Misbah ready for England response

Pakistan England

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Umar Gul & Misbah-ul-Haq

“We had not expected that it was going to be so easy for us, but it was a wonderful performance by the team," said skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, right

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq expects England to respond to their 10-wicket defeat in the first Test at Dubai.

Misbah’s men drew first blood in the three-match rubber by dismissing their opponents for 160 today, leaving them a mere 15 runs for victory.

The series resumes in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Misbah is ready for England to show why they are top of the ICC’s Test rankings.

"We have to focus on the coming matches," he said. "We can't just relax - because England are the number one team in the world.

"We can expect a tough time from them in the next game. When you're number one in the world, there is something that makes you number one in the world.

"They have quality batsmen; their bowling attack is really good; they're fighters. So we know they'll really come hard."

Misbah nevertheless praised his side for an outstanding performance to complete victory inside three days.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who took a career-best 7-55 in England’s first-innings 192, sealed the win and a 10-wicket match haul.

“It was a wonderful performance by our bowlers, and Saeed’s great variations brought the mistakes,” Misbah added.

Misbah also lauded Umar Gul, the leader of Pakistan’s attack who removed England’s top four today en route to figures of 4-63.

“He is a match-winner for us for a longer period of time,” Misbah said. “When we need him he just bowls his heart out. I think today proved it.

“Even Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Hafeez, they are also contributing very well with the ball.

“So I think it’s a good bowling unit but I’m going to mention the batting also because conditions here are difficult for batting. So all the batsmen are really getting good scores and that’s good for our team.”

Misbah admitted he never anticipated such a big victory.

“We had not expected that it was going to be so easy for us, but it was a wonderful performance by the team, especially Saeed, because the way he took those seven wickets in the first innings really put us on the way to victory,” he added.

Pakistan’s win today contrasted to England’s 3-1 series victory the last time the sides met in the summer of 2010. Since then Misbah’s team have not lost a Test series.

“I think everybody has gathered themselves,” he added. “They want to prove to the world they are good cricketers and prove Pakistan is a good side. That’s really what knitted the team. The way the boys have responded to everything is wonderful.”

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