Patient England takes its time to win World Twenty 20 final against Pakistan

In a key moment Adil Rashid catches Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Sunday evening.

In a key moment Adil Rashid catches Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Sunday evening. Photo: AAP

England has stamped itself cricket’s white-ball kings after withstanding Pakistan’s fearsome pace attack to win the T20 World Cup final by five wickets at the MCG.

Star all-rounder Ben Stokes once again proved himself the ultimate big-game player, steering England home with six balls to spare in the face of Pakistan’s fast-bowling brilliance.

Stokes hit the winning run to finish unbeaten on 52 and ensure England claimed its second T20 World Cup title and first since 2010.

The triumph means England is the first team to hold the ODI and T20 World Cups at the same time after its memorable win over New Zealand in the 2019 50-over final at Lord’s.

Predicted rain failed to arrive and interrupt Sunday night’s blockbuster decider as 80,462 fans turned out for a rematch of the 1992 ODI World Cup final at the same venue.

England was in the box seat after captain Jos Buttler won the toss and elected to field first, restricting Pakistan to just 8-137.

An explosive spell from tearaway quick Haris Rauf threatened to put Pakistan back in the contest as he dismissed No.3 Phil Salt and Buttler in quick succession to have the MCG rocking.

Shaheen Afridi took a superb catch to dismiss Harry Brook and have England reeling at 4-84 but the star Pakistani quick hurt himself in the process and was unable to bowl his crucial remaining two overs.

Momentum swung back towards England when Afridi went off the field, as Stokes played the starring role just like he did in the ODI final three years ago.

Moeen Ali (19) played a vital cameo role with Stokes but was bowled within five runs of victory.

Earlier, Jos Buttler’s decision to bowl first reaped rewards as Pakistan’s batters never looked comfortable on a tricky pitch.

Left-arm seamer Sam Curran put in a match-winning spell of 3-12 from his four overs, continuing an impressive tournament for the 24-year-old.

Curran was able to remove the composed Shan Masood, forcing the middle-order batter into playing a bad shot when caught on the boundary for 38.

He also took the scalp of Mohammad Rizwan (15), bowling the explosive opener for England’s first wicket of the match.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid was equally as influential, finishing with figures of 2-22 and took the vital wicket of Mohammad Haris with the first ball he bowled.

Rashid’s next scalp was even important, dismissing dangerous Pakistan captain Babar Azam (32) during an over that turned out to be a wicket-maiden.

Star all-rounder Ben Stokes endured a nervous start with the new ball, sending down a no-ball and a wide with the first two deliveries of the game.

But it was all England after that, silencing the strong-Pakistan crowd by taking regular wickets and limiting their ability to find the boundary.

Despite a forecast of heavy showers and possible storms, rain did not disrupt the match.


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