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Pakistan's Shaheen Afridi is attended by members of team support staff after he was injured while taking a catch to dismiss England's Harry Brook during the final of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: It was indeed a befitting T20 World Cup final, as England had to work very hard to lift the trophy in a low scoring thriller.

It was the ‘Afridi moment’ that cost Pakistan the match. The match result would have been different had Afridi completed his bowling spell and not walked off the pitch due to a knee injury in the 16th over. His injury came back to haunt him and the team after he took a brilliant catch to get England batter Harry Brook out off the bowling of Shaddab Khan.

Turning point

Afridi’s injury was the turning point of the match as part time bowler Mohammed Iftikhar had to complete his over and he gave away 13 runs in just five balls when England required 41 from 30 balls at the beginning of the over. At that point they were struggling to score runs due to stunning bowling spells by Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and Shaddab Khan.

There was no looking back for England after 16 overs and they comfortably chased the 138-run target in 19 overs as Afridi watched helplessly in the dugout.

I must say Pakistani pacers put up a great show of bowling to defend low score. It was a great treat to watch the battle between the English batters and the Pakistani bowlers. Afridi, Haris and Shah were too hot to handle for the England batters but their hero Ben Stokes stood up on the occasion and snatched the match from Pakistan.

Fought like warriors

While Pakistan’s bowlers fought like warriors, their batting was again disappointing. Middle order batters collapsed again cheaply while Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan failed to make the best use of power-play. Pakistan batters struggled to build a decent partnership which is utmost important in any match to put up a decent total on the scoreboard.

Nevertheless, Pakistani fans are a bit disappointed because they could not repeat the 1992 history but they are not angry with their team because the Green Shirts fought bravely in the tournament.