Ben Stokes and former Zimbabwe schoolboy sensation, Sam Curran, starred as England edged Pakistan by five wickets to win the T20 World Cup on Sunday and become the sport’s first dual white-ball champions, holding both the 50 and 20-over titles.
Jos Buttler’s side held Pakistan to 137/8 in front of a partisan 80 462 fans at a heaving Melbourne Cricket Ground, with player-of-the-match and tournament Sam Curran who played for Zimbabwe at junior levele bagging 3/12 and Adil Rashid chipping with 2/22.
In reply, England slumped to 49/3 in the sixth over as they struggled to get any momentum against a fiery pace attack, with boundaries hard to come by.
But Stokes (52 not out) and Moeen Ali (19) used their experience and cool heads to guide England to 138/5 with six balls to spare, climaxing a riveting tournament that spanned 45 games over nearly a month.
“In finals, especially when chasing, you probably forget all the hard work before that. To restrict them to 130, the bowlers have to take a lot of credit. Adil Rashid and Sam Curran won us the game,” said Stokes.
“Pretty good evening. Representing your country in World Cups is amazing, it has been a good one.”
Curran said Stokes should have been player of the match.
“We all look up to him. People question him, but he’s incredible. He’s the man,” he said.
“The way I bowl, I go into the wicket with my slower balls and keep the batsmen guessing. World champions, how good.”
The victory added to the 50-over title England won in 2019, building on the legacy of former captain Eoin Morgan, who retired this year after transforming the team into a white-ball juggernaut.
It was England’s second T20 crown after tasting success in 2010, joining the West Indies as the only two-time winners since the tournament’s inception in 2007.