DUBAI - There cannot be any two opinions about this: Pakistan has let the advantage slip, and handed it to the Aussies on a platter.
That this Pakistan side is not used to winning, indeed not even used to taking on top flight opposition - and this rubber against Australia being first after a four year interregnum is a case in point.
Yet after the first outing, Younis Khan and his charges had the Aussies down and demoralised - its frailties stood exposed in sharp relief.
The greenshirts should have kept them there on the mat, but they couldn't.
Even without taking anything away from the all-round exploits of James Hopes and Andrew Symonds, it has to be conceded that Pakistan's effort in the second game lacked much method - especially when the men in green batted first.
Pakistan's batting is known for its impulsiveness, and without the steadying influence of a giant like Inzamam or a stylist like Yousuf, the onus is on Younis and Misbah.
And if they fail to deliver only because they do not put a high enough price on their wickets, it is unlikely that the side would make much headway against even a halfway decent attack.
And the Aussie attack was just that, only halfway decent, yet it got Pakistan for a well below par score only because the latter's leading lights were not responsible enough to adhere to the basics.
Hopes and Symonds, and to a lesser extent Shane Watson, did not blast away, but resorting to controlled aggression made most of every opportunity on offer and with swift running between the wickets put the issue beyond Pakistan.
Symonds' knock was significant because he came in to bat after the mini collapse, when Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi threatened to replicate their earlier performance.
Both teams have now moved on to Abu Dhabi for the remaining, decisive part of the series.
With its middle order having found its feet, the Aussies were not likely to make any changes in the eleven that brought it the win.
For the Pakistanis though it is time to go back to the drawing board and ponder why their game plan of keeping a depleted and uncertain opponent did not work in the second game.
The main issues are with the batting, as well as the ineffectiveness of its pace attack.
The spinners become far more deadly when the middle order is under pressure owing to lost wickets to pacemen.
Our spinners have not been provided this luxury.
The Pakistan camp, one has learnt on good authority, is thinking on the lines of reshuffling the batting.
This is about time it did.
It has now been established that after Younis, Misbah is the most accomplished of all - and a kingpin in the middle order.
It is logical that he is sent at four and not five or six so that he could consume most overs and help build the innings.
As for our fast bowlers, while Shoaib Akhtar is generating some pace, he has not gotten amongst the wickets.
And after the initial spell, Akhtar kinds of tapers off, perhaps because of his fitness not being 100 per cent.
Umar Gul too is a far cry from his best a couple of years ago in the Twenty20 World Cup.
In addition, both have this tendency of feeding one or two short and wide deliveries almost every over.
Now that is meat and drink for these Aussie batsmen.
The good thing from Pakistan's point - and it would need to make the most of it - is that its spin twin of Afridi and Ajmal has the Aussie number.
But these two cannot rustle up a win for Pakistan on their own every day; for this the whole unit would have to pitch in.
Now, a word about the fantastic Dubai Cricket Stadium.
It has received unqualified praise from almost everyone who has visited it this past week.
And not without reason Acclaimed as state of the art, this is reflective of the vision of Abdur Rehman Bukhatir and an excellent team that he has gathered around him.
The stadium is light and airy, exceptionally functional and spectator friendly.
And it is immensely different from the ugly brick and mortar monstrosities that we have created at such great expense only to find that they are eyesores and not easy for the spectators to boot.
One wishes that the horde of Pakistan cricket officials that came over would have picked up something just by going around the facility.
The entire vast area that is dedicated to Dubai Sports City is going through a rapid development phase, and it is already obvious that once it is complete, this would attract the best of the best in terms of excellence in coaching, training, contests and brands.
Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt flew back home Saturday.
He was said to be not a happy man, the cause of his latest unease being the federal sports minister Pir Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani's seeking and getting an audience with the ICC here in Dubai - with Butt kept out assiduously.
Butt is supposed to have been miffed because the intervention sidestepped him not just on the part of Jilani but the ICC as well.
Butt's ire is quite understandable, as never before has a PCB chairman been considered so irrelevant by the powers-that-be.