The Bob stood still until England's one-day demolition
The third test was no cakewalk for England. Pakistan was here to play some good, competitive cricket, the match was nothing short of excitement until the fourth day; it was an absolute delight for the fans. England was put to bat after losing the toss and could manage only 297 runs. However, it seemed as though Pakistan were batting on a different pitch and scored 400. It was all England from here that pulled the situation to their side. Cook and Hales' approach was positive and prudent and they wiped out the deficit at a reasonably fast rate. Mo and Bairstow dominated the last session of the third day and chances of an England victory were more assured than a draw. Woakes and Jimmy took charge of the attack and skillfully produced reverse swing; bowling them out for 201 and won the test quite convincingly by 141 runs. The 4th test went wrong from the toss itself on a slightly overcast day England chose to bat and Pakistan swung the ball beautifully. Moeen Ali scored his 4th test hundred to stretch England's score to 328. Pakistan on a flat oval pitch amassed runs to get to a total of 542; Younis Khan wiped out his last 3 matches and showed how good he is. England were all for 253 and Pakistan won the test by 10 wickets. The last test in recent years has always been a bit of a problem for England. The lads should work on it for future long test series.
Obviously gutted that England didn't win 3-1 but 2-2 was a perfectly fair result to be honest. Who says that test cricket is dying? It is unheard off for a sub-continent side to level a series in England. The quality of cricket displayed by both teams was fantastic. Throughout the series England's lower middle order was as good as the top order. Bairstow, Woakes and Mo's batting was pivotal. It was relishing to see Mo bat the way he did with his sweet timing in the last two tests. Woakes' return to the side was magical. It's impossible to win without me - is his indisputable verdict. No doubt he is the player of the summer. Joe Root was once again the highest run scorer; he has been in splendid form for 3 years he is an absolute genius. Some selections have to be questioned though, England have stuck with James Vince since May and he hasn't been able to prove himself in international cricket. Crumbling performance from Alex Hales,but with his experience in limited formats England should give him a chance against Bangladesh. A poor series from Steve Finn too, a bit unlucky to be fair, only took 2 wickets. Hope he is back from his injury and makes the necessary improvements - he has shown his wicket taking ability in key moments before and he can in the winter too. Can't wait to see the squad for the winter, Will be really exciting.
It seemed as if Pakistan had lost their arsenal to win and were still marveling on the drawn test series. The one-day series was very one-sided and was a contrast to their test performance. They showed almost no skill to play modern one-day cricket until their consolation win in the final game. England won the first two ODIs with ease as Pakistan showed no fight. The third ODI, without doubt, was the highlight of the series as England scored 444 runs - the HIGHEST total in one-day history. It was great to see Hales back in form; he was struggling to get runs since the tests and what an extraordinary way to do it by scoring a 171 - the highest ODI score by an Englishman! It was a perfect batting display in my opinion. Root and Hales shared a stunning partnership of 248 runs which made England 283-1 in 38 overs. Utterly speechless on Joe Root (when am I not?) and his brilliant capability of scoring runs in every game, he scored 3 consecutive fifties and was Man of the series which has become quite a commonality now; definitely one of the finest players England have EVER produced .. From there, Jos and Morgan, both the big hitters with their extravagant shots amassed 150 runs in 67 balls to reach an unbelievable, record-breaking total. Pakistan stood no chance and England won by a huge margin of 169 runs and laid the platform for a whitewash! The bowling attack though not lethal, was every effective on flat pitches. With 3-4 all -rounders available, the basket looks full. Pakistan avoided a brutal 5-0 by clinching the final match comfortably. This series shows England are on a primrose path of winning the Champions Trophy at home next year. Come on lads!