For the first time ever, ENGLAND were proclaimed cricket ODI World Champions, after they won a Super Over shootout over New Zealand at Lords, in a final that had everything; it will go down as the greatest ODI match in history.
New Zealand will feel ridiculously hard done to – and any true sports/cricket fan, irrespective of which nation hailed from, will feel a huge amount of sympathy for the Kiwis – who weren’t actually beaten on the day – England were awarded the trophy on a countback of how many boundaries were scored after both had scored 241 in their 50 over allotment – and then both scored 15 in their ‘Super Over’. New Zealand though did need 16 to be proclaimed victorious – so they fell one short of the World Cup.
But England will not care about that – it is they, via skipper Eoin Morgan, who hoisted the trophy aloft as they celebrated in front of a packed Lords crowd – and a nation watching on in the hope that, finally, they would see their team victorious.
Here is a summary of the key events that led to the culmination of what was a dramatic, unforgettable final :
- New Zealand win the toss and choose to bat on a green looking Lords pitch
- Martin Guptill falls early (again) – NZ 29/1
- New Zealand struggling to make headway – 173/5 with 11 overs to go
- New Zealand finish on 241/8 – England will be happy with that – Nicholls top scores for Kiwis with 55
- England lose Jason Roy early on with Boult and Henry causing all sorts of problems
- England in all sorts of trouble; Root, Bairstow and Morgan out with just 86 on the board and almost half their overs gone
- Buttler and Stokes create superb partnership – hit 50 each – they can see it through for England
- Buttler OUT! Caught on boundary! Still 46 needed from just 5 overs!
- Woakes OUT…Plunkett OUT…Archer OUT….England all but finished…can Stokes save them again? 15 needed from the last over to be bowled by Trent Boult.
- Two dot balls…then Stokes hits a SIX! Nine from three needed.
- UNBELIEVABLE! Stokes hits a drive for a single then races back for a second…the throw comes in at Stokes end…the throw HITS the bat of Stokes, diving for the crease, and careers away past the keeper for four more runs! Nothing Stokes could do…a freak of nature…but that’s SIX! Three needed from two balls.
- A single off the penultimate ball, but Rashid is run out trying for the second. Last man Mark Wood comes in. England need two runs from the last ball for the World Cup.
- Stokes pushes the last ball hard…one run…can they get back for the second? NO! Wood run out by a mile and the scores are tied!!
ODI World Cup Final rules stated that in the event of a tie (despite New Zealand having lost fewer wickets), a ‘Super Over’ must be played….six balls for each team…most runs win. England went first, sending in Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, who had finished on 84 not out – with Trent Boult taking the ball for the Kiwis. On the back of two boundaries, England scored 15 – New Zealand would need 16 to win – anything less and England would be Champions.
Youngster Jofra Archer was handed the responsibility for England – whilst New Zealand sent in Martin Guptill and James Neesham. Archer bowled a wide first ball, then saw Neesham smash a two and six, meaning the Kiwis needed just 7 from 4 balls. Another two…and another…then a single…and it was 2 needed from the last ball.
Archer bowled a good full length delivery but Guptill hit the ball out to deep midwicket and tried to scamper back for the winning run, but the throw in to Buttler from Jason Roy was a good one, and Guptill was run out well short of his crease. The English team erupted on the field whilst the New Zealand batsmen fell to their knees.
It was a game of stunning theatre. Words cannot truly capture the drama, emotion, intensity and pressure that was prevalent in the game throughout. It will be talked about – and replayed – for years to come.
Full credit must be given to New Zealand – who defied the critics to reach their second successive World Cup Final and flew under the radar behind the likes of Australia, India and eventual winners England. A superbly organised team who whilst may not have the most potent of batting line ups, have the bowling and fielding abilities that can make even the smallest of targets look extremely difficult to reach. If there is any justice, they will win a World Cup sooner rather than later.
For England though, this represents the climax of a journey that started with their ignominious exit at the 2015 World Cup. They have redefined themselves as a ODI outfit and despite some troubles along the way, been the best team in this tournament. Strong in every department and players who can win games by themselves. But all have contributed throughout this seven week tournament – and it is they who will go down in history as the first ever England team to be World Cup Champions.
ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND – WORLD CUP FINAL MATCH SUMMARY
- New Zealand Batting : 241/8 (Nicholls 55, Latham 47, Williamson 30)
- England Bowling : Woakes 3/37, Plunkett 3/42, Archer 1/42
- England Batting : 241 all out (Stokes 84 not out, Buttler 59, Bairstow 36)
- New Zealand Bowling : Neesham 3/43, Ferguson 3/50, de Grandhomme 1/25
- SCORES TIED AFTER 50 OVERS
- Super Over
- England : 15
- New Zealand : 15
- ENGLAND WIN AND ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS
- Man of Match : Ben Stokes (England)
- Player of Tournament : Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
- Venue : Lords, London, England
- Date : 14 July 2019