Captain Marcus Trescothick admits England were "outclassed" by a better team yesterday as they recorded their joint-heaviest limited-overs defeat on record, against Pakistan.
Trescothick's attack was powerless to stop the hosts piling up 353 for six - the highest total ever made against England - on the back of a sparkling hundred at the top of the order from Kamran Akmal (109), some tidy accumulation from Mohammad Yousuf (68) and the fierce hitting of Abdul Razzaq (51 not out).
Worse was to follow as England were bowled out for 188 in only 42 overs, losing by 165 runs to concede a 2-1 lead to the hosts with two matches left to play in the one-day series.
"We were beaten by a better team. They outclassed us in most departments and gave us a bit of a hiding, real-ly," said Trescothick.
After winning the toss and surprisingly asking the opposition to bat first, he had hoped early swing at the National Stadium might help England's bowlers keep Pakistan in check and maybe nick a couple of early wickets.
None of that happened as Kamran posted his second successive hundred from 111 balls and his opening partner, Salman Butt, batted patiently
in an opening stand of 74. England's new golden arm, Liam Plunkett, had unexpectedly taken two wickets in three balls, but Pakistan's centurion shared a stand of 104 with Yousuf at better than a run-a-ball to set the scene for the big-hitting Shahid Afridi and finally Razzaq.
"We didn't really take part in a lot of the game," said Trescothick. "We've had two where we've been thoroughly beaten. It is disappointing, especially after how well we played in the first game."
The England captain was frustrated with his own team's performance but insisted the opposition made things hard for his tourists, too.
"Getting 350 in the first innings is a good effort - give them credit," he said. "It put us out of the game a little bit; then, if you don't get off to a good start trying to chase a total like that, it is going to be hard work.
"I thought we'd be chasing 300 or something like that, which I'd back us to chase down on these sort of wickets but we were never at the party.
"We needed a good start but we lost two wickets in two or three overs, and we were behind the eight-ball very early on."
England were up against it as soon as they failed to take a wicket with the swing available to new-ball pair Andrew Flintoff and James Anderson, although Plunkett's double strike raised hopes briefly.
By the time Razzaq smashed a half-century off just 22 balls, however, there was no hiding place.
From the beginning of their mountainous run chase, England were in trouble and had got barely beyond the foothills before their captain, Matthew Prior and Worcestershire's Vikram Solanki were numbered among the casualties.
Once Rana Naved-ulHasan became the second bowler to take two wickets in three balls, Trescothick and Solanki each fencing catches into the slips, there proved to be simply no way back.