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T20 World Cup: England win toss, elect to bowl first against Pakistan in final at MCG

Melbourne, Nov 13 (IANS) England captain Jos Buttler has won the toss and elected to bowl first against Pakistan in the final of the Men’s T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

Both England and Pakistan, who featured at the venue in the 1992 ODI World Cup final 30 years ago, are entering the title clash with unchanged playing elevens from their respective blazing wins in the semifinal.

While Pakistan registered a seven-wicket victory over New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground, England thrashed India by 10 wickets at the Adelaide Oval.

“Huge game, good nerves, good energy around the team and in the stadium. Looking forward to the challenge. I think it is a good wicket and hopefully it will stay the same throughout. Both teams in red-hot form, looks a good wicket, a bit of weather around which is why we bowled first. We start fresh today, we bring confidence from the other day but we know it counts for nothing today,” said Buttler after winning the toss.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said he would have bowled first if he had won the toss. “We’ll try to put runs on the board and put pressure on them. We have good momentum with us and will try to continue with it. The way the team is playing is outstanding.

“We lost our first few games but have come back strongly and want to continue that in the final. A win always gives you confidence and with the way the team is playing we will give our 100 percent. Yes, History repeats (from 1992), we’ll do our best to win this game and hold the trophy.”

Apart from winning the crown of T20 World Cup 2022, the winner will also join West Indies as the second two-time championship-winning side in the shortest format of the game. Pakistan won the trophy in 2009, while England emerged triumphant in 2010.

If England, the 2019 ODI World Cup champions, win over Pakistan in the final, they will become the first side in men’s international cricket to hold two World Cup trophies at the same time. Fans will be hopeful that heavy rain stays away from the title clash.

Playing XIs

England: Jos Buttler (captain & wicket-keeper), Alex Hales, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid.

Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf.

–IANS

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