Pakistan complete England whitewash

Dubai: Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul were the chief destroyers as Pakistan won the third and final test by 71 runs on the fourth day on Monday, recording their first clean sweep in a series against England.

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Spinner Ajmal, the scourge of England's batsmen throughout the series, picked up four for 67 and paceman Gul grabbed four for 61 as the world's top-ranked test team were bowled out for 252 in front of a sparse crowd in Dubai.

Ajmal won the man of the series award for taking 24 wickets. Azhar Ali was named man of the match for his 157 in Pakistan's second innings.

"I can't describe how important this win is for us especially a 3-0 win," Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq told reporters. "Our bowlers did an excellent job this series.

"This result shows we are a powerful team. After getting bowled out for 99 in the first innings nobody thought we could come back but Pakistan are starting to really do well under pressure."

A diving catch by Younus Khan at slip off Ajmal immediately after lunch on day four trigged yet another England collapse as it removed Alastair Cook one short of his half century.

The one upside for 27-year-old opener Cook was that he became the second youngest player to reach 6,000 test runs - only India's master batsman Sachin Tendulkar has achieved that feat at a younger age.

Ajmal ripped through Kevin Pietersen's bat and pad to bowl him for 18 before Ian Bell followed for 10, lobbing an attempted square cut off Gul straight to cover point.


Eoin Morgan (31) also fell when he gave Gul the charge only to be caught behind the wicket.

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior tried to keep up England's hopes with an unbeaten 49 but eventually he ran out of partners.

Captain Andrew Strauss (26) and Jonathan Trott (18) were dismissed before lunch.

Strauss was trapped leg before by spinner Abdur Rehman and failed to get the decision overturned by the video umpire.

"It's very important we debrief this tour, as we do after every tour, and learn from our mistakes," said Strauss. "But it is not all doom and gloom, we don't suddenly become a bad side.

"We didn't bat well. If we keep getting out for 140 or 150 we are never going to win a test match.

"I've not been involved in a series where so many of our batsmen have had problems," added Strauss.

The series yielded 43 lbw decisions, a record for a three-match contest.

Pakistan, who play home matches in the Gulf due to security problems in their own country, and England begin a four-match series of one-day internationals next Monday in Abu Dhabi.

Bureau Report