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England collapse leaves Pakistan with series victory

Misbah ul-Haq and his Pakistan team celebrated an outstanding Test series victory over England. They won the second Test inside four days after England collapsed to 72 all out in their second innings in Abu Dhabi.

After Monty Panesar had collected six wickets in the Pakistan second innings, England had been set just 145 to win, but never looked capable of reaching the target. The Pakistan left arm spinner Abdur Rehmann tormented them, taking six wickets for just 25 runs.

The conclusion from the two Tests, in which first Saeed Ajmal, and then Rehmann demolished the England line-up, is that England struggle against top-class spin bowling.

That is an alarming revelation for the team that is supposed to be the number one Test side in the world. After a long rest over the winter, the England batsmen looked rusty and out of sorts, with the captain Andrew Strauss failing to lead by example.

Kevin Pietersen has had his worst Test series for England, while Eoin Morgan has done little to quieten the sceptics who doubt that the superb one-day batsman can translate those skills to the Test arena.

There are few positives to be drawn from the two defeats, although England can take comfort in the form of their bowlers. Stuart Broad has been excellent, and the contribution of Panesar showed that England have a reliable back-up spinner to call upon.

There is urgent need of some serious analysis before the next Test series in Sri Lanka. England may take the opportunity of the final Test against Pakistan to tweak their starting XI.

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