ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022: England clinched the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 Title defeating Pakistan by 5 wickets in a thrilling Final Match played at Melbourne Cricket Stadium Sunday.
The T20 World Cup final match was evenly poised between England and Pakistan till 15th over with the latter in fact having an edge over the former.
However, it was the untimely injury of Shaheen Shah Afridi that turned the table in favour of England that finally won the title defeating Pakistan by 5 wickets.
Shaheen Afridi left the ground in 13th over while he got injured while taking the catch of Harry Brook (20/23). This was the time when he had already bowled a brilliant two overs.
Shaheen came back to bowl his 3rd over and 16th of the Final Match when England batsmen were struggling at 97/4 playing with a run rate of 6.47 while the required run rate was 8.20.
Ben Stokes (28 off 35 balls) and Moen Ali (3 off 4 balls) were on the crease.
Shaheen delivered a dot ball (15.1) but could not continue and left the ground forcing Pakistani Skipper Babar Azam to call Iftekhar Ahmed to deliver the remaining five deliveries.
And it was in this over Stokes and Moeen Ali got the chance to bring England back in the match, scoring 13 runs in 5 balls delivered by Iftekhar.
This turned the table in favour of England with Stokes ending the match with 52 runs off 49 balls Moeen Ali finishing with 19 off 13 balls.
Earlier, left-arm pacer Sam Curran and leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowled brilliant spells as England's bowlers put out a marvellous bowling performance to restrict Pakistan to 137/8 in 20 overs.
Electing to bowl first in overcast conditions, Curran (3/12) was impressive upfront and in death overs while Rashid (2/22) was stunning in the middle overs as England's meticulous planning and tactics, especially in the second half of the innings, meant they never let Pakistan get away at any stage.
Chasing a target of 137 runs, it looked an easy target for England. It however lost Alex Hales (bowled by Shaheen Afridi) in the very first over and Phil Salt and Jos Buttler in the 4th and 6th over respectively.
Stokes and Harry Brook tried to push the game in England’s favour but the latter was out in the 13th over (20 off 23 balls) even as the required run rate continued to soar. Brook was caught by Shaheen Afridi.
As Shaheen left the field after bowling just one ball due to knee issues, Stokes took advantage of it by hitting a four wide of cover and lofted just over long-off for six off part-time offie Iftikhar Ahmed.
Moeen Ali continued the tempo by taking back-to-back fours off Wasim Jr. on the first two balls of the 17th over -- a smack over the cover was followed by a pull through the gap at square leg. Ali then ended the over with a top-edge on a hard swipe over the keeper's head.
Though Ali was clean bowled by a brilliant yorker from Wasim Jr in the 19th over, Stokes reached his fifty in 47 balls with a controlled drive on a full toss past deep cover. He fittingly finished off the chase with a single through the on-side to win England the final with an over to spare.
Pakistan 137/8 in 20 overs (Shan Masood 38, Babar Azam 32; Sam Curran 3/12, Adil Rashid 2/22) lost to England 138/5 in 19 overs (Ben Stokes 52 not out, Jos Buttler 26; Haris Rauf 2/23, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1/13) by five wickets
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