Pakistan sign off World Cup with 93-run defeat against England

After missing out on the semi-final spot to New Zealand, Pakistan ended their World Cup with a comprehensive 93-run defeat against England at the iconic Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Pakistan sign off World Cup with 93-run defeat against England

Kolkata | After missing out on the semi-final spot to New Zealand, Pakistan ended their World Cup with a comprehensive 93-run defeat against England at the iconic Eden Gardens on Saturday.

David Willey in his last international game made Pakistan batters toil hard as they had no answers to his quick swinging deliveries. He made the most of the opportunity as he dismissed Abdullah Shafique and Fakhar Azam back to the pavilion for scores of 0 and 1 respectively.

Skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan stitched up a 51-run partnership driving Pakistan's innings with hopes of ending it on a positive note.

Rizwan held on to his wicket on the other end along with Saud Shakeel. Another promising yet short liver partnership ended with Rizwan walking back to the pavilion. The 25-year-old Gus Atkinson provided the breakthrough to derail Pakistan's innings by dismissing Babar for 38.

Adil Rashid's spin bamboozled Shakeel (29) while Agha Salman's promising knock of 51 was brought to an end by Willey. The rest of the batters crumbled except for Shaheen Sha Afridi and Haris Rauf who showed some fight towards the end.

Afridi's cameo of 25 ended as Atkinson claimed his second wicket of the night, while Rauf's fireworks took Pakistan's score past 200 but his valiant 35-run knock came to an end with Chris Woakes picking up the final wicket.

Earlier in the innings, opting to bat first after winning the toss, England openers Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow got their team off to a flier, dominating Pakistan's star pacers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf. After a nervy start to the innings, Bairstow and Milan combined to score three boundaries in the fourth over against an under-pressure Rauf.

The pressure continued to mount on Rauf as he bowled two wide delivers which went for boundaries in his first three overs and conceded 31 runs in his first three overs.

Afridi tried to limit the damage but was unable to put a leash on Bairstow in the next over, who was, by that point, bursting with confidence.

After unleashing a scorcher off his willow off Rauf that found the fence, Bairstow followed up with a maximum, a pull that sailed over the stands.

Iftikhar Ahmed was brought into the attack in place of Rauf to change the flow of the game but Malan took on the pinner scoring two consecutive fours further clearing his attacking intentions further derailing Pakistan's plans.

England ended the powerplay with a score of 72/0. It was the second-highest score by the Three Lions in the powerplay in World Cups.

Iftikhar was persisted with and the move paid off, as he got Pakistan a breakthrough by sending back Malan.

Malan (31) switched his stance with a tossed-up delivery and tried to go for a reverse shot. However, he could only manage a top edge which was eventually taken by Rizwan behind the stumps.

Root arrived at the crease and ensured that England carried on with the momentum and impetus provided by the openers. In the company of Bairstow, he continued to score at a brisk pace.

Bairstow raised his bat as he completed his fifty in the final ball of the 16th over.

However, his onslaught was brought to an end by Rauf as Bairstow went hard on the drive but hit the ball straight to Agha Salman. The right-handed batter departed with a score of 59(61).

Root and Stokes stitched up a crucial 132-run partnership, adding to the miseries of the Pakistan pacers.

A stand that lasted for more than 20 overs was brought to an end by Pakistan's most successful bowler in the World Cup -- Shaheen Afridi.

A reverse-swinging yorker brought the demise of the high-flying Stokes, who shook his head as if to remonstrate with himself for not producing a similar delivery earlier.

Afridi's next victim was Root, who was deceived by a slower delivery. He fell for a well-compiled 60. Skipper Jos Buttler then came out all guns blazing, striking a four and following it up with a six.

Youngster Harry Brook joined the party scoring two sixes and a four in Afridi's over. He picked up 20 runs in a single over. Brook's short yet brief cameo of 30 off 17 balls was brought to an end by Rauf.

Buttler 27(18) was the next to depart after falling short of the crease by at least a yard following a direct hit from Rauf. Moeen Ali (8), who is known to strike boundaries and sixes at the back-end, failed to live up to his reputation as he fell to a slower one from Rauf.

Mohammad Wasim Jr claimed two wickets off successive balls to hurt England at the death.

However, David Willey's fireworks in the final over powered England to 337/9. Willey, who announced his retirement from international cricket earlier, is playing his final match in England colours.

Brief Scores: England 337/9 (Ben Stokes 84, Joe Root 60; Haris Rauf 3-64) vs Pakistan 244 (Agha Salman 51, Babar Azam 38; David Willey 3-56).

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