England were too good for Pakistan on Sunday evening at the MCG in the T20 World Cup final. The Three Lions, after deciding to field first, rode on Sam Curran’s 3-12 to restrict the Men in Green to 137/8 before Ben Stokes’ mature 49-ball 52* helped them to see off the target with six balls to spare.
England became the first team to become the double world champions (ODI and T20I) by beating Pakistan by five wickets on Sunday in the final of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Their excellent bowling performance, especially in death overs, forced Pakistan to muster a paltry 137/8 batting first. Shan Masood top-scored for Pakistan, hitting 38 off 28 balls while the others failed to contribute anything substantial. Coming to chase, Ben Stokes made headlines once again in the final, scoring an unbeaten 49-ball 52 to recover England from 45/3 before eventually hitting the winning runs.
He's (Ben Stokes) 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.
On the other hand, Buttler's counterpart Babar Azam was pleased with their bowler's valiant efforts to keep themselves in the hunt despite posting a below-par total. However, Babar admitted that they were 20 runs short in the first innings, which forced them to finish as runner-ups in the end. He also highlighted how Shaheen Shah Afridi's injury, which forced him to walk off the field during the 15th over, made the difference between the two sides.
The way the team (Pakistan) 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, who returned excellent figures of 4-0-12-3, was fittingly adjudged the Player of the Match, as well as the Player of the Tournament for taking 13 wickets in the campaign at an average of just 11.38. Curran was 'lost for words' for a while, but then explained how 'special' it was to emerge victorious in Australia.
A little bit lost for words. We're going to enjoy this. 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!
Adil Rashid, who played pivotal roles in England's victories in the semi-final and final by taking 1/20 and 2/22 respectively, was delighted after his side's convincing victory in the summit clash.
So proud of the boys, the position from the early tomorrow to now... we were nervous in the run-chase, but we knew we've got the firepower to get over the line. This doesn't happen often, so we'll cherish this for a long time.
Stokes, the man of the moment, credited England's bowling unit to show composure in the final and highlighted England learned the lesson after the defeat against Ireland, which resulted in their success.
In finals, especially chasing, you forgot all the hard work that came first. To restrict them to 130, the bowlers have to take a lot of credit. With Ireland being so early in the competition, we had to address it, we can't carry baggage in tournaments. The best teams take it on the chin, and move onto the next challenge. A pretty good evening.