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Pakistan defeats England, wraps up series 3-0

AFP

DUBAI PAKISTAN’S bowlers sealed an emphatic 71-run win in the third and final Test against England on Monday, wrapping up a humiliating 3-0 series whitewash in the process.

Set a daunting 324-run target, England were bowled out for 252 with paceman Umar Gul taking 4-61 and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal 4-67 to help Pakistan achieve a first-ever Test cleansweep against their opponents.

With the ball turning again it was always going to be a difficult task for England’s batsmen, who have struggled to play the Pakistani spinners throughout the series, on a weary fourth day pitch at Dubai Stadium.

Pakistan won the first Test here by ten wickets and the second by 72 runs in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan have also become the first team to win a Test after being bowled out for under 100 since 1907 when England, shot out for 76, beat South Africa at Leeds. It was England’s seventh series whitewash, their first at the hands of Pakistan. Pakistan have now recorded five series whitewashes, their last coming in a 3-0 win over Bangladesh in 2003.

England’s last series whitewash came in 2007 when they were routed by Australia 5-0.

So dominating have been Pakistanis spinners that Ajmal finished the series with 24 and Rehman with 19. An elated Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq praised his team. “It’s a wonderful team effort,” said Misbah, who now has won nine of the 15 Tests as captain, with one loss and five draws. “It’s a big win against a big team, achieved through hard work.” England captain Andrew Strauss said the lack of runmaking had left him disappointed.

“It’s a bit of surprise as well as disappointment because we did not put scores on the board, and we must give credit to Pakistan,” said Strauss who has lost his first series since losing to the West Indies in 2009.

“We have important lessons to learn from this defeat.” England, 89-2 at lunch, were still in with a chance with Alastair Cook (49) and Kevin Pietersen (18) batting well but they lost four wickets in the space of 84 runs.

They went to tea at 173-6.

Pietersen, who struggled for runs in the series, hit Abdul Rehman for a boundary and then hoisted him for a six to post England’s 100.

But Ajmal struck from the other end.

The off-spinner produced a beautiful delivery to bowl Pietersen through the gate for 18. He had a mere 67 runs for the series during which he was out to spinners on five occasions.

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