Pakistan last faced England in a World Cup final in 1992, when captain Imran Khan led the team to victory in the ODI event, cementing himself as a sporting legend and spring-boarding his political career.
Pakistan is currently languishing in political and economic turmoil -- in part owing to Khan's tenure as prime minister which ended in April -- and the England showdown seemed a rare chance to buoy the national mood.
"The entire nation was behind the team," lamented 27-year-old Imran Masood as the crowds left the park.
"We had that same feeling of the 1992 World Cup."
Earlier in the day, fans surged into a stadium in the eastern city of Lahore to watch the match on jumbo screens, while in Karachi in the south, gaggles of onlookers congregated around livestreams in tents and eateries.
"Today's cricket match has overwhelmed us all," said 35-year-old Javed Baloch, who pitched a makeshift viewing area for fans to "enjoy every moment of the match".
In Islamabad, a pair of children trailing a scuffed cricket bat were the first to rush the fan zone as the toss took place.
But they were soon joined by swarms of families, men and women, who spilled out of their gender-segregated area.
An MC pumped out ear-splitting music in brief advertising breaks and pleaded with the chaotic crowd -- overflowing with green flags and berserk dancers -- who sprung to their feet as Pakistan's bowlers put up a fight.
In the twilight, they held aloft their mobile phones, their torch apps turned on, chanting the names of their favourite players and wincing as the state TV stream showed rain in Melbourne -- which could have stopped play.
"Don't lose your energy," the MC begged as the prospect of a Pakistani victory became more distant in the final overs.
Nonetheless, fans began to leave well before the final ball was bowled and their defeat sealed.
"We made it to the final miraculously, not through our performance, and we hoped that luck would favour us in the final as well," said 25-year-old IT graduate Sufiyan Ali in Karachi.
"But dependence on luck only disappoints you."