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MCG gears up for repeat of classic ENG v PAK final

It was more than 30 years ago now, but the 1992 ICC ODI World Cup was an iconic sporting event, most notably for being the first of the five World Cups till then to feature coloured clothing and day/night matches under lights.

It was also the first to be held Down Under, and it ended with Imran Khan leading Pakistan to their first World Cup victory defeating England at arguably cricket’s greatest arena, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, known as the MCG.

Thirty years later, with Australia now hosting the T20 World Cup for the first time, Pakistan are all set to take on England at the same venue aiming for another World Cup title on Sunday.

Pakistan marched to the final beating New Zealand in the semi while England locked the final with them thrashing India.

Both Pakistan and England had some downtime during their Super 12 matches. Pakistan lost two close matches to India and Zimbabwe while England lost to Ireland in rain rules. Despite those hard times, both teams resurrected and are now set to prove their T20 prowess at the biggest stage of the format.

Pakistan were on the verge of elimination, but they got the chance to book a place in the semi when the Netherlands beat South Africa, and then Bangladesh failed to prevent Pakistan from marching to the semi. After overcoming that cut-throat situation, Pakistan managed to beat New Zealand and set up a final against England that brought back the memories of 1992.

England were slightly calm during their matches in the Super 12 compared to their brand of white-ball cricket, but when they came to the semi, they pulled themself together and knocked India out of the World Cup in an outstanding fashion.

Ahead of the final, England are in a better position due to their bowling line up which is full of variation. But it is clear that both teams have a quality pace attack. Sam Curran is leading the charge for England while Shaheen Shah Afridi is playing the same role for Pakistan.

Rain might play spoilsport in the final as the weather forecast has suggested so far. According to the latest update, there is a 90% chance of rain when the match is scheduled to start.

The ICC rules say at least 10-over a side is needed to complete the final on the match day and on a reserve day. If the rain doesn’t allow that much play, the trophy will be shared by both teams.

Ahead of this final, England and Pakistan met each other twice in the T20 World Cups and England won on both occasions.