T20 World Cup: How the final was won by England and lost by Pakistan

Pakistan put up a valiant fight but England had too much arsenal at their disposal



Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi (centre) writhes in pain after suffering an injury while taking a catch to dismiss England's Harry Brook during the final in Melbourne on Sunday. — AFP
Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi (centre) writhes in pain after suffering an injury while taking a catch to dismiss England's Harry Brook during the final in Melbourne on Sunday. — AFP

By Ayaz Memon

Published: Sun 13 Nov 2022, 6:40 PM

After two one-sided semifinals, the final was a riveting contest. It wasn’t to be a last-over humdinger. England had too much arsenal at their disposal and worked their way out of some tough situations to post a clinical win.

But Pakistan put up a valiant fight. Their pace bowlers were superb and the fielding outstanding, but were let down by the batting. England were brilliant with ball, resilient with bat and overall simply too good!

Why England won:

>> Superb bowling in the Powerplay and death overs by Sam Curran. Adjusted his length astutely for different batsmen, varied the pace, got late swing both ways, choked Pakistan for runs and also picked up wickets.

>> Adil Rashid’s brilliant spell in the crucial middle overs. As he did against India in the semifinal, the leg spinner harried batsmen with flight, control, ability to extract turn from the pitch and how well he disguised his googlies. Dismissed danger man Mohammad Haris first ball and later got the priceless wicket of Babar Azam in a maiden over when the Pakistan skipper looked well set. In a low-scoring match, this was a big inflection point.

>> Jos Buttler’s captaincy was top class. His bowling changes and field placings were spot on and he never relaxed the pressure on Pakistan’s batsmen. When the pressure mounted on Ben Stokes while chasing the target, he asked Moeen Ali to take risks and play big strokes which paid off.

>> Ben Stokes: After the 2019 ODI World Cup, another masterclass from the classy all-rounder. A cool head, strong nerves, deep resolve and fantastic skills guided England through choppy waters after Pakistan had stormed back into the match. Take a back seat everyone else, Ben Stokes is the world’s best cricketer!

Why Pakistan lost:

>> Batting plans went haywire after the powerplay. Babar struggled for timing, couldn’t build up momentum, big-hitting Haris fell cheaply, the middle and bottom fell out cheaply leaving the bowlers a modest total to defend.

>> Shaheen Shah Afridi breaking down towards the end just when it was getting really tough for the English batsmen. He was the biggest threat to England. What might have been had he been able to bowl his final two overs can only be conjectured.

>> Fought well, but all told, did not have the all-round depth England did.

AYAZ MEMON


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