England seal historic 3-0 series victory in Pakistan
Karachi: relentless England line-up powered to an eight-wicket win in the third and final Test to complete a historic series sweep in Pakistan.
England started the day needing a further 55 runs for victory and reached 2-170 within 38 minutes to secure their second successive win with more than a day to spare in their first Test tour to Pakistan in 17 years.
It was Pakistan’s first-ever 3-0 loss in a three-Test series on home soil.
Pakistan fell for 216 against 18-year-old rookie Rehan Ahmed (5-48) in the second innings to set England a modest target of 167 for victory.
Ben Duckett resumed on 50 and remained unbeaten on 82 off 78 balls and skipper Ben Stokes signed off his team’s dominant ‘Bazball’ brand of aggressive cricket by finishing 35 not out.
Pakistan spinner Abrar Ahmed could have finished the series with 18 wickets in two Test matches, but Agha Salman couldn’t hold onto a difficult chance from Stokes at long-on with England just 19 runs away from a memorable win.
England won the first Test on a flat wicket in Rawalpindi by 74 runs in dimming light on the last day before recording a thrilling 26-run win at Multan on a slow-turning track inside four days.
Rehan Ahmed conquered Pakistan’s batters in the team’s fortress – National Stadium – on Day 3 and England had motored to 2-112 in the final session through aggressive batting of Zak Crawley (41) and Duckett.
It was just a third loss for Pakistan at the National Stadium in 45 Test matches and first in 15 years. England was the first team to beat Pakistan there in a Test match in 2000 before South Africa won a Test match here seven years later.
Pakistan were kept at bay throughout the last three weeks and unable to find the right combination to counter England’s aggressive gameplan, which began at home this summer and now has seen them winning nine of the last 10 Test matches.
England’s only loss in that period was against South Africa at Lord’s before the Proteas got beaten 2-1 in the series.
England set the tone of a clean sweep in Pakistan when four of their batters smashed centuries on the opening day of the first Test and the visitors racked up world-record 4-506.
Young Harry Brook filled perfectly in the shoes of injured Jonny Bairstow with three successive Test centuries on tour and amassed 468 runs.