T20 WC 2022, Final, ENG v PAK: Curran's 3-12, Stokes' 52* help England avenge 1992 loss in Melbourne
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Final, England vs Pakistan: Sam Curran's 3-12, Ben Stokes' 52* and Adil Rashid's 2-22 are top performances as England beat Pakistan in final and avenge 1992 loss in Melbourne. England win the T20 World Cup for the 2nd time.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 137/8 (Masood 38, Azam 32, Curran 3/12) lost to England 138/5 (Stokes 52*, Buttler 26, Rauf 2/23) by 5 wickets
Player of the Match & Tournament: Sam Curran (3/12 in the final & 13 wickets in the tournament at an economy rate of 6.52 and strike rate of 10.4)
Two former T20 World Cup champions - England and Pakistan - took on each other in the much-awaited final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on Sunday. The stadium was a jam-packed one on the occasion of the marquee game as expected, and the men in green had the maximum support.
Head-to-Head: Prior to this game, England and Pakistan had faced each other 28 times in a T20I game with England being the dominant team in this rivalry. They led Pakistan by a margin of 18-9 and they also recently won a bilateral 7-match T20I series against the same opponents in Pakistan by a margin of 4-3. This series was held just days before this world cup.
England’s batting prowess takes them over the line
The major talking point of the final has to be England’s approach to the chase on the big night. The natural big-hitters of the ball kept their aggression in check after losing 3 wickets in the powerplay, and Stokes undertook a calculative pursuit to the chase with a measured knock of 52* off 49 deliveries. Credit should be given to Pakistan bowlers for their spirited show, but the total of 137 they were fending was a below par one, in all earnest.
England’s death bowling was at it again in this tournament, and they gave away only 31 runs in the last 5 overs.
Pakistan openers disappoint yet again
England skipper Jos Buttler won the toss and elected to bowl first, just like they did a few days back against India in their semi-final clash. Pakistan’s prolific openers - Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam - had a sedate start as was the case right through the tournament with the exception of Pakistan’s encounter against New Zealand in the first semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Sam Curran removed Mohammad Rizwan in the 5th over of the game, when the latter dragged one back onto the stumps, and Pakistan ended the powerplay, scoring a paltry 39 runs for the loss of one wicket.
Sam Curran and Adil Rashid shine with the ball
Mohammad Haris who was impressive in the last few games, struggled to put bat on ball and eventually holing out in the deep against Adil Rashid. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam (32 from 28) and Shan Masood (38 off 28) had a brief partnership in the middle, but just when the duo seemed to break the shackles post the first 10-over period, Adil got in the act again by accepting a simple caught & bowled chance from Azam. Stokes then sent back Iftikhar Ahmed for a duck, and the run-rate reduced further.
The final 5 overs of the batting innings were all about England’s death overs bowling as they picked 4/31 in that phase, with Sam Curran being the wrecker-in-chief claiming 2 of those scalps, as Pakistan ended with a total of 137/8 which was below par even in a big final.
Stokes proves he is a big match-player once again
England in their pursuit of 138 for their 2nd T20 World Cup win, lost in-form Alex Hales who was castled by Shaheen Afridi for just 1 with the team score at 7/1 in the first over. Jos Buttler (26 off 17) got into the act by smashing Naseem Shah for a couple of boundaries, but Haris Rauf brought Pakistan back into the contest by picking the wickets of Buttler and Phil Salt (10) in his two consecutive overs. England made 49 runs in the powerplay losing 3 wickets.
With those wickets, Pakistan kept themselves alive in this game, but established all-rounder Ben Stokes and young Harry Brook added 39 crucial runs for the 4th wicket. Though coming in 42 balls, this partnership took England much closer to the title. An unfortunate injury sustained by Afridi, while taking a catch at long-off to send back Brook, meant Pakistan’s lead pacer could not take further part in the game. Eventually, Stokes and Moeen Ali, the seasoned left-handers won the game for the team with a brilliant 48-run partnership in 5.5 overs. England eventually took the trophy with 5 wickets still in their bank.
But the main reason for the game going as far as it did was the spirited bowling by the pacers of Pakistan, especially Haris Rauf who bowled his heart out on the big night.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the final of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 which was played between Pakistan and England.
Ben Stokes proves his worth on the big stage yet again with maiden T20I half-century
When Ben Stokes came to the crease, England had lost 2 wickets, and skipper Jos Buttler too perished soon after. And it was Stokes who stood tall in the night of the final at the MCG. He first steadied the ship along with Harry Brook, and then started to attack alongside Moeen Ali once he got his eye in.
Stokes kept his calm when facing some hostile bowling at times from the Pakistan pacers and measured his counter-attack at the right time to take England to a 5-wicket win. This was his maiden international T20 half-century and what a time to bring it. This was kind of redemption for him after his infamous final over at the T20 World Cup 2016 final against West Indies in Kolkata, and this particular performance also shows his ability while playing a crucial match. His exploits at the 2019 Cricket World Cup (CWC) Final and this makes him a clutch player, a man for big occasions.
Sam Curran finishes with 3/12 and has the best figures in a T20 WC Final
Sam Curran has had a dream tournament in Australia. While he picked 13 wickets in the World Cup, what has been impressive about him is his death bowling. He has figures of 9/68 in overs 16-20 throughout this world cup and in this game, Curran gave away just 6 runs in his final 2 overs, taking the wickets of Shan Masood and Mohammad Nawaz. Even in the powerplay, his tidy spell triggered the wicket of Mohammad Rizwan.
On the whole, Sam Curran has been the most valuable player for England in the 2022 edition of T20 World Cup and was rightly adjudged the Player of the Match & Tournament. He also ended up as the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the T20 World Cup 2022, tied at 13 scalps with Netherlands player Bas de Leede.
The leading wicket-taker of the just concluded edition of T20 World Cup is Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (15) but if one takes only the Super 12 stages and beyond as the criterion, Curran ended up as the leading wicket-taker of the mega event held in Australia.
Adil Rashid wins the battle against Pakistan batters in the middle overs
Before this game, the major talk was how Pakistan will fare against leg-spinner Adil Rashid in the middle overs. Rashid has the knack of taking wickets at crucial stages of the game, and in his match-up against Babar Azam, the spinner had picked the Pakistan skipper on 3 occasions in T20Is at 25 apiece. The leggie, like he usually does, put the brakes on Pakistan’s scoring rate, scalping a dangerous Mohammad Haris and Azam in the process. He ended with figures of 2/22 and it included a maiden as well.
In England’s last three knock-out games (final, semi-final and the Super 12 virtual quarter-final against Sri Lanka), Rashid picked 4 important wickets and what was more impressive was that in the preceding 10 games before the game against Sri Lanka, Rashid had picked just 2 wickets. His performances in this World Cup certainly make him one of the vital components of their victory in Australia.
England are twice T20 World Cup champions & are first side in the world to concurrently hold the title in both limited overs formats
England have won the T20 World Cup for the second time after their first title win in the 2010 event, and are only the second team after the West Indies to clinch the trophy on more than one occasion. Besides that, they are also the first side in the world to be the reigning champions in both the international formats of limited overs cricket.