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World Cup 2023: England seal Champions Trophy spot with comprehensive win over Pakistan, end campaign on high

England ended their World Cup 2023 campaign on a high as the Jos Buttler-led side produced an all-round performance to beat Pakistan by 93 runs and secure the Champions Trophy spot at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday.

On the other hand, Pakistan crashed out of the semi-final race when they failed to chase down the target of 338 runs within 6.4 overs. Despite having eight points from eight games, Pakistan had an opportunity to surpass New Zealand's net run rate if they could achieve the challenging task.

Chasing 338 for a win, Pakistan made a horror start as England pacer David Willey struck twice to remove both openers, Abdullah Shafique and Fakhar Zaman early, leaving them reeling at 10 for 2. Despite the early setbacks, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan took on the responsibility of rebuilding the innings.

However, the momentum swung again when Gus Atkinson removed Babar, who looked solid in his 38-run knock off 45 balls, to break the 50-plus 3rd-wicket stand. Rizwan then added 39 runs for the fourth wicket with Saud Shakeel before falling to Moeen Ali at 36.

Pakistan were 100 for 4 when Agha Salman joined Shakeel in the middle. Shakeel (29) wasted a good start while Iftikhar Ahmed (3) and Shadab Khan (4) fell in quick succession, leaving Pakistan at 150 for 7. Salman went on to hit his maiden World Cup fifty but could not save Pakistan from suffering another crushing loss in their final match.

Earlier in the day, England showcased their formidable batting prowess with star performances from Ben Stokes, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow. Despite a shaky start, the 2019 champions managed to post an imposing total of 337 for 9 against a struggling Pakistan attack.

Ben Stokes, making a comeback after missing the first three matches due to a hip injury, stole the spotlight with a remarkable 76-ball 84. Jonny Bairstow (59 off 61 balls) and Joe Root (60 off 72 balls) also played crucial roles in fortifying England's innings. This marked England's second consecutive 300-plus total, following their 339/9 against the Netherlands in the previous match.

The imposing target set by England posed a daunting challenge for Pakistan, who now found themselves in the unenviable position of needing to chase it down in just 6.4 overs. The mathematical improbability of achieving this task became evident, as even hitting 40 sixes off 40 deliveries could only propel them to 240.

Despite a strong foundation, England's batting lineup struggled in the final overs, managing only 97 runs in the last 10, losing seven wickets in the process. The late-game slump highlighted an area of concern for England as they approach the crucial knockout stages of the tournament.


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