Pakistan’s faint hopes of making the World Cup semifinals ended on Saturday as England established an impressive total of 337/9 in Kolkata. To make the final four, Pakistan might have had to complete an impossible feat of knocking down the mark in 6.4 overs.
Even if they struck 40 sixes in 40 deliveries, the highest possible score could reach 240. They are still given a chance to place in the top five if they get a score of at least 188.
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The Rundown: England vs Pakistan
England capped off a poor Cricket World Cup championship defense with a 93-run win against Pakistan in Kolkata.
Ben Stokes led the way with 84, and Joe Root (60 off 72) and Jonny Bairstow (59 off 61) also hit half-centuries as England, who won the toss and chose to bat first, built up 337-9 from 50 overs.
Pakistan’s Run Chase Crumbles Under England’s Bowling Onslaught
Pakistan’s run chase got off to a nightmarish start as David Willey (3-56), playing his farewell ODI, dismissed both openers within the first three overs, then Gus Atkinson struck skipper Babar Azam (38 off 45) as England’s spinners took command.
Adil Rashid (2-55) and Moeen Ali (2-60) aided in reducing their rivals to 150-7, with Salman Agha’s fifties and late offensive outbursts just prolonging the unavoidable outcome as Pakistan were bowled for 244 in the 44th over.
England’s victory moves them up by six points and secures them a top-eight spot in the Champions Trophy in 2025, whereas Pakistan’s loss officially ends their small chances of making the World Cup semi-finals.
With the openers having to react to a moving new ball and a sluggish track, England were lucky to have Shaheen Afridi lose a difficult trapped, and bowled chance from Dawid Malan when he still had to score.
England’s Powerplay Prowess Sets the Tone for Chase
England finally pushed to 72 flawlessly after 10 overs, the best powerplay of the competition, with Malan hitting 31 before top-edging a calculated reverse scoop off Iftikhar Ahmed and yielding a low catch from Mohammad Rizwan.
Stokes exploded after reaching 50 and delivered a magnificent switch-handed six on both ends of the boundaries; however, he seemed to be suffering late in his innings before being caught by an excellent Afridi yorker.
Willey trapped Abdullah Shafique lbw with the first ball of Pakistan’s response, and Fakhar Zaman caught Stokes at halfway to make them 10-2, but Rizwan and Babar stabilized their run chase through a 51-run third-wicket partnership.
David Willey Claims His 100th ODI Wicket
Moeen caught Rizwan after Babar (38) dragged a quick delivery from Atkinson directly to Rashid, and a superb curveball from Rashid got Saud Shakeel sent around his legs to dismiss Pakistan 129-5.
Moeen dismissed Iftikhar following a great catch from Malan, and Rashid knocked Shadab Khan, while Willey took his 100th ODI wicket as he struck Agha soon after completing a 42-ball half-century.
England were on the verge of defeat when Atkinson caught Shaheen lbw, with Rauf holing off Stokes in the deep to conclude their innings following a brilliant 53-run partnership for their final wicket with Wasim.
Player of the Game: David Willey
David Willey deserves to be named Player of the Match in his final game for England (3-56). When he looks back on the competition, he is disappointed that everything did not go as expected.
Despite the team’s poor performance, Willey finds satisfaction in hitting the 100-wicket mark, which he considers a pleasing finale. Recognizing the team’s enormous skill, he shows displeasure at their collective underachievement.
Willey considers how uncommon it is for players to be allowed to walk out on their terms and expresses his delight every time he wears the England uniform.
His words reflect a combination of personal achievement and collective failure, providing a bittersweet finish to his global career with the England cricket team.
England v Pakistan Score
|337/9(50 overs)||244(43.3 overs)|
|England brought the curtain down with a win against Pakistan by 93 runs|
To qualify for the semi-finals, Pakistan must beat England by 287 runs when batting first or with 284 balls left if chasing. This means that if Babar Azam wins the toss, he will have to bat and must strive for a 400+ mark in England to have any chance of capturing today’s match.
The England side led by Jos Buttler was a disaster in the ICC World Cup 2020, but in their previous contest against the Netherlands, the team demonstrated the strength of defending champions and will certainly make Pakistan’s task more challenging, as their Champions Trophy 2025 qualification relies on today’s win.
The group round finishes on Sunday, with tournament hosts and undefeated India meeting the Dutch team, who are now in the 10th spot on the table.
The semi-final schedule is set to heat up, with India (1) facing New Zealand (4) on Wednesday in Mumbai and South Africa (3) playing against Australia (3) in Kolkata on the next day.
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