Pakistan’s slim hopes of reaching the semi-finals were dashed as England steadily built a formidable first-innings score. The possibility of a massive win for Pakistan, which could have significantly altered the net run rate, quickly evaporated.
Stellar Performances by England’s Cricketers
Ben Stokes, whose future in the One Day International (ODI) format remains uncertain, delivered a remarkable performance, scoring 84 from 76 balls. This boosted England’s momentum in their final tournament match. Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root also contributed significantly, each scoring half-centuries in the 337/9 innings.
David Willey, in his final appearance for England, was a standout performer with the ball. He ended with figures of 3/56, becoming the 14th English player to achieve 100 wickets in the ODI format. This achievement helped England secure a top-eight finish, ensuring their qualification for the next Champions Trophy.
Match 44: England Overpowers Pakistan by 93 Runs
Willey’s exceptional swing-bowling in the second innings led to the early dismissal of Pakistan’s openers. Abdullah Shafique was out for a duck in the second ball of the innings, and Fakhar Zaman followed shortly after, leaving Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to pick up the pieces.
Despite their efforts, Babar’s innings ended disappointingly when he was caught at midwicket off Gus Atkinson for 38. Moeen Ali then dismissed Mohammad Rizwan for 36, effectively extinguishing Pakistan’s hopes of a comeback.
Adil Rashid and Moeen took advantage of the turning wicket and the scoreboard pressure, with Rashid removing Saud Shaeel for 29 and Shadab Khan for 4. Willey returned to claim his third wicket, dismissing Agha Salman, who had been resisting with 51 from 45 balls.
Despite some late hitting from Pakistan’s players, it was too little too late. Both England and Pakistan exited the tournament at the group stage.
England’s Top Four Deliver in the Final Match
England’s captain, Jos Buttler, chose to bat first after winning the toss. This decision was not in Pakistan’s favor, considering the significant net run rate swing they needed to secure the fourth semi-final spot. However, Babar Azam, Pakistan’s captain, expressed his team’s determination to make the best of the situation.
After surviving an early aggressive spell from Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, England’s openers thrived in Kolkata. Despite a slowdown in the scoring rate, Ben Stokes managed to smash four boundaries off the next 10 balls he faced against Shaheen.
Stokes and Root managed to increase the scoring rate, adding 36 runs in overs 36-40. However, a brilliant delivery from Shaheen Afridi saw Stokes depart for 84, with Root following shortly after for 60.
Despite the loss of their key players, England managed to score well beyond 300, thanks to excellent late hitting from Jos Buttler, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, and David Willey. Haris Rauf’s superb death bowling limited the final total, but England’s 337/9 was more than enough to end their campaign on a high note.
Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (c) (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Gus Atkinson, Adil Rashid
Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Agha Salman, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf