Melbourne: An unbeaten half-century from Ben Stokes and brilliant performances with the ball from Sam Curran and Adil Rashid helped England to a second ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title.
Stokes’s calculated knock of 52 off 49 balls helped England beat Pakistan by 6 wickets in Melbourne on Sunday.
Seamer Sam Curran (3/12) and Adil Rashid (2/22) were near unplayable for much of Pakistan’s innings, with the duo picking up five valuable wickets between them and conceding just one boundary.
Rashid picked up the massive wicket of Babar Azam for 32 just as it looked like the skipper was about to accelerate and Pakistan’s batting innings never reached great heights from that point on.
Shan Masood (38) and Shadab Khan (20) contributed some handy late runs, but their total of 137/8 was never going to be enough with England’s strong batting line-up.
Pakistan were put to bat first after England skipper Buttler won the toss. Pakistan captain Babar Azam and opening partner Mohammad Rizwan tried to get the team off to a steady start but Curran provided England the early breakthrough.
Babar and left-hander Shan Masood brought some stability to the innings with their watchful approach, carrying the team to 68/2 after 10 overs. Masood attacked Liam Livingstone’s over and took Pakistan to 84/2 after 11 overs.
But wickets started tumbling thereafter as Rashid dismissed Babar for 32 and Stokes returned to send back the dangerous Iftikhar Ahmed for a duck.
Shahab Khan hit a few big shots to put Pakistan in a position where they could motor on to a 150-plus score, but they had no answer to the excellence of Curran who returned to dismiss the well-settled Shan Masood for 38.