England became 2-time T20 World Cup champions after they defeated Pakistan by 5 wickets in the MCG on Sunday. Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali played their parts meticulously as a Shaheen Shah Afridi injury pushed Pakistan further into a disadvantageous position.
Pakistan successfully neutralized the threat of Jos Buttler and Alex Hales as both batters went back to the pavilion without doing excessive damage. Hales was bowled by Shaheen Afridi for 1 run while Buttler went back in the last over inside the powerplay for fiery 26 runs off 17 balls.
Philip Salt, playing in place of the injured Dawid Malan could not make much difference to the scoreboard before being picked up by Haris Rauf for 10 runs.
Earlier, England left-arm pacer Sam Curran and leg-spinner Adil Rashid put relentless pressure on the Pakistan batting line-up to restrict the opposition to a below-par 137 for eight.
Curran, who made comeback from an injury earlier this year, has been England’s ‘go to’ bowler in the competition and he proved that on the big stage with brilliant figures of 4-0-12-3.
The wily Rashid (4-1-22-2) wasn’t going to be left far behind as he choked the run-flow in the middle overs with as many as 25 dot balls between him and Curran.
Rashid, with his stupendous effort, time and again showed how the Indian team management bungled its script by letting Yuzvendra Chahal cool his heels throughout the tournament.
The MCG track had enough bounce and pace but Buttler’s best performing bowling duo (Curran and Rashid) did exactly the opposite – take the pace off their deliveries.
Babar Azam (32), Mohammad Rizwan (15), Shan Masood (38) and Shadab Khan (20) were the only ones who reached double figures but they couldn’t capitalise on the starts.