England UAE Tour

Having suffered a humiliating whitewash at the hands of Pakistan on their last visit to the United Arab Emirates, England and the Barmy Army came into this series determined to set things right.

Buoyed by the recent home Ashes win over the summer, Alastair Cook will have been confident of turning round the team's fortunes, but the tourists once again found Pakistan in fine form. Here is our recap of the series and its key moments.


First Test - Abu Dhabi

Pakistan 523-8 declared and 173

England 598-9 declared and 74 - 4

Match Drawn

This will undoubtedly be seen as a missed opportunity for England, who came desperately close to completing one of Test cricket's all-time great comebacks during an incredible final session on the fifth day in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan looked to be firmly in control after notching up a dominant 523, spearheaded by an impressive 245 from Shoaib Malik, while Mohammad Hafeez (98) and Shafiq (107) offered some impressive support.

It was a difficult debut for visiting spinner for Adil Rashid, who returned a disappointing 0-163.

The task for England, who had gained a reputation for being weak with the bat away from home, seemed hugely daunting, but they responded in fine style.

Alastair Cook answered his critics by producing a sensational 263 in the longest ever innings by an Englishman in test history, while Joe Root and (85), Ian Bell (63) and Ben Stokes (57) all provided valuable contributions.

England ended their innings on 598-9 in the morning session of the fifth day, with Pakistan looking comfortable at 113-3 shortly after tea, giving them a lead of 38 runs.

But the match was then turned on its head as veteran batsman Younus Khan, appearing in his 102nd Test match, edged to Stokes at Point to give Rashid his first Test wicket.

That was only the beginning of Rashid's redemption as the spinner, whose first innings figures were the worst ever recorded by a debutant, saw Asad Shafiq caught behind for six.

Moeen Ali joined in on the act as England polished off the last five wickets for just 14 runs.

Rashid remained the star, taking 5-64 to become the first bowler to concede 100 runs on their test debut before taking a five-wicket haul.

That gave England a sniff at an unlikely and dramatic victory, but a shuffled batting order struggled with Pakistan's spinners in a frantic dash for runs.

Jos Buttler was trapped lbw for four while Moeen and Stokes were both caught on the boundary and Jonny Bairstow was stumped.

England eventually ran out of steam, with the umpires eventually bringing the teams off due to bad light, leaving a rattled Pakistan to breathe a sigh of relief.


Second Test - Dubai

Pakistan 378 & 354-6 dec

England 242 & 312

Pakistan win by 178 runs

A brave last stand from Adil Rashid was not enough to prevent England slumping to defeat in Dubai in a batting performance that will have frustrated captain Alastair Cook.

An impressive 102 from captain Misbah-ul-haq inspired Pakistan to solid score of 378, earning his century in the very last over of the first day.

England, will have had a spring in their step after their spirited performance in the second test, but aside from solid performances from Cook (65) and Joe Root (88), it was something of a calamitous collapse for the tourists.  

Pakistan obliterated the middle order and tail end in just over an hour on the third morning, claiming the final seven England wickets for 36 in 18 overs to leave them all out for 242 and Pakistan a lead of 136.

As if to demonstrate England's failings with the bat further, Pakistan made light work of extending their lead on day four, eventually declaring on 354 to leave the visitors needing a record total of 491 to win.

Only a heroic partnership from Ian Bell and Root kept England from crashing to defeat sooner, with Cook (10) and Moeen Ali (1) both putting up little resistance.

Bell followed before stumps on day four with England now turning their attention on surviving for a draw.

Root (71) was eventually dismissed by spinner Zulfiqar Babar, who went on to take 3-53, while fellow spinner Yasir Shah earned 4-87.

It was the latter who eventually took the wicket of Rashid, with Babar taking a well-earned catch to dismiss the England spinner for an impressive 61 and condemn England to defeat, despite having posted their highest fourth-innings total in Asia on a wearing pitch.  


Third Test - Sharjah

Pakistan 234 & 355

England 306 & 156

Pakistan win by 127 runs

A difficult series for England was brought to a disappointing end as another batting collapse saw them succumb to a 127-run defeat.

Having seen hopes of a welcome series win dashed, England began brightly in Sharjah, with James Anderson and Stuart Broad taking 4-17 and 2-13 respectively.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-haq helped his side to 234 with a solid 71, but England will have been the happier side at the end of the opening day.

When England closed the second day on 222-4 with James taylor earning his maiden test 50, they will certainly have fancied their chances of going on for victory.

Indeed, it seemed as though Pakistan were beginning to feel the pressure, with Shoaib Malik using day three to announce his retirement from international test cricket.

But it was England that crumbled, with the final six wickets of their first innings falling for just 78 runs, with Malik shining with 4-33.

Pakistan took advantage, with a century stand from Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali wiping out England's first-innings lead of 72, before losing three more wickets to end the day on 146-3 and hold a lead of 74.

Hafeez eventually notched up 151 on day four as Pakistan were eventually dismissed for 355 to leave England chasing 284 to win.

But after starting the final day on 46-2, another collapse saw England surrender four wickets for 11 runs in the first hour of the final day.

Alastair Cook offered some resistance with an innings of 63, but could not prevent England being bowled out for 156 and slumping to a disappointing 127-run defeat.

We now look forward to the tour to South Africa.



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