England were crowned champions of the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup on Sunday as they defeated Pakistan by 5 wickets in what eventually turned out to be a comprehensive victory. This is England’s second T20 World Cup win, 12 years after Paul Collingwood’s team had beaten Australia to win the first ICC title for the ‘Three Lions’ in 2010.
Ben Stokes slammed an unbeaten fifty to take the team home after Sam Curran’s brilliance with the ball had restricted Pakistan to a below-par total of 137 runs. England are now the first team ever to hold the 50-over World Cup and the T20 World Cup titles together.
Shaheen Shah Afridi produced a peach of a delivery to castle England’s semi-final star Alex Hales for a score of 1 in the very first over of the chase to give Pakistan the start they needed after an unimpressive show with the bat.
Skipper Jos Buttler fought fire with fire as he produced a bunch of handsome strokes to get England going in the powerplay. Phil Salt’s short stay in the middle produced two boundaries but he became Haris Rauf’s first victim, handing an easy catch to Iftikhar at mid-wicket as the ‘Three Lions’ slumped to 32/2. A visibly pumped-up Rauf returned to pick up the big wicket of Buttler (26) as a sea of green erupted in the colosseum-esque Melbourne Cricket Ground.
But a massive turnaround happened when Pakistan’s premier paceman Shaheen hobbled off the field after bowling the first delivery of the 16th over. Part-time off-spinner Iftikhar was handed the ball to finish the over and he almost dismissed Ben Stokes. The ball dropped short of Babar Azam at long off and Stokes went on to hit a boundary and six off the last two deliveries to bring the equation down to 28 needed off 24 balls.