England have won the ICC T20 World Cup in an exciting and a swashbuckling Final against Pakistan. England and Pakistan reached to the finals by beating the Group Toppers – India and New Zealand, respectively in Semi-Finals. Both the teams did not make it easy for the other in any sense and fought till the last run is scored. Shaheen Shah Afridi’s injury hammered Pakistan’s confidence in the end but Stokes, the greatest finisher for England, carried them through and won the Final, to make them World Champions of T20I cricket, again.
Going into the details, England won the toss and elected to field first, just like in Semi-Finals against India. MCG got ready for the final even with rain around in quick time and ground staff should be appreciated. Rain also stayed away from ground during the match putting all the fears of going into reserve day or not having a game to rest. England bowlers did not let Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to dictate terms. Sam Curran bowled an excellent spell pushing Pakistan on the backfoot. Rizwan got out quickly and Mohammad Haris, the exciting young talent also failed to score. Pakistan scored only 45/2 in 7.1 overs against tough England bowling.
Babar Azam and Shan Masood tried to put up a partnership but they took too many deliveries to score their runs for Pakistan to get any momentum. Babar Azam 32 (28) got out in 12th over and Iftikar Ahmed followed him. England even tightened the big hitters like Shadab Khan and Shan Masood. Both of them got out in same over trying to accelerate. Shan Masood (38) top scored for Pakistan as they ended up putting up 137/8 in 20 overs on board. Among England bowlers, Sam Curran (3/12 ) impressed everyone. Adil Rashid (2/22) bowled a game-changing over and Chris Jordan (2/27), Ben Stokes (1/32) chipped in with tight overs.
England started their chase by losing Alex Hales (1) to excellent Shaheen Shah Afridi ball. Phil Salt (10) tried but couldn’t get going. Jos Buttler (26) got out soon. England at 45/3 in 6 overs looked in trouble. Ben Stokes started to take control of the chase from then on. He and Harry Brook (20) played safety-first cricket and put on 39 runs partnership. Moeen Ali (19) joined Ben Stokes and both of them put on 48 runs partnership confirming England win.
Ben Stokes again mastered the chase by taking it deep. He waited for the right occasion to go after Pakistan bowlers. Shaheen Shah Afridi had to walk out due to injury and this gave him an opening to attack, a depleted attack. Ben Stokes scored 52 runs off 49 balls as the score really helped him to take the game at his own pace to the deep than having to hit from ball one. Like in 50 over World Cup in 2019, Stokes took England to victory shores in 2022 ICC T20 World Cup.
Losing Pakistan Captain, Babar Azam talking at Presentation, said, “Congratulations to England team, we felt like everyone came here to support us, thank you so much. The way the team has gone in the last four matches, incredible. I told the boys to play their natural game, with freedom. We were 20 runs short but fight to the last over was unbelievable. Our bowling is one of the best but unfortunately Shaheen’s injury cost us a different result, but that’s part of the game.”
Sam Curran, England All-rounder, won Player of the Match and Player of the Tournament. He said, “A little bit lost for words. We’re going to enjoy this. I don’t think I should be getting this, the way Stokesy played there… we’re going to enjoy this occasion, very special. They had big square boundaries, so into the wicket, it offered for the seamers, nipping around and a challenge for the chase. The way I bowl, I go into the wicket with my slower balls and keep the batsmen guessing. World Champions, how good!” Speaking about Stokes: “People question him, but there’s no questioning him… he’s the man!”
Winning England Captain, Jos Buttler said, “This is the icing on the cake, to win the T20 World Cup, just immensely proud. A long journey and a few changes, but we’re reaping the rewards. Fantastic tournament, Pakistan was a valuable time for the group, but this is a way away from the Ireland game. Matthew Mott hass fitted in really well, quite a few Aussies with us. He’s led the coaching staff really well, gives the players great freedom and allows us to go out and trust ourselves. Adil’s over was outstanding, he’s always the guy we throw the ball to to take something happen. It wasn’t easy at all, got away to a decent start which controlled the run-rate, and that man Ben Stokes was there at the end. Stokes is the ultimate competitor. In anything he does, a hell of a lot of experience to bank on, he timed it perfectly the impetus he and Moeen had took it away from Pakistan”
Well, England won their second T20I World Cup and from 2015 team that played boring and defensive ODI game, Eoin Morgan brought a revolution. He made England to look at young players who are fearless and made England a fearless team and World ODI Champions with 50-over and 20-over World Cup simultaneously. Even though Jos Buttler won the T20 WC, he would give the credit to Eoin Morgan for sure. Congratulations England, you deserved this more than any other team in this competition.
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