Pakistan v England: Misbah-ul-Haq praises young batsmen

Pakistan celebrate victory in the second Test
Pakistan have won the series with a Test to spare

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq praised his young batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq after his side to clinch the series.

Azhar and Shafiq, both 26, have only played 32 Tests between them but shared an ultimately crucial fifth-wicket stand of 88 in the second innings.

"They played well under pressure when the game was slipping out of our hands," said Misbah.

"I thought if we could get a lead of over 120-130, it would be a good game."

Pakistan have not been able to play international cricket on home soil since March 2009 when gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus during a Test in Lahore.

But the United Arab Emirates has become a second home for the team since then - and back-to-back Test wins over England in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have earned them a well deserved series win against the number one-ranked Test team.

"It was a wonderful team effort," Misbah continued.

"The plan was to look for something like 325 to 330 in the first innings, and we fell short of that [making 257].

"But I had belief in my bowlers.

"We play spin well, but we were struggling when the ball was turning, and I think Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman were difficult to play."

Off-spinner Ajmal, playing his 19th Test, became the fastest Pakistan bowler to reach the milestone of 100 Test wickets when he had Matt Prior caught at cover.

But the day belonged to slow left-armer Rehman, who took a career-best 6-25 - his first five-wicket haul in Tests - to earn the man-of-the-match award.

He added: "Yesterday my team-mates said 150 would be enough - we bowled line and length, didn't give them a single run and it worked.

"Ajmal is a great partner for me, I have a lot of confidence when he is at the other end."

Listen to day three commentary highlights and the Test Match Special podcast

Top Stories