Coming into this T20 World Cup, England’s side was rated as the best team on paper. Comprising of players who fulfill all the demands of their role, England were indeed one of the favorites to win the title. However, more often than not, it is the team who produces a quality performance on that particular day that clinches the title. West Indies were not quite the favorites in 2012, with experts suggesting that they need to adopt a slightly more conservative approach. Heading into the 2021 T20 World Cup, Australia had lost multiple T20I series against teams like Bangladesh, West Indies and India.
Consequently, predictions and analysis before the tournament don’t quite match with the results once the championship kicks off. Talking about the opponents, Pakistan are known to be a side who can beat any opposition on their day despite previous poor form. The ‘Men in Green’ have proved this multiple times throughout the history of cricket. Moreover, the way they had reached the semis hinted that perhaps the destiny was on their side this time. There were numerous parallels drawn between their 1992 World Cup win and the current scenario. With a jam-packed crowd of over 80,000 spectators, the match lived up to the expectations.
How The Second Innings Panned Out
While the first innings was disappointing which led to a feeling that the match might end up being a one-sided affair, Pakistan bowlers proved yet again why they are rated so highly in the bowling department. England batters were troubled constantly by pace as well as spin. Alex Hales being dismissed in such a clinical fashion in the first over itself assured that the crowd had something to cheer at. Adding to this momentum of the Pakistan side was the dismissal of Jos Buttler.
However, once ‘the man for the big occasions’ stepped in, England fans breathed better. Ben Stokes took all the responsibility on his shoulders; the way he has done on numerous occasions for his country. Although he didn’t always time the ball well, he was aware that there was no need to panic given the small target. He pounced on Iftikhar Ahmed’s bowling, realizing that those five deliveries were the ones to take advantage of. The momentum shifted heavily in England’s favor and the rest of the task was no burden for the experienced England batters.