Another defeat for Pakistan looked inevitable right from Salman Butt's foolhardy call at the toss. Butt's move was intended to be a positive one, but the negative strokeless approach of Pakistan's batsmen was always likely to be ill-advised and so it proved as they fell to an embarrassing 72 all out. Pakistan could have collapsed into disarray after that, but they didn't and Butt must take some credit for that. His side fought back on both the second and third days to first restrict England to 251 after at one time being 177 for two. Then the lower order resisted on the third day to avert an innings defeat and at least set England a target. The replacements for Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneira, Zulqarnain Haider and Saeed Ajmal, both did well. However, there are massive problems to correct before the Oval with the top six batsmen and the abysmal fielding.
Here is how the Pakistan players rated on the Reverse Sweep report card:
Imran Farhat - 5 Was far too negative in the first innings when making a 24 ball duck, but was starting to look good in the second after a lot of hard graft, before his off-stump was removed by a jaffa from Swann.
Salman Butt - 3 Brave but ill-advised call at the toss had the wheels falling off the Pakistan bus from the start. And it didn't get any better for the captain with two more single figure scores. Looks like he couldn't buy a run at present.
Azhar Ali - 4 Full marks for perspiration but not many for inspiration. Faced a tortuous 32 balls for his duck in the first innings and took a further 15 balls to get his first run in the second. Will be annoyed that he eventually undid his patient work in his second knock to be bowled through the gate by Swann attempting a booming drive.
Shoaib Malik - 3 Shifted up to four to provide some experience and solidity and was promptly out cheaply in both innings. Throughout his career there have been questions raised about Malik's technique at test level and he did nothing to contradict the doubters at Edgbaston. Maybe he was too busy watching his back with Mohammad Yousuf returning to the scene?
Umar Akmal - 4 Clearly has bags of talent, but is low on confidence and suffering from habitual poor shot selection. Looks like he could do with a batting masterclass from the newly arrived Mohammad Yousuf.
Umar Amin - 5 Looked better at six and got starts in both innings. Drives well, but perhaps this tour has come a bit early for this youngster? Struck again with his golden arm, as Trott joined North and Watson as Amin's test victims.
Zulqarnain Haider - 8 Kept tidily in the first innings with the only blemish being spilling an inside edge from Pietersen, but missed a couple of chances off Ajmal's bowling in the second. Nearly bagged a king pair but then showed bundles of character and quality to lead a lower order fightback. All in all, an extremely promising debut. Kamran who?
Mohammad Aamer - 7 Bowled and batted with a lot of heart without getting the wickets he deserved. Hung around for 117 balls for a resilient 16 in the second innings and looks to have the technique to develop into a good number seven. No wonder there are so many comparisons with Wasim Akram.
Umar Gul - 5 Will be devastated that his hamstring will prevent him playing on the expected reverse swing friendly pitches at The Oval and Lord's. Pakistan will miss his quality and experience.
Saeed Ajmal - 8 Where has he been? Bowled with guile and excellent variations in pace and flight to bag a five for as a number of England batsmen failed to pick him. Then scored a spirited first test fifty despite being battered and bruised by the England quicks. Has consigned Danish Kaneira to spending the rest of the summer at Essex. Lucky Danish.
Mohammad Asif - 7 Was his usual reliable self with the ball without grabbing the number of wickets he deserved. Must wish that he played in a team with better batsmen and fielders who can actually catch the ball.