Five moments that won England the T20 World Cup


England’s five-wicket victory over Pakistan at the MCG enables them to lay claim to the title of undisputed kings in international white-ball cricket.

Already holders of the 50-over World Cup trophy that Eoin Morgan’s men clinched at Lord’s in such dramatic fashion three years ago, England have now added the championship of the shorter format.

They are the first team to hold both titles simultaneously and Jos Buttler, who succeeded Morgan earlier this year, joins Paul Collingwood as the only other England captain to lead a T20 World Cup-winning side.

England players celebrate with the 2022 T20 World Cup trophy (Associated Press)
Image: England lifted the 2022 T20 World Cup trophy after beating Pakistan by five wickets

So what were the decisive moments in England’s success this time?

Catches win matches

England’s fielding in the opening group match against Afghanistan helped to set the tone for their campaign, with a pair of memorable catches standing out in particular en route to a five-wicket victory at Perth.

Liam Livingstone – reliable in the field throughout the tournament – produced an eye-catching dive at deep point to send Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai on his way.

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Watch England’s Liam Livingstone’s astounding catch against Afghanistan in the ICC T20 World Cup.

Then it was Buttler’s turn to shine behind the stumps, the England captain flinging himself to his left to dismiss the dangerous Mohammad Nabi off the bowling of Mark Wood, as Afghanistan eventually folded to 112 all out.

Leading from the front

The penultimate group fixture against New Zealand at the Gabba was effectively win or bust for Buttler’s side and the skipper delivered when it mattered, ensuring England’s destiny remained in their own hands.

Buttler’s sparkling knock of 73 off 47 deliveries enabled England to set the Black Caps a challenging target of 180, although a partnership of 91 between Glenn Phillips and Kane Williamson kept them in the hunt.

England's Adil Rashid, left, celebrates with captain Jos Buttler after the dismissal of Pakistan's captain Babar Azam during the final of the T20 World Cup cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between England and Pakistan in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Image: Buttler (R) celebrates a wicket with leg-spinner Adil Rashid

However, the England captain marshalled his bowlers astutely, with Sam Curran, Wood and Chris Woakes all restricting the scoring rate and picking up key wickets as their side closed out a 20-run success.

Keeping a cool head

Chasing a relatively modest target of 142 against Sri Lanka to seal a semi-final spot, Buttler and Alex Hales had taken England more than halfway there with an opening stand of 75 – so what could possibly go wrong?

Cue a serious mid-innings wobble as two wickets apiece for Wanindu Hasaranga and Dhananjaya de Silva left England in trouble at 111-5 and suddenly contemplating an exit from the tournament.

England's Ben Stokes in action at the 2022 T20 World Cup (Associated Press)
Image: Ben Stokes’ calm knock of 42 not out steered England into the semi-finals after a mini-collapse against Sri Lanka

The situation required Ben Stokes to curb his natural instincts and concentrate on keeping the scoreboard ticking over – something he did superbly well as an unbeaten 42 nudged England over the line with two balls to spare.

Hales storm

Exiled from the England set-up for so long, opener Hales underlined his value to the team with an utterly brutal knock of 86 not out off 47 balls to annihilate India in a one-sided semi-final at Adelaide.

India’s Hardik Pandya had threatened to grab the headlines after his 33-ball innings of 63 had lifted his side to what looked in the region of a par score at 168-6.

England's Jos Buttler, left, and Alex Hales celebrate after the T20 World Cup cricket semifinal between England and India in Adelaide, Australia, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. England defeated India by ten wickets. (AP Photo/James Elsby)
Image: Hales and Buttler shared a T20 World Cup record partnership of 170 as England crushed India in the semi-final

But those efforts were overshadowed as Hales and Buttler set about India’s bowling attack, smashing a T20 World Cup record stand of an unbroken 170 in just 16 overs to propel England to the final in style.

Bowling brilliance

Having begun the tournament against Afghanistan by becoming the first England bowler to record a five-wicket T20I haul, Curran maintained his form in the final with stunning figures of 3-12.

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Sam Curran says it was a very special moment to beat Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final.

The left-armer’s player-of-the-match performance was backed up by spinner Adil Rashid, who excelled as the tournament went on and finished with 2-22, including a return catch from a googly to secure the key wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam.

It meant Pakistan were restricted to 137-8 and, despite a tough chase, the bowlers’ efforts – coupled with another calm innings by Stokes – ultimately meant England were crowned T20 world champions.

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