Joy for Yorkshire duo as England become double white-ball world champions

FOR Adil Rashid and Harry Brook, joy unconfined.

For Shan Masood, only disappointment.

There were conflicting emotions for the Yorkshire trio on show as England won the T20 World Cup in Melbourne, becoming the first men’s side to hold the T20 and 50-over World Cups simultaneously.

Ian Smith, the former New Zealand wicketkeeper, was on hand to call it in the commentary box, just as he had been at Lord’s three years ago.

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Jos Buttler and his victorious England team celebrate after winning the T20 World Cup in Melbourne. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.Jos Buttler and his victorious England team celebrate after winning the T20 World Cup in Melbourne. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.
Jos Buttler and his victorious England team celebrate after winning the T20 World Cup in Melbourne. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

But this time England did not win it by “the barest of margins”.

They won with comparative comfort in the end, overcoming some nervy moments on the way to overhaul Pakistan’s 137-8 by five wickets with six balls left, Ben Stokes leading them home with an unbeaten 52, remarkably his first T20 international fifty as he predictably stepped up when it most mattered.

Masood, the long-levered left-hander who has signed to captain Yorkshire from next year, top-scored with 38 in a Pakistan innings that rather fell away in a blur of wickets, dot balls and non-connecting blades.

Rashid was excellent with 2-22 from his four overs, the little maestro removing the Pakistan captain Babar Azam with a googly and diving return catch, plus Mohammad Haris, who unwisely tried to launch his first ball over long-on and picked out Stokes.

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Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs. Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images/Getty Images.Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs. Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images/Getty Images.
Ben Stokes celebrates after hitting the winning runs. Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images/Getty Images.

Brook chipped in with 20 in the chase, his dismissal a key moment when Shaheen Shah Afridi, who took the catch at long-off, damaged his knee in the process and was able to bowl only one more ball before limping off, depriving Pakistan of a major weapon in the closing stages.

Spare a thought, too, for Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf, who both played for Yorkshire last summer as overseas players.

Shadab hit 20 and returned 1-20 from his four overs, while Rauf captured 2-23 from his four, claiming the important wickets of captain Jos Buttler and Phil Salt in the powerplay.

Rauf also fielded with a fierce commitment exemplified by one brilliant boundary save as Pakistan briefly sensed something special before Stokes coolly and clinically snuffed them out.

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Adil Rashid celebrates the wicket of Mohammad Haris during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final between England and Pakistan in Melbourne. Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images/Getty Images.Adil Rashid celebrates the wicket of Mohammad Haris during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final between England and Pakistan in Melbourne. Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images/Getty Images.
Adil Rashid celebrates the wicket of Mohammad Haris during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final between England and Pakistan in Melbourne. Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images/Getty Images.

Vanquished they may have been, but Pakistan’s spirit never faltered.

To England, though, went the medals and the plaudits.

So clinical was their work in the field that Pakistan could only double their score from the 10-over mark (68-2), plus a scampered bye off the final ball.

Sam Curran was outstanding with 3-12 from his four overs, deservedly winning the player of the match and the player of the tournament award, and Chris Jordan chipped in with 2-27, impressive to the end.

Shaheen Shah Afridi receives treatment after injuring his knee in catching Yorkshire's Harry Brook. Afridi was able to bowl only one more ball before limping off in a big blow to Pakistan's hopes. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.Shaheen Shah Afridi receives treatment after injuring his knee in catching Yorkshire's Harry Brook. Afridi was able to bowl only one more ball before limping off in a big blow to Pakistan's hopes. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.
Shaheen Shah Afridi receives treatment after injuring his knee in catching Yorkshire's Harry Brook. Afridi was able to bowl only one more ball before limping off in a big blow to Pakistan's hopes. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

There was noise, there was colour, and there was thankfully no match-ruining rain, following the dire forecasts of Armageddon and apocalyptic downpours going into the game.

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Or at least what drizzle there was did not interrupt proceedings at any time, rendering unnecessary the reserve day in place and any anti-climactic tipping over of the contest into Monday.

England, unchanged from their 10-wicket semi-final shellacking of India, which meant no place for Yorkshire’s Dawid Malan, whose competition was ended by a groin injury, started nervously as Stokes opened proceedings with a no-ball and a wide.

Both sides, in fact, seemed taut and tense after England won a useful toss in light of the forecast, meaning they could adapt in their chase if rain intervened.

After an underwhelming powerplay, Pakistan’s score stood at 36-1, the only shot of note when Mohammad Rizwan lofted Chris Woakes into the crowd over backward square-leg.

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Rizwan was the man out in the fifth over when he dragged on an attempted cover-drive off Curran, who later added the scalps of Masood and Mohammad Nawaz, both caught at deep mid-wicket by Liam Livingstone, who claimed a third catch in that position when he snared Mohammad Wasim off Jordan.

Shan Masood, the new Yorkshire captain, hits out during Sunday's final. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.Shan Masood, the new Yorkshire captain, hits out during Sunday's final. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.
Shan Masood, the new Yorkshire captain, hits out during Sunday's final. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

On a pitch that was a bit two-paced with the odd ball sticking in the surface, Pakistan’s batsmen struggled for timing.

There was help for the bowlers throughout, however, with movement and bounce, while Rashid dropped his pace skilfully to extract significant turn, bowling a key over when he pulled out a wicket maiden immediately after Livingstone’s solitary over disappeared for 16.

At the venue where Pakistan famously beat them in the 1992 World Cup final, England restricted these “cornered tigers” to a score that looked perhaps 20 runs below par, although nothing is straightforward in the pressure of a final.

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England lost three wickets in the powerplay as Pakistan fought hard, revved on by Rauf, and one sensed that the match was even turning in their favour before four successive boundaries effectively settled things.

Stokes struck Shadab for four and six through the offside and then Moeen Ali hit the first two balls of the next over for four off Wasim, bringing the requirement down to 20 off 24.

Ali dragged on to Wasim with the finish line in sight, but Stokes held firm, coming through some outstanding bowling at times from the luckless Naseem Shah, in the process atoning for his 2016 final heartbreak when West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite hit him for four straight sixes on a cruel night in Kolkata.