Ben Stokes’ unbeaten half-century and outstanding bowling from Sam Curran and Adil Rashid helped the Practitioners defeat Pakistan by five wickets in Melbourne on Sunday to win the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup for the second time.
England was chasing Pakistan’s meager total of 137/8 at the MCG, and Stokes used his experience to score 52 off 49 balls just when his team needed it the most. For a large portion of Pakistan’s innings, seamers Sam Curran (3/12) and Adil Rashid (2/22) were nearly unplayable, taking five crucial wickets between them while only giving up one boundary.
Babar Azam was taken out for 32 by Rashid at the crucial moment when it appeared the captain was ready to accelerate, and Pakistan’s batting innings never recovered after that. With England’s talented batting lineup, Shan Masood (38) and Shadab Khan (20) made some helpful late runs, but their combined score of 137/8 was never going to be enough.
England wins the T20 match after Afridi’s injury.
Even though England had a slim lead while needing 41 runs from the final five overs, their advantage grew when Pakistan’s star pace bowler Shaheen Afridi was forced to hobble off after the first ball of his third over. After sending the dangerous Alex Hales packing for one with a magnificent yorker, Afridi gave Pakistan some momentum. Fellow quicks Haris Rauf (2/23) and Naseem Shah (0/30) were using up their energy and bowling at a terrific pace.
With Stokes and Moeen Ali (19) having to score at a rate of more than eight runs per over to secure the victory, Afridi’s return for his second stint may have been crucial. Iftikhar Ahmed was left to bowl the remainder of Afridi’s over after he limped off the field after falling awkwardly after a catch early in England’s innings.
Stokes exploits an unfavorable circumstance
The seasoned left-hander soon capitalised on Afridi’s injury by smashing a four and a six off Iftikhar’s next two deliveries to put England comfortably in control. A difficult scenario immediately changed to an easy one thanks to Moeen, who joined in the fun by hitting successive boundaries off Mohammad Wasim to bring the winning goal within reach.
Stokes was there at the finish with the game-winning half-century, ensuring England secured a Stokes victory even if Moeen lost his wicket late. second T20 World Cup championship and an exhilarating five-wicket triumph.
When Pakistan had 84 runs in T20 on the board at the end of the 11th over for the loss of just two wickets, they appeared poised to make a respectable total. However, everything came crashing down as the England bowlers made a fantastic recovery to limit them to a total of 137/8. In the final nine overs of their innings, Pakistan lost six wickets for just 53 runs, averaging less than six runs per over.
While defending their 137-run total, Pakistan took three England wickets during the powerplay, but they also lost 49 crucial runs. The defense team must not only take wickets in low-scoring games but also limit the number of runs scored. Although Babar Azam’s team checked off the wickets, they were powerless to stop the flow of runs.
The English middle order was relieved of a lot of the burden as a result, allowing them to wait patiently at the crease to extend the game. Even though Pakistan continued to put up a valiant fight, all it took for England’s batsmen to prevail was to keep moving around.
Shaheen ignites Pakistan, but injury dashes its chances
In addition to defending their low total, Pakistan needed to get off to a quick start to lessen any harm that England might cause during the Power Play. At the T20 World Cup, England had the highest run average (52) at the loss of the fewest wickets, and while they scored 49 in the championship game, it came at the expense of Phil Salt and in-form openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales. With a devastating yorker to eliminate Hales in the opening over and immediately improve Pakistan’s chances, inspirational pacer Shaheen Afridi launched the attack.
The death overs were also going to be crucial for Afridi’s performance in the T20. He was observed, though, leaving the field while limping. He did make an attempt to return and bowl, but he was forced to withdraw after only bowling the opening ball of the 16th over. Iftikhar Ahmed, a part-time spinner, was brought into the attack to finish Afridi’s over, but he ended up giving up 13 runs off his five deliveries, which gave England the opportunity to regain momentum in their inning.