WC 2023: England Secures ICC Champions Trophy Spot, Pakistan’s Knockout Hopes Dashed at Eden Gardens

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Kolkata, 11th November 2023: In a high-stakes encounter at Eden Gardens, the 44th match of the ICC ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 unfolded as a must-win clash for both Pakistan and England. With their eyes set on the knockout stage, Pakistan faced the daunting task of either chasing down England’s target in just 15 balls or setting a colossal target of 275 runs within 50 overs. England, on the other hand, needed a victory to ensure their qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy 2025.

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, England’s decision proved to be a heartbreak for Pakistani fans as their team’s chances dwindled. Openers Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow set a solid foundation, with Bairstow contributing 59 runs off 61 balls. Joe Root added 60 runs off 72 balls, while star all-rounder Ben Stokes played a crucial innings of 84 runs from 76 balls. Contributions from Josh Butler and Harry Brook helped England post a formidable total of 337 runs in their 50 overs, losing 9 wickets in the process.

Haris Rauf led Pakistan’s bowling with 3 wickets, while Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Wasim Jr took 2 wickets each, and Iftikhar Ahmed claimed 1 wicket.

In response, Pakistan, already at a disadvantage after losing the toss, ultimately admitted defeat as they were unable to reach the necessary target. All hopes were dashed when they were all out for 244 runs in the 44th over, falling short by 93 runs.

England’s bowling attack, led by David Willey’s impressive three-wicket performance, supported by Adil Rashid, Matt Parkinson, and Moeen Ali, who each claimed two wickets, and Chris Woakes securing one, secured both victory and a spot in the ICC Champions Trophy 2025 for England.

With this match’s conclusion, the four teams heading to the playoffs are India, securing the top spot, followed by South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Looking ahead, tomorrow’s match at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru sees India facing the Netherlands. While it may be a formality for India, the Netherlands will be fighting tooth and nail, as their ICC Champions Trophy 2025 qualification hangs in the balance. The cricketing world awaits the outcome of this critical encounter.