Brutal moment Pakistan's T20 World Cup hopes were dashed

Pakistan's T20 World Cup hopes began to slip away when strike bowler Shaheen Afridi injured himself in the field in the final against England. (Photo by PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pakistan's T20 World Cup hopes began to slip away when strike bowler Shaheen Afridi injured himself in the field in the final against England. (Photo by PA Wire/PA Images via Getty Images)

Pakistan knew their hopes of T20 World Cup glory were at risk of slipping away the moment they saw teammate and strike bowler Shaheen Afridi go down in the field.

Having set England a slightly underwhelming but competitive target of 137 to win, their defence looked to be off to a strong start when they had them at 3/45 in the fifth over.

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Afridi took a great outfield catch to remove Harry Brook and leave England's inning on a knife edge at 4/84 in the 13th over, chasing 138 on a difficult MCG pitch.

He also hurt his knee and left the field immediately.

Afridi returned to bowl the 15th over, but only lasted one delivery and it proved the turning point of the final.

Pakistan No.4 Shan Masood, who top-scored with 38, said they also failed to capitalise with bat and ball around Afridi's misfortune.

"That's one of the things, that was one event. There were a lot of other events," he said.

"We built a very good platform and then we lost two wickets ... I don't think we finished (our innings) well.

"With the ball, we were bowling some really, really good deliveries, some really good spells.

"But maybe we also gave away a few runs early - too many, which we could have done with at the end."

Masood also conceded Afridi's injury was a significant blow, noting they could have done with the left-arm quick's two overs late in the England innings.

Afridi had demonstrated his match-winning potential by bowling Alex Hales with a superb delivery in the opening over.

Instead, he did not collect his medal at the end of the match.

Pakistan rue Shaheen Afridi injury in T20 World Cup final

Before this tournament, Afridi had been out of action since July, when he hurt his knee while fielding in a Test against Sri Lanka.

"I hope he's fine - because he's had a serious knee injury, you're never too sure," Masood said.

He added Pakistan had been aiming to score 170 and if they had managed 155-160, that might have been enough on a pitch that was "doing something".

Masood said that while their seam bowlers beat Ben Stokes' outside edge often, there was no surprise that the English star produced another match-winning knock.

"He was there to the end, he took it on, he soaked in the pressure and he finished the game - that's what big-game players do," Masood said.

Shaheen Afridi's injury while out fielding for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final cruelled their chances. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Shaheen Afridi's injury while out fielding for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final cruelled their chances. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He also paid tribute to Sam Curran, who was named man of the match ahead of Stokes for his 3-12.

"He's an in-demand player in this format," Masood said.

"He's been very clever. He watches the batsmen ... he just doesn't go to one particular, predictable length."

Masood said Pakistan needed to build on their solid World Cup, especially closing out tight games.

"The wickets have been a bit spicy. We saw that (in the final) as well," he added.

"In these conditions, you realise how important it is to put your ego aside, consolidate, build platforms and finish well.

"It's probably a bit of old-style cricket, with the bigger boundaries and the quality of the bowling, batsmen were certainly humbled and a lot of people had to change their games."

With AAP

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