Pakistan will be up against England in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 on Sunday at the MCG. Pakistan reached the final by outclassing New Zealand in the semis. Before that, they finished second in Super 12 Group 2 behind India, despite losing the first two games. England humiliated the Indian team in the semis by 10 wickets. Before that, they finished second in Super 12 Group 1 behind New Zealand. Notably, England were beaten by Ireland earlier on in the tourney. We present the complete match preview and predicted winners ahead of a crunch encounter between two solid sides.
Can Pakistan stop a serious England side?
Pakistan openers struggled in the Super 12, but they banished the run in the semis, with both Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan hammering fifties. Both these players are the backbone of this Pakistan batting unit, which can be vulnerable. Shan Masood and the impressive Mohammad Haris are key customers of the Men in Green. Ifthikar Ahmed has a crucial role as a finisher. Pakistan’s strength lies in their bowling. Shaheen Afridi and spinner Shadab Khan have both managed 10 scalps each. Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf will be keen to attack the Englishmen. Pakistan will back themselves up with the ball as teams have found it hard versus them.
England have the pedigree to cause issues
England will also rely heavily on their opening pair of Jos Buttler and Alex Hales. Both these players struck impressive unbeaten fifties against India in the semis, as their opening stand is now the best in World Cup history. England will go hard in the powerplay overs, and that’s where the main plot will lie. If Pakistan manage a few scalps early on, the game could change. England bat deep and have desired people to get them going, but things can be shaky, given the reliance on openers. Bowling-wise, England are solid, with plenty of match-winners in the ranks. Sam Curran has been impressive, and Adil Rashid has caused problems tidying up his offerings.
Which team will win the final?
It’s a difficult call, given both sides are equally strong on their days. Pakistan have gained momentum and are a force to be reckoned with. England have a better side in terms of balance. We feel England would edge past Pakistan here and lift their 2nd World Cup honor in the 20-over format.
Here is the head-to-head record
In terms of the H2H record, England have enjoyed an 18-9 win-loss record over Pakistan. England recently won the bilateral series in Pakistan by a 4-3 margin. England have also overcome Pakistan twice in the 20-over World Cup to date.
Key details about the pitch, timing, and TV listing
The pitch at the MCG will be a mixed bag. Pacers will have their say, and spinners can come in as the match progresses. Batters will have to pace their innings well and rotate the strike. Finding gaps will be key. Sides batting second have won 11 of the 21 matches played here.
One can watch the India vs England second-semi-final encounter live on the Star Sports Network and stream the same on Hotstar (paid). The match will start at 1:30 PM IST.
Predicted Playing XI of PAK
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Mohammad Haris, Ifthikar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi
Predicted Playing XI of ENG
Alex Hales, Jos Buttler, Phil Salt, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood/Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid
Batting records that can be attained in this match
Babar has smashed 353 fours in the format and can be the leader in men’s 20-over internationals by surpassing Colin Munro (360). Hales (2073) can surpass Mahmudullah and Brendon McCullum in terms of runs. Babar has 32 fifty-plus scores in the format and can equal Rohit Sharma (33).
Bowling records that can be attained in this match
Shadab has claimed 97 scalps and is three shy of 100. He is currently the joint-highest wicket-taker for Pakistan alongside former star Shahid Afridi. He will be just the fourth spinner to claim 100-plus scalps.
Dream11 Fantasy Option 1
Batters: Alex Hales, Jos Buttler, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris
All-rounders: Sam Curran, Shadab Khan
Bowlers: Chris Woakes, A Rashid, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
Dream11 Fantasy Option 2
Batters: Alex Hales, Jos Buttler, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood
All-rounders: Sam Curran, Shadab Khan
Bowlers: Chris Woakes, A Rashid, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah
Dream11 Fantasy XI: Ideal captaincy choices
Mohammad Rizwan: Rizwan will be Pakistan’s best bet in the final. He is closing in on the 1000-run mark in the format in 2022 and will be the second player after Suryakumar Yadav to do so.
Sam Curran: Curran has been impressive so far, and he is a wicket-taking asset for England. His variations will prove to be handy. Curran will target the Pakistan top-order and then look to make a comeback at the death.
Dream11 fantasy: Ideal vice-captaincy choices
Shaheen Afridi: He has created an impression of a leading pacer in big matches. Afridi has been amongst the wickets and can create issues for England’s openers. He is a real threat to England.
Alex Hales: Hales can be the difference maker for England. He will be buoyed by his 86*-run effort versus India in the semis. Hales will use his experience to good effect as a classy specialist in the format.