England began their Test summer with a sorry nine-wicket defeat early on day four against Pakistan after failing to sustain the previous evening’s brief fightback at Lord’s.
Jos Buttler (67) and Dom Bess (57) could add only a combined three runs to the spirit demonstrated in their stand of 126.
And on the resumption, fanciful hopes of an improbable victory faded fast as England lost their last four wickets for seven in 25 balls to be bowled out for 242.
As Mohammad Amir (four for 36) and Mohammad Abbas (four for 41) shared the spoils, and Pakistan were set only 64 for victory, Joe Root’s team extended their winter woes on to home territory – losing their sixth Test in eight attempts since the end of last summer.
Pakistan had done all the hard work and produced a clinical performance almost throughout. As they entered the home straight, Jimmy Anderson managed to strike a blow when he brought one up the slope to knock back Azhar Ali’s off-stump and make it 12 for one.
The tourists were minus a frontline batsman, Babar Azam out with a broken arm after being hit by a nasty short ball from Ben Stokes in the first innings.
If there were any jitters, though, they did not last long.
Imam ul-Haq and Haris Sohail did the necessary in an unbroken half-centuy stand.
Root admitted England had been outplayed in all departments. He said: “It’s not good enough. I think we were out-performed in all three departments.
“I thought Pakistan, their bowlers exploited the conditions which probably did a bit more than expected first thing but we played some poor shots. We gave some wickets away and you can’t afford to do that in Test cricket.”
Asked if he regretted his decision to bat first, Root said: “No. If we get something near 250 or 300 it’s going to be a very different game batting last on that surface.”