ICC T20 World Cup 2022: England lift another ICC trophy
17 November 2022
England lift another ICC trophy with a win in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, brought about by thrashing Pakistan in an exhilarating final.
Two months back, England and Pakistan entertained the cricket fraternity with a nail-biting seven-match T20I series. No one had thought of another electrifying contest between the two sides that too in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. It looked like a repeat telecast of the 1992 World Cup. Playing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against England, Imran Khan-led Pakistan lifted their first ICC trophy 30 years back.
However, in 2022, the same venue produced a different result. Following a gut-wrenching defeat from West Indies in the 2016 T20 World Cup final, England finally claimed the trophy this year. It was not an easy ride for both Pakistan and England.
Starting the ICC event, the two teams witnessed the biggest upsets in the history of the shortest format of the game. Playing their first game against arch-rivals India at MCG, Pakistan lost by four wickets in heart-stopping circumstances. However, it was their second loss against Zimbabwe by one run that will be haunting the team for months to come. Following two losses, Pakistan’s playoff chances were almost nil with South Africa and India taking early leads in the league round.
However, they came into the semi-finals out of nowhere as the Proteas choked against the Netherlands in their last match. Netherlands’ heroics gave Babar Azam’s side a real chance, and they did not disappoint in the semi-final. It was a one-sided victory for the Green Army in the first semi-final against the Blackcaps. The runner-up of the last season ended up with only 152 runs against Pakistan’s glorious bowling unit and thus lost the game in 19.1 overs by seven wickets.
England’s ride to the playoff was also turbulent, to say the least. After winning against Afghanistan by five wickets, the team underperformed against Ireland. They looked extremely out of place after losing to Ireland by five runs while their next big match against Australia was washed out. However, the team picked up the pace towards the end by hammering New Zealand and Sri Lanka by 20 runs and four wickets.
A better run rate than Australia helped Jos Buttler & Men qualify for the top four. It was against India in the second semi-final that the Englishmen ticked all the boxes. The batting carnage by Jos Buttler and Sam Curran steered the team to a massive morale-boosting win by ten wickets.
In the final on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the cricket fans were in for an enigmatic ride as the two teams with unfathomable performances in the tournament were up against each other. At the beginning of the historic game, England took a big lead with Jos Buttler winning the toss and electing to bowl first.
English bowlers were absolute gold in the first innings, as they did not give a single chance to the Pakistani batter to get going in the middle. Sam Curran started the attack by removing Mohammad Rizwan in the fifth over at a score of 15. Mohammad Haris soon followed the opening batter as Adil Rashid picked his first wicket.
Pakistan had hoped for the pair of Babar Azam and Shan Masood, but Rashid struck again to send the opposition skipper back to the pavilion. Following that, there were no meaningful partnerships with Curran taking three wickets. Rashid and Chris Jordan also bowled magic with two wickets each. A total of 137 runs in the T20 final was never going to help Pakistan sail the boat.
Despite an extremely low score, Pakistan gave a tough fight for the trophy as bowlers showed their mettle in the middle. The x-factor in Pakistan’s side, Shaheen Shah Afridi, picked the first wicket in the form of Alex Hales. Haris Rauf complimented him by removing Phil Salt and Jos Buttler. The momentum slightly shifted towards the Green Army with England limping at a score of 87 runs in 13 overs with Ben Stokes at 20 runs off 26 balls.
However, the game-changing moment arrived as Shaheen injured himself while taking the catch of Harry Brook. The seamer’s knee injury resurfaced. He tried to come back to the field to complete his remaining two overs but had to go back after bowling just two balls.
Pakistan’s bowling unit was not the same without Shaheen, and things again became easy for England. The anchor of the 2019 World Cup, Ben Stokes again played a magnificent knock of 52 runs to take his team home in their second consecutive World Cup win.
Jos Buttler led England with a win the T20 World Cup final and picked up his first trophy as the skipper, while Sam Curran took the Player of the Match and Player of the Tournament award home.
Whilst we predicted Pakistan would win the T20 World Cup Final, it was one hell of a game, and one that will live long in the memory.