Stokes and Willey Shine in England’s World Cup Finale

England’s Resolute Victory Over Pakistan at the World Cup

A Dominant Display at Eden Gardens

In a remarkable display of resilience and skill, England, the once-dominant world champions, concluded their journey in the 2023 World Cup with a decisive 93-run triumph over Pakistan at Eden Gardens. Despite their imminent relinquishment of the world champion title, England showcased a return to their authoritative form.

David Willey, in his final international appearance, delivered a memorable all-round performance, securing his 100th and final ODI wicket. The day was further highlighted by Ben Stokes’ robust contribution to England’s formidable score of 337 for 9. The tactical brilliance of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid was evident on a pitch favoring spin, as they collectively claimed four wickets, effectively dispelling any hopes of a competitive match for Pakistan.

Unfulfilled Expectations

This clash between England and Pakistan had the potential to be a highlight of the World Cup. However, both teams, failing to meet pre-tournament expectations, exited the stage as relative underperformers. England’s victory, albeit their second consecutive win, only secured them a seventh-place finish in the group-stage standings and a somewhat consolation berth in the 2025 Champions Trophy.

Pakistan’s journey was marked by a combination of despondency and misfortune, beginning with the toss. Their slim hopes of semi-final qualification hinged on an improbable scenario: posting a massive score and then overpowering England. However, being put to bowl first by Jos Buttler set a challenging tone for Pakistan.

England’s Powerplay and Pakistan’s Downfall

England’s aggressive batting, particularly highlighted by Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan’s powerplay performance, set a formidable target for Pakistan. David Willey’s lethal bowling further dashed Pakistan’s hopes, taking his 98th and 99th ODI wickets and reducing Pakistan to a dire position early in their chase.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s dismissals were symbolic of Pakistan’s overall World Cup campaign, marked by moments of potential overshadowed by untimely missteps. Azam’s dismissal mirrored his earlier performance against the Netherlands, and Rizwan’s exit was a poignant reminder of his earlier efforts in the tournament.

Statistical Analysis by CricIndex

Stokes Steers England with Commanding Batting

In a clinical display of batting, Ben Stokes reinforced his stature as a talisman for the England cricket team, according to the data provided by Cricinfo. Stokes’ innings, characterised by an 83% control rate, was the cornerstone of England’s imposing total. His ability to dispatch the ball with 11 fours and 2 sixes highlighted his aggression and precision. The ‘On Drive’, yielding 21 runs, was Stokes’ most productive shot, signifying his ability to dominate bowlers and exploit the field.

Root’s Consistency Bolsters England’s Middle Order

Joe Root’s consistent performance offered a perfect foil to Stokes’ aggression. His 85% control rate was a testament to his technical prowess and mental fortitude. Root’s innings consisted of 4 fours, and his favored ‘Flick’ shot contributed 10 crucial runs. The wagon wheel demonstrates Root’s all-round ability to score throughout the field, maintaining a steady flow of runs and keeping the pressure on the Pakistani bowlers.

Willey’s Farewell Performance Cements Legacy

David Willey’s final ODI outing for England was a narrative fitting for a swansong. With figures of 3 for 56 at an economy rate of 5.6, Willey’s impact with the ball was pivotal. His variation in length, particularly the ‘Good Length’ delivery, accounted for all his wickets, showcasing his skill at reading the conditions and the batsmen. Willey’s ability to extract movement and bounce off the pitch played a crucial role in dismantling Pakistan’s batting lineup.

Bowling Insights: Rauf’s Effort Overshadowed

On the opposing end, Haris Rauf’s effort for Pakistan, despite being overshadowed by England’s batting prowess, was noteworthy. His economy rate of 6.4, while on the higher side, included key wickets that momentarily swung the momentum. Rauf’s line and length against both right-hand and left-hand batsmen showed promise, with his wickets coming from ‘Good Length’ deliveries, indicating his potential in seaming conditions.

In conclusion, this statistical breakdown by CricIndex provides a clear view of how Stokes, Root, and Willey’s contributions were instrumental in England’s success. Stokes’ power, combined with Root’s finesse and Willey’s experience, painted a picture of England’s cricketing depth. As England looks to build on this performance, the metrics provided by Cricinfo will be invaluable in strategising for future encounters.

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