What a game it was. What a final. It went down to the deepest of the corners that it could. First, the two teams tied after 50-overs, then the Super Over, that also ends at levels. In the end, England by the virtue of the higher number of boundaries they had hit in the match won the World Championship.
At the start of the contest, it was Kane Williamson who won the toss, he decided to bat first, that did give them an advantage first up. England bowlers needed time to get their plans right, once they did the runs choked out and wickets fell at regular intervals. On the back of a fifty from Henry Nicholls, 47 from Tom Latham and lower order contributions the New Zealanders posted 241/8 in 50 overs. Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett were the pick of the bowlers sharing 3-wickets each.
For England, they needed a good start from Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow that was not to be and Joe Root, their most consistent scorer throughout the tournament failed as well. Later in the innings, it was Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler who first bailed them out of trouble and set up for a victory.
Buttler got out after his half century even while the team needed another 50 odd runs to win. Stokes stayed there and wanted to see the team home, on the last ball when they needed 2 runs to win, it was only a single they could secure. The World Cup final was tied and thus entered the Super Over.
England had to bat first – they sent in Buttler and Stokes – Trent Boult was the bowler. They managed to score 15 in the 6 balls and now, New Zealand needed 16 to win the title. In walked Martin Guptill with Jimmy Neesham. England picked the newcomer, the man with the big bucks on him Jofra Archer for the big task.
He bowled a wide, then a yorker that went for two, pitched it right up for Neesham to hit a six then. There was pressure on both sides now, on the last ball Guptill was on strike. New Zealand needed 2 to win, one would mean a tie and that gave England the title. They could only get a single safely before Guptill was run out by Buttler while attempting a return.
By the virtue of scoring more number of boundaries in the 102 overs of play the home team lifted their first ever men’s World Cup title at the Lord’s.
Ben Stokes was the Man of the Match, he said:
Pretty good innit? I’m pretty lost for words. All the hardwork that’s gone on in these four years, and to execute with such a good game is unthinkable. Thanks to everyone for all the support. We just kept talking during the partnership with Jos, and the run-rate wasn’t getting away, and in the last over when the ball hit the bat and went for four – I apologized to Kane for that. I definitely wasn’t going to bowl the last over (laughs). It’s fantastic, the lads, the family, and the support, it’s just been incredible.
Kane Williamson for his captaincy and batting was the Player of the Tournament. He said:
It certainly wasn’t one extra run. There were so many moments that could’ve gone either way, but congratulations to England – they’ve had an incredible campaign and they deserve it. The pitches have been different to what was expected. No 300+ totals as expected. The NZ side showed a great amount of heart to get us to this point, but it just wasn’t meant to be. The guys are shattered at the moment – it is devastating. It’s pretty tough to swallow at this stage. But a fantastic effort from our guys.
We were thinking about the overheads. We thought runs on the board – we would have liked 10-20 more. But in a World Cup final this was a competitive total. The bowlers really put the batsmen under pressure. It had to go down to the last ball, and then the last ball of the next little match, but a great match all round. It was a shame that the ball hit Stokes’ bat, but I just hope it doesn’t happen in moments like that. I don’t wish to nitpick, just hope it never happens in such moments ever again. The left-hand right-hand combination was useful in the super over, looking at the short boundary, but it’s unfair to critique a match fought with such small margins.
Champion captain Eoin Morgan said:
I’d like to commiserate Kane and his team. The example that they lead is hugely commendable to him and his team. It was a tough wicket where everyone found it tough to score. Buttler and Stokes put together a partnership, and I thought that would take us deep, and it did. This has been a four-year- journey – and we find it hard to play on wickets like that. To get over the line today means the world to us.
I was being cooled down by Plunkett, which isn’t a good sign. Some of the support staff – not only the best in our team, but in the world, they really helped. Full credit to the two boys who went out for the super over, given that they were there most recently. Archer just improves every time he goes out there. Really incredible – everyone in the change room today, Willey, Billings, whoever missed out on the squad – I’d like to mention them too.
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