MELBOURNE: England held Pakistan to 137-8 in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday at a crowded Melbourne Cricket Ground, thanks to three wickets for 12 runs taken by Sam Curran.
England’s accurate and economical bowling halted the 2009 champions, who never really got going, with Shan Masood’s 38 serving as the game’s top score.
Curran murdered Mohammad Rizwan, Masood, and Mohammad Nawaz.
Adil Rashid dismissed the dangerous Mohammad Haris with his first ball, and his subsequent wicket of Babar Azam allowed him to end with 2-22.
Jos Buttler’s England, who went to the final with a devastating 10-wicket victory over India, are looking to become the first-ever twin white-ball World Cup winners.
Following Pakistan’s success in 2009 and England’s victory the following year, both countries are striving for a second T20 title.
England won the toss and opted to bat first, despite being without injured batsman Dawid Malan and fast bowler Mark Wood.
Pakistan were fortunate to get it through the over unscathed when Ben Stokes was handed the new ball, despite jittery Mohammad Rizwan trying for a dangerous single.
If the throw had been a direct hit, Chris Jordan would have been killed.
Rizwan and Azam immediately rediscovered their stride after a century collaboration against New Zealand in the semifinal. Rizwan struck Chris Woakes for the first six of the night in the fourth over.
However, Rizwan pulled a Curran delivery on to his stumps in the 15th over, thus eliminating any thoughts of another solid stand.
Pakistan, which defeated New Zealand by seven wickets to go to the final, managed only 39-1 in the six-over powerplay, where only two fielders are permitted outside the 30-yard circle.
Haris (#8) attacked Rashid with his first ball as soon as he entered the game, but only managed to loft a simple catch to Stokes.
Azam had Pakistan on 68-2 at the halfway point of the innings. Masood then began to pound the ball, hitting a four and a six from Liam Livingstone.
Rashid, on the other hand, managed to make another breakthrough by taking a key diving catch off his own bowling to dismiss Azam, who scored 32 runs off only 28 balls.
After Iftikhar Ahmed only lasted six deliveries, Masood and Shadab Khan (20) fell in the space of two runs, as Curran and Chris Jordan put an end to Pakistan’s chances of a late surge.