Jos Buttler and his men delivered a thoroughly professional performance in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 at the MCG in Melbourne on Sunday as they defeated Pakistan by five wickets to lift the trophy for the second time in the history of the tournament.
The bowlers set up the match for England after Buttler won the toss and opted to field first. Pakistan were going well as they reached a score of 84 for the loss of two wickets at the end of the 11th over but the English bowlers came roaring back as they conceded just 53 runs in the next nine overs while claiming six wickets. As a result, Pakistan posted 137/8 in their quota of 20 overs.
It looked like an easy chase but Pakistan’s quality bowling attack was never going to give up easily. They bowled their heart out, reducing England to 49/3 in the powerplay, and kept building the pressure on the England batters throughout the innings.
The match hanged in balance with England requiring 40 to win from the last five overs. But Shaheen Afridi’s injury spoilt things for Pakistan completely. The pacer had to limp off the field after bowling the first delivery of the 16th over and off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed was called up to complete his over. Ahmed didn’t have the best returns as he conceded 13 runs off his five balls to place England in the driver’s seat again.
For England, it was Ben Stokes once again who kept fighting throughout the innings. He remained unbeaten on 52 from 49 deliveries to guide England home with an over and five wickets to spare. Harry Brook (20) and Moeen Ali (19) also supported him well to add valuable runs during their chase. Skipper Buttler had also played an extremely useful knock of 26 from 17 deliveries at the top of the order.
Haris Rauf was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers as he claimed twice wickets for just 23 runs. Earlier, Sam Curran had bowled an excellent spell of 4-0-12-3 to give England the upper hand in the match. He was named the Player of the Match and also the Player of the Tournament, as he claimed 13 wickets during the course of the competition at a superb average of 11.38.
Pakistan 137/8 in 20 overs (Masood 38, Babar 32; Curran 3/12)
England 138/5 in 19 overs (Stokes 52*, Buttler 26; Rauf 2/23)
England won by five wickets.