MELBOURNE: Ben Stokes earned redemption six years after their horror show in the 2016 World Cup final with an unbeaten half-century that secured England’s second T20 world title with victory over Pakistan in the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Although famed for his heroics in the 50 World Cup final against New Zealand in 2019, Stokes’ previous T20 decider ended in ignominy as Carlos Brathwaite crushed him for four six successive in a final on the assault to propel the West Indies to victory.
Although not ‘eaten’ by memory, Stokes has spoken of using it as motivation ahead of this World Cup and he duly delivered on Sunday as he scored 52 steps, a personal best in T20I , to guide England to victory. with six balls to spare.

It was neither the 31-year-old versatile player’s fastest shot nor his smoothest as batting partners fell, and he had to force his way through quick bowling tests.
But by the end of the night, Stokes kicked into high gear and broke a string of boundaries in tandem with 19-year-old Moeen Ali to ensure England chased a modest goal of 138.
Stokes had already carved out a place for himself in English cricketing lore three years ago with his unbeaten 84 at Lord’s in the nervy final victory over New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup.

While not England’s greatest player of all time, Stokes showed again on Sunday that he was certainly among them, captain Jos Buttler said.
“He always rises in the greatest moments,” Buttler told reporters. “He can take a lot of pressure on his shoulders and perform. Absolutely with him in the middle you know you have a good chance. (I’m) so proud of him.
“He’s had an incredible journey.”
While his England team-mate Sam Curran was the player of the match, taking 3-12 with a brilliant death bowler, Stokes also contributed a wicket when he bowled the dangerous Iftikhar Ahmed for a duck.
Still, Stokes was quick to deflect the praise onto his bowling teammates for setting up the win by limiting Pakistan to 137 for eight.

“In the endgames, especially in the pursuit, you forget about all the hard work that came before,” he said. “To limit them to 130, bowlers have to take a lot of credit.”
Months after former captain Eoin Morgan retired, England became the first nation to hold both world white ball trophies and claim their title as one of the great teams in limited overs cricket .
“There’s an awful lot of talent out there,” Buttler said.
“I think the perception of our team has changed a lot. Over the last few years we certainly haven’t played it safe.
“We’ve always tried to push the envelope to try to get ahead of the rest of the world and be braver than anyone else and we’ll take what comes of it.”

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