Following his side’s T20 World Cup triumph the star of the match Ben Stokes said that the bowlers won the game for England as Adil Rashid and Sam Curran choked Pakistan’s batting line-up and held them back from setting a big target.
England delivered a fantastic performance with the ball, reducing Pakistan to 137/8. Sam Curran (3/12) and Adil Rashid (2/22) were near unplayable for much of Pakistan’s innings, with the duo picking up five crucial wickets between them and conceding just one boundary.
Top performances from Sam Curran and Ben Stokes powered England to their second ICC T20 World Cup title after 2010, defeating Pakistan by five wickets in a gripping low-scoring final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) last Sunday.
“In finals especially when chasing.. you probably forget all the hard work before that, how we bowled, Adil Rashid and Sam Curran won us the game. It was a tricky wicket and one that you never felt in, so to restrict them to 130-odd bowlers have to take a lot of credit for that,” Ben Stokes said in a post-match presentation.
Stokes used all his experience to smash 52 from 49 balls just when his team needed it most as England chased down Pakistan’s low-scoring total of 137/8 with six deliveries remaining at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Talking about the defeat against Ireland in the early tournament, Stokes said that in events like this they can’t keep carrying the baggage and the loss against the Irish team was a “little blip.”
“With that (defeat to Ireland) being so early in the competition we obviously had to address it, say what had to be said and then let it go. In tournaments like these, you can’t carry baggage with you, that was a little blip on the way, credit to Ireland for turning up and beating us, but the best teams learn from their mistakes and do not let it affect them. Pretty good evening. Representing your country in World Cups is amazing, but it has been a good one,” he further added.
Coming to the match, put to bat first by England, Pakistan was reduced to 137/8 in 20 overs. Shan Masood (38) and skipper Babar Azam (32) scored most of their side’s runs.
Sam Curran (3/12) was the leading bowler for England in the finals. Spinner Adil Rashid (2/22) and pacer Chris Jordan (2/27) also got some crucial wickets. Ben Stokes got one wicket.
Chasing 138, England was reduced to 45/3 in 5.3 overs. But a 48-run stand between Ben Stokes (52* off 49 balls with five fours and a six) and Moeen Ali (19 off 13 balls) swung the game in England’s favour and they won their second title, their first since 2010.
Haris Rauf (2/23) was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan. Shaheen, Wasim and Shadab picked one each.
Curran clinched the ‘Man of the Match’ for his match-winning spell in the finals.