England have become the first visiting team in Test history to whitewash Pakistan in their own conditions, completing an eight-wicket in Karachi to wrap up a memorable 3-0 victory.
The result means England have won nine Tests out of 10 under Ben Stokes – a 180-degree turnaround after they had won just one of their last 17 under Joe Root.
Resuming on the fourth morning on 112 for two in pursuit of 167, they needed just 38 minutes to wrap up the win, with the two Bens – Duckett and Stokes – supplying the finishing touches.
Ben Stokes and a resurgent England side completed their 3-0 series whitewash of Pakistan
Stokes and Ben Duckett completed the job in under forty minutes to win the third test
Duckett finished a superb series with an unbeaten 82 off just 78 balls, while Stokes – who survived a tough chance to deep midwicket off Abrar Ahmed on 22 – was undefeated on 35.
The winning runs came when Duckett slapped Mohammad Wasim through the covers, and immediately accepted the embrace of his captain.
England have made history out here, and they don’t know it.
The last time Pakistan lost more than a single Test in a home series was against India, who beat them 2-1 in 2003-04. England had previously won just two of their 24 Tests in this country – and have now won more Tests in Pakistan (five) than they have lost (four).
Their nine Test wins in 2022 is also England’s second-highest tally, behind 11 in 2004. England also won nine Tests in 2010, though from 14 matches to the 16 they have played this year.
Whichever way you crunch the numbers, their latest series win – after beating New Zealand and South Africa in the summer, and tying their series with India by winning the delayed Fifth Test at Edgbaston – may be their best yet.
An elated Stokes shook hands with the umpires and Pakistan players before walking off
England had arrived in Pakistan amid warnings that their style would not transfer easily to the local pitches. The worry could not have been more misplaced.
On the first day at Rawalpindi – with the dressing-room still in the grip of a virus that had threatened the game – they scored 506 for four, with four individual centurions.
After that, they hardly looked back. Stokes’s fourth-day declaration in that game, setting Pakistan up a tempting 343 in four session, proved a masterstroke, and his fast bowlers – led by Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson – were magnificent on the final day.
The quicks, now supplemented by the inexhaustible Mark Wood, were to the fore in the dramatic 26-run win in Multan, before England’s spinners took over in Karachi, with 18-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed picking up a debut five- for with leg-breaks and googlies.
Duckett has been superb and finished a fine series with an unbeaten 82 off just 78 balls
Every time England got into a tight spot, someone answered the call. Few, though, answered it more emphatically than Harry Brook, the 23-year-old Yorkshire batsman playing his first Test series.
He followed with 153 and 87 at Rawalpindi (off a total of 181 balls) with 108 at Multan and 111 at Karachi.
The Pakistani bowling was a mixed bag, especially in the first Test, where they contrived to leave out mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed, but that is to take nothing away from Brook’s precocious brilliance.
Others rose to the occasion, too. Duckett, playing his first Test for six years, was the perfect foil to Zak Crawley, who got the whole show on the road by taking 14 off the first over of the series.
England posed for a victory photo and this will go down as one of their great series wins
Ollie Pope, too, went beyond the call of duty, keeping wicket in the first two Tests, and – like Duckett – constantly counter-attacking with his sweeps and reverse sweeps.
Back in March, Australia came to Pakistan and won 1-0, an attritional victory that sparked talk of England needing to prepare themselves for a ’15-day series’.
Stokes was having none of it, and set about applying the logic that had worked so well in the summer to a new environment.
He has been magnificent out here, ensuring that England’s first Test series in Pakistan for 17 years will be remembered not just for the result, but for the way it was achieved.