The final fight | sports



The final fight

tThe 2022 T20 World Cup final between Pakistan and England is being played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground today, thirty years after Pakistan beat England at the MCG to win the ODI World Cup. Both teams qualified for the final after beating their semi-final opponents comprehensively.

If England win today’s final, they will become the first team to claim both a T20 and 50 World Cup title.

In the first semi-final, Pakistan beat favorites New Zealand convincingly by seven wickets. Shaheen Afridi (2-24) led the way in trapping New Zealand with a score of 152-4 and then Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan all scored 105 runs in the opener.

Before the semi-finals, everyone had questions about the opening pair who weren’t at their best in the tournament. The pair became the first to produce partnerships of triple centuries in the ICC T20 World Cup. In general, the Babar-Ridwan duo partnership in the 9th century was in the shortest form. Their last 100-run partnership came against England in the home series.

Babar and Rizwan became the first pair to jointly score 2,500 points.

In league matches, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan made opening stands of 1, 13, 16, 4 and 57. Babar was dismissed for single-digit scores each time. But fortunately, the middle order, especially Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadib Khan, have shown tremendous abilities in crucial moments in league matches.

In the second semi-final in Adelaide, England humiliated India by 10 wickets. Opening captain Jos Buttler and Alex Hales in an unbroken opening partnership of 169 in just 16 overs chased down the target to reach the final.

Both openers went against the Indian bowlers from the start of their innings leaving no chance for the Indian bowlers to save the game.

Earlier, after choosing to run, England’s bowlers made it difficult for the famous Indian batsman. The top order only went 62-2 in the powerplay while the inaugural England side scored a unbeaten 98 goals.

The England side started the semi-final without their leading fast bowler Mark Wood and main batsman Dawid Malan due to injuries, but fast bowler Chris Jordan got his picks right by taking three wickets in his share of four overs.

Pakistan and England finished second from their respective groups in the Super 12 and their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals at one stage seem unlikely. But both sides made impressive comebacks.

As happened many times in the past, Pakistan was given a lifeline when South Africa was shocked by the Netherlands. The Greenshirts were on the brink of exiting the World Cup after defeats to India and Zimbabwe at the Super 12 stage, but the Netherlands knocked South Africa out of the T20 World Cup with an astonishing 13-run victory.

This wasn’t the first time the Proteas had choked on the ICC tournament when they were so close to their target. Most of the time, pre-tournament favorites South Africa have yet to reach a World Cup tournament final.

South Africa only needed to beat the Netherlands to advance to the semi-finals, and they were certainly favorites to do so. The appalling loss added to South Africa’s misery at the World Cup. In the fifty-fifty format, four semi-finalists who have not made it to the final. They also lost in the semi-finals in the T20 World Cup in 2009 and 2014.

Hosts and defending champions Australia also failed to qualify for the semi-finals on home soil as England beat Sri Lanka to reach the semi-finals in their final league match. The Australians entered the tournament confident of becoming the first team to win back-to-back T20 World Cups.

But a big defeat against New Zealand and a big loss against England shattered their dreams. Later in the three wins, the defending champion also failed to shoot enough with the bat to increase his run rate.

The host nation has never won an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. No team has won back-to-back T20 World Cup titles in a Men’s Cricket World Cup tournament and the defending champions have never reached the final of a T20 World Cup tournament following a Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Pakistan qualified for the final for the first time since 2009 when they lifted the trophy, and this was the last time they had won any T20I tournament.

Pakistan’s campaign began with a heartbreaking loss to India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. They were cheated in their next match as Zimbabwe also defeated them. But the team led by Babar Azam turned their fortunes around by winning the rest of their matches, including a rain-fueled victory over South Africa.

Now the green jerseys are set to repeat the 1992 performance and lift the trophy. The openers have found form and the middle order is starting to perform. Shaheen Afridi has pace and other bowlers don’t give chances to his batsmen to score freely.

But on the other hand, the England team is also in the prime of its swing. Their one-sided victory in the semi-finals also gave them confidence in the eminent final.

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