England complete historic 3-0 whitewash in Pakistan
- Needing just 55 runs, England took only 11.1 overs to reach their target of 167
- Asked to sum up England’s first test tour of Pakistan since 2005, captain Ben Stokes said ‘perfect’
England’s bold brand of cricket brought more accolades on Tuesday as they became the first test team to complete a 3-0 whitewash in Pakistan with their eight-wicket victory in the third and final match in Karachi.
The tourists, having restricted Pakistan to 216 in the second innings, comfortably chased a target of 167 to bring up their third straight victory in the series after wins in Rawalpindi and Multan.
Before their tour, England had won only two tests in Pakistan and it was their first series win in the country since 2000-2001.
An opening partnership of 87 from Zak Crawley (41) and Ben Duckett (82 not out) had given England a flying start while all-rounder Rehan Ahmed, promoted to number three, made 10 runs before the 18-year-old leg spinner lost his off stump on Monday.
Ahmed had put England in control of the test on day three after becoming the youngest bowler in men’s test history to take a five-wicket haul on debut.
Duckett and captain Ben Stokes (35 not out) returned to the crease on Tuesday and their 73-run partnership pushed England over the line during the morning session of day four.
England have made huge progress under Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum, whose high-risk high-reward “Bazball” style has brought nine wins in 10 tests.
Before the change in leadership England had been mired in a miserable run of one win in 17 tests.
Asked to sum up England’s first test tour of Pakistan since 2005, Stokes said: “Perfect.”
“We’ve got a process we want to play but the challenge was the different pitches for every test,” he added. “We stuck to our game plans and adapted really well.
“The commitment and mindset have been top drawer. It comes down to the belief, that I and the 10 other guys have. That resonates around everyone, the confidence everyone has gives me so much confidence in myself too.”
Although the batters shone on Pakistan’s run-friendly wickets, he also had praise for his bowlers.
“We were particularly good with the ball. Whoever I threw it to, they seemed to deliver. The commitment and mindset has been top drawer,” he said.
Harry Brook was named player of the match, and the series, after making 111 in the first innings in Karachi, his third ton in as many matches. Brook accumulated 468 runs with three hundreds and was also singled out by Stokes.
“Every person has stood up at some point, but Brook has been unbelievable. He’s set Pakistan on fire … the calmness and belief is high class,” Brook said.
“Probably been my best tour so far.”
Pakistan captain Babar Azam said they had played well in parts but could not keep the pressure on for long enough.
“We were not good enough to fight back but, credit to England they played really well,” he said.
“First innings we lost back-to-back wickets, we were good in patches but not good for longer periods and that cost us.”
Pakistan’s problems were compounded by injuries to their fast bowlers, with Shaheen Shah Afridi ruled out before the series with a knee injury.
Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah missed the last two tests with fitness problems.
But Pakistan suffered major batting collapses, losing their last six wickets for 108 in the first innings in Karachi and seven for 52 in the second.
Tuesday’s defeat means it is also the first time Pakistan have lost four home tests on the trot, having been beaten by Australia in Lahore in March.