England cement their spot as the kings of white ball cricket, raising its second T20 World Cup trophy (Photo : Izhar Khan)

England’s white-ball revolution has reached its climax. For the first time ever, a nation’s male sides hold both white-ball trophies.

It was the embarrassment in Australia in 2015 that set them on a course to revolutionize the way that they and the world go about white ball cricket. Seven years later, they sit atop the mountain in both limited-overs formats of the game.

Guided by an unbeaten half-century from their talisman Ben Stokes and the quality of their varied bowling attack, The three Lions claimed their first-ever T20 International victory at the MCG, defeating Pakistan by five wickets.

They join the West Indies as the only male side to be two-time T20 World Cup winners having previously saluted in 2010.

In a scene reminiscent of playing at home, Buttler looked to the heavens after winning the toss and chose to bowl first. Backing the firepower up the top of the order and down the list to replicate the job done against India three nights earlier.

England, whose bowlers have been spot on the money for most of the tournament extras-wise, only bowling 23 extra deliveries across the entire tournament, got off to a nervy start with Ben Stokes, opening with a no-ball and a wide to start the Pakistani innings.

But it was the skill of Sam Curran, who went on to claim player of the match and tournament honours, and Adil Rashid who applied the breaks to the Pakistani batters. The duo took 5/34 from their eight overs.

Rashid, who finished with figures of 2/22 off his four overs, proved the game-changer for England after the drinks break. As Shan Masood decided it was time to go and take down Liam Livingstone, Rashid came back from the Shane Warne Stand end and dismissed Babar Azam with a brilliant caught and bowled as part of a wicket maiden.

Adil Rashid of England celebrates the wicket of Babar Azam of Pakistan during ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match between Pakistan and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 13, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo: Izhar Khan)

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Needing a strong powerplay with multiple wickets to stay in the game, Haris Rauf, with all his home ground knowledge through his time at the Melbourne Stars in his back pocket, delivered two vital blows in the powerplay with the wickets of Phil Salt and the explosive Jos Buttler, before heading down the race for treatment at the end of the sixth over.

Haris Rauf of Pakistan celebrates the wicket of Jos Buttler of England during ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match between Pakistan and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 13, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo: Izhar Khan)

Brook and Stokes steadied for England as they reached the halfway point needing just a run a ball to seal victory.

Young fireband Naseem Shah who was expensive in his opening burst was unlucky not to finish with anything in the wickets column. Beating the bat on numerous occasions and hitting his lengths consistently proving difficult to get away, finishing with 0/30 off his 4 overs.

Brook fell holing out too long off, looking to take down Shadab Khan with a well-held overhead catch by Shaheen Shah Afridi. The paceman though, immediately left the field to seek treatment and proved to be match-defining. With Pakistan ahead, His attempt to bowl the 16th over of the innings only lasted one ball.

As it was on that final day in Lords in 2019, Ben Stokes was there to be the calm head, and play the match-winning innings that would get England over the line. Taking 13 runs off the remaining five balls delivered by Iftikhar Ahmed, bringing the game well within comfortable range to finish the job with an over to spare.

During the 2016 T20 World Cup final, Stokes was on the receiving end of an unforgettable Carlos Brathwaite onslaught as West Indies snatch the trophy from England’s grasp.

Six years later, Stokes is hitting the winning runs, and delivering English cricket fans another moment and another chapter to his ever-growing legacy.

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