Sam Curran and Ben Stokes the heroes of the final as England break Pakistan hearts

England 138 for 5 (Stokes 52*, Rauf 2-23) beat Pakistan 137 for 8 (Masood 38, Curran 3-12, Rashid 2-22, Jordan 2-27) by five wickets

England became the first team to hold both men’s World Cups simultaneously, sneaking past Pakistan in a tense run chase to win the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup final at the MCG by five wickets with an over to spare.

Ben Stokes, England’s match-winner in the 50-over final three years ago, anchored another run chase and ground out his first half-century in T20 internationals in the format’s biggest game. He had battled to 24 off 34 balls, but a late flurry of boundaries removed the scoring pressure.

The game changed in the 13th over of England’s chase when Shaheen Shah Afridi slid forwards to complete a catch off Shadab Khan, dismissing Harry Brook. Pakistan’s celebrations were cut short when they realised that Shaheen had jarred his right knee, which had once threatened to rule him out of the tournament.

He received some treatment and attempted to return for his third over with 41 needed off 30 balls, but pulled out of his run-up once, then sent one down to Moeen Ali at 71mph/114kph. Iftikhar Ahmed completed his over and Stokes targeted him: he miscued him just short of long-off, but then slapped him through cover for four and launched him back over his head for six.

When Moeen started the next over with back-to-back boundaries off Mohammad Wasim, the required rate was below a run a ball. Wasim returned to york Moeen, but Stokes crashed him through cover then hauled him through the leg side to secure England’s title.

Curran strikes early – and late
England primarily used Sam Curran at the death throughout this T20 World Cup but his role shifted slightly in the knockout stages. Chris Jordan‘s inclusion, replacing the injured Mark Wood for the last two games, meant Curran bowled a second powerplay over in both the semi-final and final.

It proved crucial. Pakistan started slowly after being asked to bat first on a slow pitch, with Mohammad Rizwan’s slog-swept six off Chris Woakes their only boundary in the first four overs, and Curran – in his second over – struck as Rizwan looked to up the tempo, inside-edging a booming cover drive onto the base of his leg stump.

Curran returned at the death and had both Shan Masood and Mohammad Nawaz caught by Liam Livingstone at deep midwicket, using the MCG’s vast square boundaries to his advantage. He finished with remarkable figures of 3 for 12 across four boundary-less overs, winning awards as both player of the match and the tournament.

Full report to follow

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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