England came into the party having done and ruined everything, finding plenty of reasons to smile as they humiliated a demoralized Pakistan by 93 runs in their final World Cup match in Kolkata on Saturday. By winning their last two matches, England finished seventh in the 10-team table and qualified for the Champions Trophy, scheduled for Pakistan in 2025. Pakistan’s likely hopes of semi-final qualification were dashed when England took first batted out and scored 337. for nine in 50 overs.
In reply, Pakistan managed just 244 runs in 43.3 overs as their batsmen were unable to pick up the googlies of Adil Rashid (2/55 in 10 overs) or the incisive swing delivery of David Willey (3/56 in 10) were discontinued.
Pakistan had no chance in hell of making the cut because even if their batsmen had hit 40 consecutive sixes in 6.4 overs, they would not have gone past England’s total and New Zealand’s topple at a net current rate.
The academic interest was whether Pakistan’s batsmen could withstand the pressure of the scoreboard and again Babar Azam’s men batted in archaic fashion, as if the 50-over show was being held in 1992 and not 2023.
Once again Babar (38 off 45 balls) and Mohammed Rizwan (36 off 51 balls), the two pillars of Pakistan’s defense, struggled to get going and let the game go during their 51-run stand in 11.2 balls.
It was difficult to get to second bat at Eden Gardens with the ball swinging around and also a lot of balls coming into contact with the surface, a turn was available. The senior duo did not have the game to put the opposition under pressure and that has been the story of Pakistan throughout the tournament.
In each 10-over block, Pakistan scored 43 (1-10), 46 (11-20) and 54 (21-30), which was never quite right in nearly 340 runs.
They failed to show intent to save a couple of games against Bangladesh and New Zealand (DLS win), where Fakhar Zaman dropped out after being picked too late in the tournament.
On the day, Salman Ali Agha’s batting (51 off 45 balls) or Haris Rauf’s tailing (35 off 23 balls) was a lesson for the top order.
Earlier, England’s star-studded batting line-up saved the best for last with half-centuries from Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow powering the 2019 champions to a commendable total.
Premier all-rounder Stokes, who missed their first three matches due to a hip injury, led his batting show in an 84-ball 76. Bairstow (59 off 61 balls) and Root (60 off 72 balls) made impressive contributions. the whole.
After scoring 339/9 against the Netherlands in their last match, this was England’s second 300-plus in a row.
England’s batsmen failed to fire at the death, however, as, from being 240/2 in 40 overs, they conceded 97 runs in the last 10 overs, a period in which they also lost seven wickets.
Haris Rauf returned with 3/64, while Shaheen Shah Afridi bagged 2/72 and denied Stokes a well-deserved century by clearing the left arm with an inbound reverse delivery.
Meanwhile, Rauf also became the first Asian bowler to earn the distinction of giving away 500 runs in the tournament.
The 32-year-old Stokes, who came out of ODI retirement to take part in England’s title defence, hit two sixes and 11 fours while playing reverse chips and big pulls.
Since his return, he has made an impact with three back-to-back 50-plus scores that also included a century, as he signed off the World Cup with 304 runs at 50.66.
Premier batsman Root has been the weak link so far in the World Cup, but Stokes’ fury also rubbed off on him as he finished with a fifty-plus knock.
The duo consolidated after a quick start in a 132-run partnership that came off just 131 balls.
(Other than the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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