Complete England historic 3-0 series sweep in Pakistan as Ben Duckett ends unbeaten on 82 | Cricket News

Ben Duckett led the way with an unbeaten 82 as England took barely 40 minutes to seal an eight-wicket victory and a historic 3-0 series sweep of Pakistan.

The tourists resumed on day four in Karachi needing just 55 runs to reach their target of 167, having bowled Pakistan out for 216 on the back of Rehan Ahmed’s debut five-for the previous day.

Duckett, who resumed on 50 not out, and skipper Ben Stokes (35 no) then comfortably saw them home in the morning session as England wrapped up the series win in style.

Heading into their first tour of Pakistan for 17 years, England had only beaten the hosts in Test matches twice before on their own turf – and the last of those came in 2000 in the dark in Karachi.

Returning to the National Stadium for the final match of this series, Duckett’s unbeaten half-century and an opening stand of 87 with Zak Crawley (41) in the evening session on day three had put Stokes’ side on the verge of victory.

Stokes signaled his intent in the second over of the day when he pulled Mohammad Wasim through midwicket for the first four of the morning, with him and his partner running aggressively between the stumps as well.

The duo soon passed the half-century mark for the third wicket, too, although the England captain had a let-off when he was put down on 22 by Agha Salman in the deep off Abrar Ahmed.

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England’s winning moment in Karachi as Ben Duckett thrashed Mohammad Wasim through the off-side for four

That made no difference to the outcome of the match, though, and Stokes tried to finish the game with a six back down the ground, only for it to drop short of the boundary.

It was instead left to Duckett to hit the winning runs, which he did by clipping seamer Wasim into the off side for the 12th four of his innings, with his tally coming from just 78 balls.

It brought to an end a memorable 2022 for England under the leadership of Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, with the red-ball team’s attention now turning the two-match series away to World Test Championship holders New Zealand in February.

What they said

England opener Ben Duckett (82 not out from 78 balls)

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Ben Duckett says he’s not sure he will play in a side like this ‘ever again’ when describing the team’s mentality which saw England sweep a historic series win over Pakistan

“Going to sleep last night I really wanted to be there at the end. You don’t get many opportunities to be there at the end at the top of the order, so I’m very happy.

“I’m very happy. These conditions, it’s lots of spin bowling and it was nice. I tried to stick to my game as much as possible and if I was being over-critical, I feel I left some runs out there in this series…but I’m just happy I stuck to my strengths.”

Pakistan captain Babar Azam

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Babar Azam feels the team’s unfit pace bowlers cost Pakistan a 3-0 defeat against England

It’s definitely a disappointment as a team. We are not good enough to fight back, but credit to the England team because they played very well.

There are definitely lots of positive things in this series that we can take into the next series [at home to New Zealand]but we will also discuss where we lacked in the matches so we will fix that.”

England captain Ben Stokes

“It’s been perfect. We’ve got a process of which we want to play, but one thing which has been the challenge this series has been the different types of pitches we’ve had to play on. But we stuck to our gameplan and I think we adapted really well, whether that’s with bat or ball.

“It just comes down to belief – the belief I have in the 10 other guys around the field with me. Not at one point throughout this series did I not believe in the team and what we’re trying to do, and I think that resonates around everybody.

“To be able to lead a group full of that belief and confidence gives me so much confidence in myself, and that’s a very special thing to be able to say you have that feeling for your players.”

What’s next?

England return to action with a three-match one-day international series in South Africa At the end of January, followed by the Test team heading to New Zealand for a two-match tour in February. That series opens with a day/night test in Mount Maunganui on February 16.

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