There had been only 5 occasions when a team won the test match having scored less than a hundred in first innings untill today when Pakistan slapped 71 runs victory over England having made just 99 electing to bat, making it first such instance in over a century. With this win, Pakistan completed 5th clean sweep in a series of 3 tests = England's 7th whitewash..
It was a strange pitch at Dubai sports city ground that offered edge to bowlers to start off but slowed down soon after first day and batting became utterly easy. Younis Khan and Azhar Ali added decisive 216 run stand and England, ranked no.1 against no.6 Pakistan on ICC rankings, flattered, surrendering a defeat they'll struggle to forget.
The scoresPakistan 99 allout & 365 allout in 152.4 ovs.
England 141 allout & 252 allout in 97.3 ovs.
Full scorecard : 3rd test, Dubai, Feb 2012.
Watching the pattern in previous two tests, it was obvious decision for Pakistan to bat first when coin toss landed in their favor but Taufeeq Umar perished cheaply once again, followed by almost whole of top order. Only Asad Shafiq showed some grit and added tiny partnerships with tailenders to push Pak total towards a hundred, almost. English pacers Stuart Broad and James Anderson bowled extended spells first and got the rewards.
England batsmen had struggled throughout the series against Pakistani spinners but it was time for them to extend the superb job done by their bowlers despite the series already gone. They failed. Captain Andrew Strauss snailed his way to a half century white Kevin Pietersen counter attacked four fours but Abdur Rehman's accuracy and Ajmal's variations once again proved too hot to handle.
Visitors managed just 42 runs lead, leaving the match at balance when they should have driven home the advantage.
Second time around, Pakistan had realised Dubai strip has now slowed down and that there were plenty of runs to be hand if batsmen showed patience. Taufeeq Umar failed yet again but Mohammad Hafeez stroked some good boundaries while Azhar Ali settled down. English bowlers got two wickets before deficit was wiped out but Younis Khan's smart batting started to build lead steadily. Using his bat more than pads, Khan mixed caution with aggression with perfection, guiding his younger mate at the other end on either side of second day and continued on day 3 untill Broad broke the partnership.
Azhar Ali batted for 9 and half hours and made sure England earned wickets.
Given a target of 324 which would have been England's second best ever and 17th overall, visitors must have thought they had a chance as pitch had gotten very slow and it was easy to bat on the back foot. Openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook saw off third day and raised a half century stand on fourth. Abdur Rehman foxed Strauss with a fastish delivery to draw first blood.
Almost all England batsmen got off to a start, showing they had come up with an attacking plan to reach their target but every time Pakistani bowlers managed to make breakthrough, despite dropped 3 easy catches. Umar Gul came out as they surprise package, snatching four wickets bending his back on non responsive wicket.