Pakistan v England: Tourists humiliated to lose series

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
Second Test, Abu Dhabi, day four:
Pakistan 257 & 214 beat England 327 & 72 by 72 runs
Match scorecard
Saeed Ajmal celebrates
England have lost their first series since being crowned the world's number one side

England crumbled to a 72-run defeat in the second Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi to lose the three-match series.

Chasing 145 to win, the tourists were bowled out for 72, with left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman taking 6-25.

Only Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior reached double figures as England wilted under the pressure applied by the Pakistan spin bowlers.

Earlier, Monty Panesar ended with 6-62 as Pakistan were bowled out for 214, before the tourists disintegrated.

Panesar's efforts looked to have England left well placed to level the series, but Strauss's side slipped to their lowest total against Pakistan and their first series defeat since 2009.

The tourists, heavily beaten in the first Test in Dubai, simply could not cope with Pakistan spinners Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, as a procession of England batsmen were undone attempting to play off the back foot.

When Alastair Cook offered a leading edge back to bowler Mohammad Hafeez, it began a collapse that saw England lose all 10 wickets in under 22 overs for only 51 runs.

Ian Bell, batting at number three in place of the ill Jonathan Trott, defended Ajmal from the crease only to be bowled when the ball spun back between his legs, before Rehman took over.

Kevin Pietersen was trapped lbw playing slightly across the line and Eoin Morgan was bowled second ball playing on the back foot, both to left-armer Rehman.

At this point, England had lost four wickets for 16 runs, and their tea interval score of 39-4 could have been worse had Strauss not escaped when a bat-pad catch to short leg was ruled not to have carried after numerous television replays.

Pakistan put us to the test - Strauss

However, with the captain and wicketkeeper Prior at the crease, the tourists were still within one significant partnership of victory, but those hopes evaporated in the final session.

Strauss, whose refusal to play on the front foot typified England's approach to combating the Pakistan spinners, eventually went back once too often to be pinned leg before by Rehman.

Trott had spent much of the morning off the field but, arriving at number seven, he failed to learn the lessons of those who had fallen before him and perished in almost identical fashion to his captain.

The Warwickshire man's dismissal hastened England's demise as a series of mindless shots saw the last five wickets fall in 23 deliveries for four runs.

After Stuart Broad was bowled through the gate aiming a drive at Rehman, Ajmal enticed Graeme Swann into becoming the latest England batsman trapped lbw on the back foot and then had Prior caught at cover from a meek drive.

In the following over, England's misery was complete when James Anderson swept Rehman to Umar Gul at deep backward square leg.

It was a diabolical display by England, in stark contrast to the form that carried them to the top of the International Cricket Council Test rankings,external-link and one that wasted the good bowling work that had given them an opportunity to level the series.

In a morning session that showed no signs of the drama to come, Panesar, again bowling with immaculate control, had Asad Shafiq held at slip before Anderson, with the second new ball, found extra bounce to have Azhar Ali caught behind.

With the overnight batsmen removed, Broad and Swann took a wicket each to leave the stage set for Panesar to claim his first Test five-wicket haul in almost four years.

In the end, though, it proved academic as Pakistan had long since earned a lead large enough to seal the series, which concludes with the final Test in Dubai starting on Friday.