Ben Stokes lauds England’s bowlers for restricting Pakistan to 137 in T20 World Cup final after talisman struck the decisive runs in five-wicket win at the MCG… as he says group stage loss to Ireland proved a turning point
- England beat Pakistan to win the T20 World Cup in tense final at the MCG
- Ben Stokes once again made a decisive intervention with the bat in a final
- But England’s talisman modestly praised the performance of England’s bowlers
- Sam Curran took three wickets as Pakistan were restricted to 137 for eight
- England then held their nerve to chase down their target and lift the trophy
Ben Stokes hailed England’s outstanding bowling performance to restrict Pakistan to just 137 after he once again steered them to World Cup glory.
England’s talisman struck 52 off 49 balls to guide his team home in a tense final at the MCG, with Moeen Ali’s cameo of 19 also proving crucial at the death.
But Stokes modestly praised England’s bowling attack, who restricted Pakistan to 137 for eight, with Sam Curran taking three wickets and Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan collecting two each.
Ben Stokes once again struck the decisive runs in a World Cup final as England beat Pakistan
Stokes hit the winning run as England won the T20 World Cup final by five wickets
Stokes said: ‘In finals, especially chasing, you forget all the hard work that came first. The way we bowled – Rashid, Curran – that won us the game on a tricky wicket.
‘To restrict them to 130-odd, the bowlers have to take a lot of the credit.’
Glory seemed some way off for England when they were beaten by Ireland in a rain-affected match in the group stage but they made it through to the knockout stages and thrashed India in the semi-finals before getting over the line in Melbourne.
On the reaction to the Ireland defeat, Stokes said: ‘That being so early in the competition, we had to address it and say what had to be said.
Sam Curran was the pick of England’s bowlers, taking three wickets to restrict Pakistan
England are the first side to hold the 50-over World Cup and T20 World Cup simultaneously
‘In tournaments, you can’t carry baggage with you. It was a blip on the way.
‘The best teams learn from their mistakes, so we took that one on the chin, didn’t let us affect us and moved onto the next challenge.’
Stokes added: ‘Representing your country in World Cups is amazing. It’s been a good one.
‘I feel we have lived up to all the challenges we’ve had thrown at us throughout this tournament. It’s a pretty good evening.’
Sam Curran was named Player of the Match and Tournament after finishing with 3-12
Curran was named player of the match for his three for 12 in the Pakistan innings.
Curran said on Sky Sports: ‘It feels very special. I don’t think I should be getting this. I think the way ‘Stokesy’ played – to get a 50 in a final, he’s done that so many times for us.
‘We are going to enjoy this occasion and it is very special.’
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