Strauss - Pakistan 'outstanding'
England captain Andrew Strauss was determined to praise Pakistan rather than question his own side's efforts after the 72-run defeat.
Last Updated: 29/01/12 12:40pm
England captain Andrew Strauss was determined to praise Pakistan rather than question his own side's efforts after the 72-run defeat in Abu Dhabi.
Needing 145 to win, England were skittled out for just 72, their third poor batting performance in four innings on this tour, giving their opponents an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Strauss, who top scored with 32, said: "I wish I could explain it. Ultimately it was about very good bowling from both ends, applying pressure, making it hard for us to score and maybe we didn't take as may good options as we should have done.
"We'll have some regrets about that but it was an outstanding game of cricket. We came up short, but ultimately you've got to congratulate Pakistan. They were outstanding."
England were in an excellent position after Monty Panesar took 6-62 as Pakistan were dismissed for 214 in the morning.
But they never looked comfortable against Pakistan's spinners - Abdur Rehman did the bulk of the damage with 6-25 - and they scored at under two an over throughout their brief second innings.
"Sometimes you need to spend a bit of time at the wicket, things generally get easier, so there's always that balance between attack and defence," said Strauss. "People individually have to make their choice. But ultimately we didn't get it right.
"There were some outstanding performances on our side - Monty in particular coming back into the side, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook - we worked hard to get into a position to win the game but ultimately we couldn't take that opportunity.
"We've been rolled over three times out of four, the top order have to take that on the chin and make sure that doesn't happen again."
After leading jubilant Pakistan clebrations,skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said: "That was a much-needed victory for us. That's why we're so happy.
"It was a wonderful team effort, everyone performed, everyone put 100% effort in."
Misbah was impressed in particular with the younger members of his squad, adding: "One thing you want from the youngsters is the temperament, especially in pressure situations. England is the number one team but they crumbled under pressure."