(CTN News) – The ICC World Cup 2023 concluded on Saturday with England defeating Pakistan by 93 runs at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India, and qualifying for the ICC Champions Trophy for 2025.
As Pakistan chased their 338-run target, they suffered two early blows as both their openers, Abdullah Shafique and Fakhar Zaman, were struck by David Willey in the first three overs, leaving their side 10-2 in 2.4 overs.
Pakistan had a brief breakthrough as skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan provided some stability, but both were out after 22.3 overs as they were four down for 100 runs.
A 51-run score from Salman Ali Agha led the struggling Pakistani side to victory. The batting line-up was bolstered by Shaheen Shah Afridi, who contributed 26 runs.
Both Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim Jr. smashed sixes at the end as the two combined for 53 runs, but their heroics were not enough in light of the massive target set by the English team.
In 43.3 overs, the Green Shirts were all out for 244 runs, ending their World Cup campaign in defeat.
Having batted first, England scored 337 runs on the scoreboard thanks to a solid batting performance by their top order.
It was Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow who provided their team with a dominant start as they scored 80 runs without losing a wicket within 13 overs. When he was hit for 31 runs by Iftikhar Ahmed, the former was the first batter to leave the pavilion.
Bairstow followed Malan and was eventually dismissed for 59 runs by the right-handed aggressive batter.
Despite losing two wickets, Joe Root and Ben Stokes put together a crucial 132-run partnership to assist Jos Buttler’s side.
Among the top scorers for his side, Stokes scored 84 runs with 11 fours and two sixes. Shaheen Afridi bowled the left-handed batter when he was on his way to scoring his second consecutive World Cup century.
Afridi scored 60 runs before Root was victimized.
It was Buttler (27 off 18) and Harry Brook (30 off 17) who provided their team with important runs late in the match, which enabled them to set a target of 338 runs.
Among Pakistan’s bowlers, Haris Rauf – who became the bowler who conceded the most runs in a single World Cup edition – took three wickets, while Afridi and Wasim Jr. took two and Iftikhar managed just one.
With four wins out of nine matches, Pakistan finished in fifth place in the World Cup points table.