Pakistan needed just over a session on the fifth and final day in Sharjah to beat England by 127 runs, and win the three-match series 2-0.
England went into the final day on 46-2 and trailing by 238 runs, believing they had a chance of pulling off a victory. It would have been a record-breaking chase in Asia though, as 209 was the most they had ever chased down in the subcontinent, against Pakistan in 1961.
Few would have expected the collapse to have been as bad as it was, as four wickets fell in the first seven overs of the day. Something more predictable, however, was where the wickets came from, with just one coming from a fast bowler.
Joe Root struggled in the evening session on day four and could only last a handful of deliveries the next morning, Yasir Shah the man to claim the first wicket. Nos 5, 6 and 7 – James Taylor, Jonny Biarstow and Samit Patel – scored two runs between them. It was an atrocious return that has plagued the English throughout the series.
Alastair Cook was forced to look on from the other end, as he laboured to a fifty, but he was merely delaying the inevitable, as he was the penultimate wicket to fall. Ben Stokes, batting with a shoulder injury, departed for 12, fittingly thanks to Shah, who took his seventh wicket of the match.
England walked away from the drawn first Test match in Dubai believing that they were genuine candidates to become the first side to beat Pakistan in a Test series in the UAE, but they were outclassed in the spin department and in the middle-order, in what was ultimately a fairly comfortable series victory for a hugely underrated Pakistan unit, who have now moved up to No 2 in the Test rankings, while England slipped down to 6th.
Mohammad Hafeez was named Man of the Match for his 151, while Jimmy Anderson was named Man of the Series for his 13 wickets at an average of 15.61.
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