Rehman (six for 25) for long, and Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez piled on the pressure too as England were bowled out in 36.1 overs - all but three delivered by spinners.
Andrew Strauss' team will therefore be playing only for pride and damage limitation to their International Cricket Council ranking, in Dubai next week.
After Monty Panesar's six for 62 had helped to bowl Pakistan out for 214, England's top order soon got in a messy tangle.
Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan all went in 22 overs of tortured batting before tea - and the rest followed in less than 15 more as England failed to chase a target as low as this for only the second time in 100 years.
They were mighty lucky too not to be minus captain Strauss for half the 32 he eventually managed, following a third-umpire ruling which surprisingly reprieved him on a bat-pad decision.
Cook was first to go, caught and bowled by Hafeez as England's openers struggled to find scoring opportunities past well-set fields as the slow bowlers tested attack and defence on a turning pitch.
Bell was in at number three in place of Jonathan Trott, who spent time off the field because of stomach trouble this morning and therefore had to wait until after tea to bat.
His replacement went in unfortunate circumstances, a diffident defensive shot to Ajmal played with such soft hands that the ball somehow rolled back between the batsman's legs and on to the base of the stumps - just hard enough to dislodge a bail.
If Bell's luck was out, Strauss' had surely been in a few moments earlier.
The ball appeared to run off the face of his bat, on to pad, before being caught low down by Azhar Ali at short-leg off Rehman.
After consulting slow-motion video replay, it was unexpectedly concluded that the ball did not carry.
Rehman, however, instead soon had Pietersen lbw pushing forward - even after an England DRS - and two balls later Morgan missed one that turned and kept low to go for a duck.
Strauss had just swept Rehman for four after tea when he went back fatally to Rehman, and was lbw.
Trott came and went in similar fashion, and Rehman had his fifth wicket after Stuart Broad was bowled through the gate for a second-ball duck.
The game was up by then, and it was a matter of whether England could avoid a shambolic end.
They could not as the tail folded in a blur, Strauss and Prior the only batsmen to make double-figures.
Panesar had appeared earlier to put the tourists on course for victory.
In his first Test for two-and-a-half years, his was the outstanding contribution as England finally got through Pakistan's second innings.
Panesar ended a determined fifth-wicket stand between Azhar (68) and Asad Shafiq this morning, and then James Anderson and Broad also struck once each with the second new ball before lunch.
Just as Shafiq and Azhar had threatened a century partnership, Panesar got one in the perfect spot to the former - and marginal turn was enough to take the edge for a sharp slip chance, well taken by Anderson.
Yet with each ball that Panesar and Graeme Swann spun past the bat, it was ever more obvious that England would need to bat well when the time came.
Azhar had survived an lbw appeal on 65 via DRS when Hawkeye suggested a big Swann off-break was beating leg-stump.
But he was unable to take advantage because, as predicted by Broad last night, the new ball proved a telling weapon.
Anderson struck in the third over after it was taken, and it was a big wicket too when he got one to climb to Azhar's gloves and end his 195-ball vigil.
England were into the tail, and Broad made another breakthrough in the very next over - Adnan Akmal chasing a wide drive and edging to slip.
Rehman helped Ajmal to shut England out up to lunch, but lasted less than an over of the afternoon - lbw sweeping at Swann.
Panesar then got enough turn and bounce for Ajmal to glove a catch to slip, and last man Junaid Khan was bowled by the slow left-armer heaving across the line and against the spin.
If that was an embarrassing end to a fruitless match for him, it was nothing compared with what was to follow from England.
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