ISLAMABAD: Ben Stokes inspired England to a five-wicket victory on Sunday against an impressive Pakistan side at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in a low-scoring match to hand Jos Buttler the ICC T20 World Cup trophy.
England bowled and fielded well on Sunday to restrict Pakistan to 137/8 on a hard and bouncy Melbourne track. Buttler won the toss and put Pakistan to bat first.
Shaheen Afridi delivered the goods for Pakistan earlier on, bowling Alex Hales in the first over. Pakistan were off to a good start, with Haris Rauf dismissing Phil Salt and Buttler subsequently as England stumbled at 45/3 within the Powerplay.
However, in walked Stokes and after a couple of nervous overs, calmed down to score a half-century to see England through. Stokes scored 52 from 49 balls and received valuable support from Harry Brook (20 from 23) and Moeen Ali (19 from 12) before seeing England through.
The occasion was a sweet one for Stokes, who went for a couple of sixes in the 2016 T20 World Cup final against the West Indies, costing his side the match. Six years later, in another World Cup final, Stokes held his nerves to lift the title.
This win makes England the only side in the world with a 50-over World Cup and T20 World Cup titles under their belt.
Worrying for Pakistan was Afridi hobbling off the field after landing awkwardly on his right knee as he caught Brook off a Shadab Khan delivery.
Earlier, Sam Curran bowled well for England, picking up three wickets to ensure Pakistani batters were kept at bay. Stokes, Chris Jordan and Curran baited the Pakistani batters with variations and hitting the good lengths to take a flurry of wickets during the last five overs.
Shan Masood top-scored from Pakistan, making a fighting 38 off 28 balls. Azam scored 32 from 28 while Khan made 20 from 14 balls.
Curran was the pick of the English bowlers, finishing with figures of 3/12 while Jordan and Rashid ended up with figures of 2/27 and 2/22.