England thrash Pakistan to lift T20 WC trophy
England denied Pakistan any repeat of 1992 World Cup feat as they came up with a ruthless performance to lift the T20 World Cup trophy for the second time, thrashing Babar Azam-led side by 5 wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) today (Nov 13, 2022).
There were a lot of talks after Pakistan rose from the ashes to make it final in a reminiscence of the 1992 World Cup but England played yet another clinical cricket to ruin the dream of the Pakistani fans who turned up in abundance in iconic MCG to see the side’s glorious achievement.
After restricting Pakistan to 137-8, England cantered to victory with a full one-over to spare.
With limited resources on the board, Pakistan raised the prospect of the unthinkable when they reduced Jos Buttler’s side 45-3 but Ben Stokes, the hero of England 2019’s ODI World Cup, held the nerve and drove the side to victory with serene approach.
Stokes who took the winning single, was unbeaten on 52 off 49, hitting five fours and one six.
Buttler began the innings with as usual aggressive fashion before Shaheen Shah Afridi got the better of Alex Hales in the very first over.
Haris Rauf also produced a fiery first spell that accounted for two wickets for him-he firstly removed Phil Salt for 10 after he played it straight to mid-wicket and then Buttler edged an express delivery to the wicket-keeper after playing 16 ball-26.
Stokes then took the onus and aided by Harry Brooks, he put on a small but significant 39-run partnership for the fourth wicket stand that brought the chase back on track.
Shadab Khan broke the partnership, dismissing Brooks for 20 while Mohammad Wasim removed Moeen Khan for 19 only to reduce the margin.
Stokes meanwhile kept the calmness amid the fall of wickets around him and guided one through midwicket for a single to complete the chase successfully in the penultimate over.
Haris took 2-23 to be Pakistan’s most successful bowler while Afridi, Wasim, and Shadan picked up one wicket apiece.
Adil Rashid produced a gem of spin bowling and Sam Curran came up with a disciplined fast bowling show, helping England restrict Pakistan to a moderate total, which gave England an early edge in their aspiration to win the trophy for the first time after 2010.
England now became the second team after West Indies to win the T20 World Cup twice. They also completed their double after winning an ODI World Cup back in 2019.
Rashid who stifled Pakistan in the middle overs with an intriguing show of googly finished with 2-22. Curran gave the finishing touch, refusing Pakistan batters to go on berserk in the death overs as he claimed 3-12. Chris Jordan played a perfect foil to the duo with 2-27.
For Pakistan, Shan Masood was the highest scorer with 28 ball-38, studded with two fours and one six. Captain Babar Azam made 32 off 28 while Shadab Khan added 20.
After being asked to bat first, Pakistan looked to head towards a good start even though opener Mohammad Rizwan survived a run out when on 2. He then swept fast bowler Chris Woakes six over backward square leg to kick-start Pakistan’s innings.
But things looked ominous as Curran rattled the stump, dismissing Rizwan for 15.
Pakistan wanted to gain momentum through Mohammad Haris who just earned a reputation as a big hitter. He began with a boundary but Adil Rashid removed him for 8, to further strangle Pakistan.
But the defining moment for England came when Rashid undid Babar with googly to leave Pakistan at 84-3 in the 12th over. From that point, Pakistan seemed to lose the plot. England turned the tide and never let it go.
The situation further worsened when Ben Stokes got rid of Iftikhar Ahmed for a duck with a delivery that carried extra bounce.
Pakistan then kept losing wickets at regular intervals as Curran and Jordan produced a fine death bowling to further embarrass Pakistan.