England beat Pakistan by five wickets in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, November 13 and by virtue of this win, they have become the first-ever team to hold both the ODI and T20I world titles at the same time.
At the same time, England along with the West Indies (2012 and 2016) are the team to win the most number (two) of T20 World Cups. Even though England got over the line in the penultimate over, Pakistan gave them a run for their money right from the beginning.
After being asked to bat first, openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam tried their level best to lay a solid foundation for Pakistan, but it was not to be as both were dismissed at a crucial phase of the innings. Even the middle-order failed to make much of an impact and it was courtesy of Shan Masood (38) and Shadab Khan (20) that the Men in Green crawled their way to a below-par total of 137/8.
In reply, Shaheen Afridi castled the hero of the semifinals Alex Hales and made the contest exciting. Even though the scoreboard kept ticking, wickets fell at the other end as well and that is when Ben Stokes came forward and anchored the innings. He eventually finished things in style as England players celebrated in ecstasy.
Pakistan missed the services of Shaheen Afridi later in the innings after he injured himself while taking Harry Brook’s catch. He limped while bowling in the 16th over and could not bowl any further as Iftikhar Ahmed had to complete the remaining deliveries of the over.
Sam Curran decimates Pakistan with his brilliant spell
Sam Curran might have gone wicketless in the semis against India, but he reserved his best for the last and literally decimated Pakistan’s batting line-up by not allowing them to attack by any means especially in the middle and death overs.
Curran was extremely accurate with his line and length and finished with impressive bowling figures of 3/12 from his four overs at an economy rate of three. He was adjudged the Player of the Match and Player of the Tournament.
Ben Stokes – Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man
Ben Stokes once again proved why he is the man for big occasions. Stokes was the anchor of the England innings and this time played the anchor’s role to perfection. He came to the middle when the Three Lions were in a spot of bother having lost their top order.
Nonetheless, after taking some time to settle down, Stokes was unstoppable once he cut loose and went on to score a match-winning half-century. The southpaw remained unbeaten on 52 runs off 49 balls.
Losing skipper, Babar Azam said:
“Congratulations to England, they deserve to be champions and fought well. We felt like home here, got great support at every venue. Thanks for your support. Yes, we lost the first two games but how we came in the last four games was incredible. I just told the boys to play our natural game, but we fell 20 runs short and the boys fought well with the ball. Our bowling is one of the best attacks in the world. Unfortunately Shaheen’s injury put us off, but that’s part of the game.”
Winning skipper, Jos Buttler said:
“It is. To win the T20 World Cup now, really proud of everyone here. It’s been a fantastic tournament. We went to Pakistan before coming here, which was a valuable time for the group. he has fitted in really well. We have got a few Australians in the coaching staff. Huge swing in the game, fantastic over from Adil. Has been outstanding for us in the last three games, just the guy who makes things happen. When you hit a length there is some movement. We managed to get away to a start but it wasn’t easy. Ben Stokes just perfect at the end. He is the ultimate competitor in anything he does. Has the experience as well. That phase with Moeen Ali, just took it away from Pakistan.”
Player of the Match and Tournament, Sam Curran said:
“I don’t think I should be getting this, I think the way Ben Stokes played there, to get a fifty in a final and he does it so many times for us, he should get this (PoTM.). We are going to enjoy this occasion and it is very special. Big square boundaries, so I knew my into the wicket type bowling would work and try to make them hit square of the wicket. We felt the wicket was not as good as we thought it would be. It was nipping around everywhere and it was challenge to chase. I go into the wicket with my slower balls and try to keep the batsmen guessing. We are World Champions, how good. Incredibly special (to have Stokes). He is someone I look up to and always turns up when the team needs him, people question him but there’s no questioning him, he’s the man. To be honest, I am little bit lost for words, it has been a great tournament. First time for me in a World Cup and we have won it. Amazing crowd. I wanted to be adaptable coming into the tournament. I haven’t bowled much at the death before and that is one area I want to keep improving. I want to improve my batting though it is tough to get to bat in this line-up. How good is it to be a World Champ”