Pakistan defeated England inside three days after bowling out Test cricket’s top-ranked team for 160 in its second innings of the opening cricket Test in Dubai.
Pakistan won by 10 wickets after being left with just 15 runs for victory. Saeed Ajmal followed up his 7-wicket first- innings haul with three more dismissals to claim 10 wickets for the second time in his career. Umar Gul was the top Pakistan bowler in the second innings, accounting for the first four batsmen.
“We have not expected it was going to be so easy for us,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said in the postgame ceremony. “It was a wonderful performance from the team. Saeed Ajmal got seven wickets in the first innings and put us on the way to victory.”
“We’re not going to push the panic button,” England captain Andrew Strauss said. “All credit to Pakistan. Once they got ahead of us in the game, they didn’t let us back in.”
It’s the first meeting of the two teams since three Pakistan players were jailed for conspiring with bookmakers to cheat in a game in England in 2010. The series is being played in the United Arab Emirates because Pakistan was barred from playing at home after a terrorist attack against a visiting Sri Lankan team in 2009.
England’s chance of overhauling the 146-run deficit was damaged early on as Gul removed openers Strauss and Alastair Cook for 6 and 5. Jonathan Trott hit 49 as wickets tumbled around him with the visitors losing 5-62 in the middle of their innings.
After Swann provided some resistance and helped England avoid an innings defeat by hitting 39, Mohammad Hafeez followed up his first-innings’ 88 by scoring all the runs required for victory.
The second Test begins Jan. 25 in Abu Dhabi before the teams return to Dubai to close the series, starting Feb. 3.
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