England won their second ICC men’s T20 World Cup, as Ben Stokes’ fireworks guided his team to a 5-wicket victory over Pakistan in a low-scoring game.
England won the toss and put Pakistan to bat on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Sam Curran and Adil Rashid each scalped an early wicket, dismissing Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Haris for 15 and 8 respectively. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and Shan Masood looked ready to unleash, as they built a steady 40-run partnership, but the two English pacers struck again. Rashid dismissed Azam at 32 (off 28 balls, with 2 fours) while Curran sent Masood packing for 38 (off 28, with 2 fours and a six). The rest of the Pakistani batting line up folded out for mostly single digit individual scores, with only Shadab Khan scoring a 20 of 14 balls. Curran proved his mettle by taking wickets and pulling down the Pakistani score rate.
In response, Pakistan bowlers seemed up to the task at first, dismissing the dangerous Jos Buttler, Alex Hales and Phil Salt within the first 5 overs and under 50 runs. However, Stokes’ stabilising yet aggressive innings of 52 from 49 balls, with 5 fours and a single six, proved to be the boost England needed. Harry Brook and Moeen Ali contributed with useful 20- and 19-run cameos, guiding the English to yet another T20 World Cup.
Sam Curran was named the ICC Player of the Tournament as well as the Player of the Match, thanks to his role as a key bowler in the death overs and a useful wicket-taker for Jos Buttler’s side. Curran finished the World Cup with 13 wickets to his name, second only to Wanindu Hasaranga of Sri Lanka. Curran took wickets at an average of 11.38, putting him seventh of all bowlers at the tournament, and finished with an economy of 6.52: the best of all of England’s pace bowlers.