Kolkata: England knocked Pakistan out of the World Cup with a convincing 93-run victory as Ben Stokes and David Willey helped their team end their title defense on a high in Kolkata on Saturday.
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Stokes, coming out of ODI retirement for the World Cup, scored 84 and Joe Root hit 60 to lift England to an impressive 337-9 in 50 overs before Pakistan were all out for 244 in 43.3 overs.
England vs Pakistan World Cup 2023 Highlights: ENG beat PAK by 93 runs in Kolkata
England vs Pakistan World Cup 2023: Men in Green face impossible task in Kolkata as Buttler and Co finish top 8
Willey, who has already announced his retirement from international cricket after the World Cup, removed Pakistan openers Abdullah Shafique (nought) and Fakhar Zaman (one) before dismissing Agha Salman for 51 to finishing with 3-56.
With Salman’s wicket, Willey also completed 100 wickets in his 73rd ODI.
Fellow fast bowler Gus Atkinson (2-45) had Babar Azam for 38, caught at short mid-wicket off a miscued pull to end Pakistan’s below-par contest on 320 runs with four fifties but no century.
Spinners Moeen Ali (2-60) and Adil Rashid (2-55) looked after the middle order as Salman was the only one against the bowling with a 45-ball knock that battled six boundaries and six sixes.
Tails Shaheen Shah Afridi scored 27 and Haris Rauf made 35 to take Pakistan past the minimum 200 mark.
Ali removed Mohammad Rizwan for a 51-ball 36 and Iftikhar Ahmed for three while Rashid bowled Saud Shakeel round his legs for 29 before bowling Shadab Khan for four with a googly.
Pakistan started the day needing to beat England by 287 runs to push into the semi-finals on clean run rate but that loophole was immediately closed when Jos Buttler won the toss and elected to bat at the start.
As a result, New Zealand became the fourth team in the semi-finals and will face unbeaten India in Mumbai on November 15.
A day later, Australia and South Africa will meet in the other semi-final in Kolkata.
Stokes – dropped for 10 by Shaheen off his own bowling – rode his luck during a 76-ball innings.
Root added a 72-ball 60 after England won the toss and batted.
Stokes and Root built on a solid opening stand of 82 between Jonny Bairstow (59) and Dawid Malan (31), taking full advantage of the slow Eden Gardens pitch and some route bowling.
Bairstow hit seven boundaries and a six in his 61-ball knock – his second fifty in a rare performance in the tournament.
Malan was the first to depart, off spinner Iftikhar Ahmed and Bairstow was caught in the covers by Rauf, Pakistan’s best bowler with 3-64.
Once Stokes, who came out of ODI retirement for the World Cup, found life he continued to bat as he did during his century against the Netherlands in Pune three days ago, smashing 11 boundaries and two sixes.
He was finally yorked by Shaheen in the 41st over after adding 132 for the third wicket with Root.
Root hit four boundaries in his third World Cup half-century before being caught off-guard against Shaheen who finished with 2-72.
Harry Brook made 30, with two sixes and as many fours, and Buttler hit 27 with a six and a boundary as the pair added a quick 45 as England scored 97 runs in the last ten overs.
Pakistan finished fifth in the 10-nation table with England a further two places below, but still in a position to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy.
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