Curran, Stokes star as England beat Pakistan to win T20 WC
Ben Stokes and Sam Curran starred as England defeated Pakistan by five wickets to win the T20 World Cup on Sunday. With the victory England became the sport’s first dual white-ball champions, holding both the 50 & 20-over titles.
Jos Buttler’s side held Pakistan to 137-8 in front of a partisan crowd of 80,462 at the raucous Melbourne Cricket Ground, with player-of-the-match Curran taking 3-12 & Adil Rashid adding 2-22. Curran was crowned Best Player of the tournament.
In response, Pakistan restricted England to 49-3 in the sixth over as they struggled to gain momentum against a ferocious pace attack, with boundaries challenging to come by.
Sokes does it again
However, Stokes (52 not out) and Moeen Ali (19) used their experience & cool heads to lead England to 138-5 with six balls to spare, capping off a thrilling tournament that spanned 45 games over nearly a month.
The win added to England’s 50-over title in 2019, continuing the legacy of former captain Eoin Morgan, who retired earlier this year.
It was England’s second T20 title, following their triumph in 2010. They joined the West Indies as the only two-time winners since the tournament’s inception in 2007.
The game was hailed as a showdown between Pakistan’s attack and England’s top order, and Shaheen Afridi bowled danger man Alex Hales in the first over of the run chase.
But Buttler responded by slamming two boundaries off Naseem Shah.
Phil Salt, who took over for the injured Dawid Malan, only lasted 10 minutes before being replaced by Haris Rauf.
The menacing Rauf claimed the key wicket of Buttler just, edging to wicketkeeper Rizwan on 26 off 17 balls.
The runs dried up, and Harry Brook had to be treated for an elbow injury, but he soldiered on as they reached 77-3 at the halfway point of the innings, compared to Pakistan’s 68-2.
Brook fell apart on 20 against Shadab Khan’s spin and while taking brook’s catch Shaheen Shah Afridi twisted his knee.
After bowling just one delivery in the sixteenth over, Shaheen struggled to continue his spell and left the field.
In a post-match conference, Babar said: It could have been different if Shaheen had been present “
It came down to 41 runs needed off the final five overs.
Stokes relieved the pressure by hitting a four & a six off Ahmed, & the England all-rounder hit the winning runs.
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