England were crowned champions of the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup on Sunday as they defeated Pakistan by 5 wickets in what eventually turned out to be a comprehensive victory. This is England’s second T20 World Cup win, 12 years after Paul Collingwood‘s team had beaten Australia to win the first ICC title for the ‘Three Lions’in 2010. Ben Stokes slammed an unbeaten fifty to take the team home after Sam Curran‘s brilliance with the ball had restricted Pakistan to a below-par total of 137 runs. England are now the first team ever to hold the 50-over World Cup and the T20 World Cup titles together.
Pakistan needed a large-hearted bowling performance to stay in the match they did just that.
Shaheen Shah Afridi produced a peach of a delivery to castle England’s semi-final star Alex Hales for a score of 1 in the very first over of the chase to give Pakistan the start they needed after an unimpressive show with the bat.
Skipper Jos Buttler fought fire with fire as he produced a bunch of handsome strokes to get England going in the powerplay. Phil Salt’s short stay in the middle produced two boundaries but he became Haris Rauf‘s first victim, handing an easy catch to Iftikhar at mid-wicket as the ‘Three Lions’ slumped to 32/2. A visibly pumped-up Rauf returned to pick up the big wicket of Buttler (26) as a sea of green erupted in the colosseum-esque Melbourne Cricket Ground.
At 45/3 with the powerplay still on, Pakistan had fought their way back into the match and a lot now rested on the broad shoulders of England’s 2019 World Cup hero Ben Stokes.
Stokes and Brook took the total past 80 and kept the asking rate within a comfortable range but Shadab Khan struck in his last over to remove the latter for 20 as England were 84/4.
Naseem Shah made an impressive comeback in the match by bowling two tight overs as the asking rate started climbing.
But a massive turnaround happened when Pakistan’s premier paceman Shaheen hobbled off the field after bowling the first delivery of the 16th over. Part-time off-spinner Iftikhar was handed the ball to finish the over and he almost dismissed Ben Stokes. The ball dropped short of Babar Azam at long off and Stokes went on to hit a boundary and six off the last two deliveries to bring the equation down to 28 needed off 24 balls.
Moeen started the next over from Mohammad Wasim with two consecutive boundaries and finished it with another one as England needed 12 to win off 3 overs.
With 6 runs needed off 11 balls, Mohammad Wasim ended Ali’s 19-run cameo to Keep Pakistan breathing.
Pakistan were put to bat first after England skipper Buttler won the toss. Pakistan captain Babar Azam and opening partner Mohammad Rizwan tried to get the team off to a steady start but Curran provided England the early breakthrough as Rizwan chopped onto his stumps for a personal score of 15.
England continued to keep the Pakistan batters on a tight leash, giving away only 39 runs in the powerplay. Babar dropped anchor but wickets kept falling around him as Mohammad Haris (8) failed to get his attacking play to the fore in the summit clash, falling prey to the guile of Adil Rashid.
Babar and left-hander Shan Masood brought some stability to the innings with their watchful approach, carrying the team to 68/2 after 10 overs. Masood attacked Liam Livingstone‘s over and took Pakistan to 84/2 after 11 overs.
But wickets started tumbling thereafter as Rashid dismissed Babar for 32 and Stokes returned to send back the dangerous Iftikhar Ahmed for a duck.
Shahab Khan hit a few big shots to put Pakistan in a position where they could motor on to a 150-plus score, but they had no answer to the excellence of Curran who returned to dismiss the well-settled Shan Masood for 38.
Chris Jordan accounted for Shadab (20) and a few lucky strokes took Pakistan to 137/8.
Sam Curran (3/12) was the star of the show for England with Adil Rashid (2/22) and Chris Jordan (2/27) providing the supporting cast.
Topics mentioned in this article