England beat Pakistan to win thrilling final in Melbourne

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As Stokes pulled away after hitting the winning runs, he roared – his celebration reminiscent of his other iconic knock in the 2019 Ashes Test at Headingley.

He was soon mobbed by his team-mates before they ran to celebrate in front of the few England fans among this massive crowd of 80,462.

The pitch was tricky but England had looked strong favourites after their bowling performance restricted Pakistan to 137-8.

England, though, know finals are never easy. Their experience at Lord’s in 2019 showed that.

Pakistan have the best pace attack in the world and the crowd erupted as early wickets fell in the chase.

This is also a weekend in which England’s Red Roses lost a rugby union World Cup final and the men’s rugby league side were beaten in a World Cup semi-final.

But Stokes stayed calm throughout, even as the equation tightened to a situation where 41 runs were needed from 30 balls, to steer his side home with his first ever T20 international fifty.

His innings also banished memories of the 2016 T20 World Cup final, when he was crushed by Carlos Brathwaite’s four consecutive sixes in the final over as West Indies took the title.

After a shock defeat by Ireland and a washout against Australia in the group stage, England needed to win all their remaining games to lift the trophy, just as they did in the 2019 50-over World Cup.

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