WATCH: Shaheen Afridi bowls a reverse swinging yorker to dismiss Ben Stokes
Shaheen Afridi bowled a near-perfect yorker to dismiss Ben Stokes on what was the first delivery of the 41st over. It was an ideal start of the slog overs for Pakistan, who were taken to the cleaners by Stokes before his dismissal. Shaheen showed his real class on this delivery and provided a much-needed breakthrough to the Pakistani team.
After winning the toss, England opted to bat first and got off to a nice start. They had a problem getting dull starts in the tournament before, but Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan ensured they were steady early on. However, when the openers departed, Joe Root and Ben Stokes handled the innings well.
The duo carried England forward with calculated risks, and once they got set, a carnage was unleashed. Stokes, in particular, took the aggressive route in the second half of the innings and started hitting boundaries consistently. He seemed to be taking the game away in no time.
Stokes has regained his form in the last two games and ended the campaign on a high note. It was what England expected from their talismanic player. Unfortunately, Stokes couldn’t fire as consistently in the first half.
Ben Stokes gets a beauty of a delivery from Shaheen Afridi
The track in Kolkata wasn’t as easy to bat, particularly with the slightly older ball. However, Pakistan bowled some wayward deliveries, enabling the English bowlers to get boundaries consistently. Finally, Shaheen got one right to dismiss Ben Stokes.
Shaheen returned for a fresh spell and bowled a yorker that tailed in slightly, giving indications of reverse swing. Stokes, who was aggressive with his shots, tried to put it away but couldn’t connect it. The ball went behind to shatter the stumps in a flash.
Shaheen managed to dismiss Stokes on 84. The southpaw was looking very dangerous and set for a big finish. Pakistan got a timely dismissal.
There was some reverse on offer in the death overs, and the Pakistani speedsters exploited it at times. While their overall bowling could have been better, Shaheen managed to deliver a beauty on the very first ball of a fresh spell. Perhaps, it was the only delivery to stop Ben Stokes at that moment.