England end World Cup with consolation Pakistan win


ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Kolkata:
England 337-9 (50 overs): Stokes 84 (76), Root 60 (72)
Pakistan 244 (43.3 overs): Salman 51 (45); Willey 3-56
England won by 93 runs
Scorecard. Table.

England ended their World Cup campaign with a commanding consolation victory over Pakistan in Kolkata.

With their hopes of reaching the semi-finals long gone, the defending champions put in their best performance with the bat throughout their time in India by scoring 337-9.

Ben Stokes top-scored again with 84, sharing a stand of 132 in 131 balls with Joe Root, who made 60.

Openers Jony Bairstow and Dawid Malan scored 59 and 31 respectively, while Jos Buttler’s 27 and Harry Brook’s 30 also boosted the score.

David Willey struck with the second ball of Pakistan’s chase and two further wickets took him to 100 one-day international wickets in his last game before international retirement.

Pakistan began the day with the most unlikely hope of a semi-final spot but England’s impressive total meant they had to complete their chase in 6.4 overs to overhaul New Zealand’s net run-rate.

They were bowled out for 244 without seriously threatening to pull off a tournament-ending win as England completed a 93-run win.

England finish the group stage in seventh with Pakistan fifth – both qualifying for the Champions Trophy in 2025 in the process – while this long group stage concludes on Sunday as India host the Netherlands.

England had been expected to contest next week’s semi-finals but will instead next be in action in December for a white-ball tour of West Indies. After their disappointing World Cup it is unclear how many of this squad will be moved on.

The Test side returns to India for a five-match series in January.

England frustratingly save their best until last

How frustrating it must be for England that their batters have finally found their groove with their fate long decided.

That said, the past two victories have ensured England’s World Cup will be seen as a disappointing failure rather than complete disaster.

They were close to their usual selves as a platform of 82 was laid in 13.3 overs by opener Bairstow and Malan before Root and Stokes batted excellently through the middle overs.

In what could be his final ODI innings, Stokes followed on from his century against the Netherlands on Wednesday. He was dropped by Shaheen in the left-armer’s follow-through on 10 but scored freely – including a six over long-on and another reverse sweep which cleared the rope.

Root found fluency more difficult, scoring only four boundaries. It was his third fifty of the World Cup but first since England’s second match.

After Stokes was bowled by a Shaheen yorker at the start of the final 10 overs, Root looped a catch off a leading edge after a Shaheen slower ball.

Brook, one who will certainly be part of the future, thrashed two straight sixes in his 17-ball innings.

Even Willey clubbed a huge straight six and two fours in his five balls for 15.

Had this performance come earlier, who knows how England’s tournament would have gone.

Willey signs off with two more wickets

The expectation is that England will rebuild after this World Cup, with question marks around which of this ageing squad will stay around in the new era.

One player who will not be involved is Willey. He announced he will retire from international cricket midway through the tournament and was given the honour of leading England out for the anthems.

Playing in his 73rd ODI, he struck with his second ball by trapping Abdullah Shafique lbw for a duck. In his next over the dangerous Fakhar Zaman tamely chipped him to mid-on for his 99th 50-over wicket for England.

Captain Babar Azam played nicely for 38 until he pulled Gus Atkinson, who took 2-45, straight to mid-wicket, at which point the game felt like it was done.

Mohammad Rizwan missed playing a huge swipe to Moeen Ali on 36 while Rashid bowled left-hander Saud Shakeel around his legs for 29 and also knocked over Shadab Khan with a googly for figures of 2-55.

Willey returned for a second spell after 34 overs and in his second over had Salman Agha caught miscuing a short ball to mid-on.

The 33-year-old was warmly embraced by his team-mates and, although Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim flogged 53 for the final wicket, Willey’s farewell proved a heart-warming end to an underwhelming five weeks.

More to follow


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