We have a new World Champion and fittingly, it is the hosts England who have been crowned as the winners of the ICC World Cup 2019. It is often said the big games are pressure filled affairs and this exact thing got proved in the Grand Finale of the biggest cricketing extravaganza between England and New Zealand. The nerve-wracking encounter at the iconic Lord’s saw momentum shifting with every next over and even 100 overs were not enough to get a result. This forced the game to shift towards the exciting Super Over finish and then the penultimate over also ended in a tie. But due to scoring more number of fours in the game helped England lift their maiden title.
Plunkett and Woakes three-fers keeps New Zealand to 241
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, New Zealand didn’t get off to the best of starts as their experienced opening batsman Martin Guptill’s poor form with the bat continued and he got out pretty early with just 29 runs on the board. The duo comprising of Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson then joined hands to bail their team out of trouble and stitched a fine stand of 74 runs before Liam Plunkett removed the latter in the 23rd over.
Nicholls notched up an impressive innings of 55 runs, but failed to carry on and Ross Taylor also got out pretty soon leaving New Zealand at 141 for 4. The England bowlers kept on inducing the pressure on the Kiwis by picking up wickets at regular intervals. At the other end, Tom Latham battled hard but failed to play some attacking shots and got out after scoring 47 runs off 56 balls.
Eventually, England’s remarkable bowling efforts restricted New Zealand within a modest first innings total of 241 runs, For England, the pace bowling duo of Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett finished with three wickets each.
Stokes-Boult hard-fought battle takes the game towards Super Over
Chasing a stiff target of 242 runs in a big final, England started off things on a positive note but then Kiwi fast bowler Matt Henry bowled a fantastic delivery to get rid of the dangerous Jason Roy with 28 runs on the scoreboard. Joe Root also got out pretty soon leaving England in trouble at 59 for 2. England’s troubles increased further more as Lockie Ferguson first removed Jonny Bairstow off his own bowling and then took a stunning catch in the field to send Eoin Morgan back in the pavilion.
The duo of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler then got together to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. Both the batters showed remarkable composure and application to bring England back in the game with an amazing partnership of 110 runs. They got to their respective fifties by the 44th over and Buttler then decided to play some attacking shots, however, in that process, he also lost his wicket after scoring 60 off 59.
It was Ferguson who was once again doing the damage, after removing Buttler; he also dismissed Chris Woakes quickly to shift the momentum in New Zealand’s favour. But Stokes continued to fight hard for England till the last over. With 15 runs required off the final over, Williamson handed Trent Boult the big responsibility. Stokes batted amazingly well remaining 84 not out, however, at the other end, Boult also showed his class with the ball and took the match towards the Super Over finish.
More number of fours takes England through
For England, Stokes and Buttler came out to bat in the super over, while Boult took the duties with the ball. The two in-form English batters dominated the penultimate over by scoring a total of 15 runs that included two crisp boundaries. On the other side, Jimmy Neesham dominated the proceedings by smacking a remarkable six and taking a couple of doubles.
But then came another massive moment in this final as the Super Over also ended in a tie. However, it was the England team that scored more number of fours in this match and with this rule, the hosts got to witness their moment as they were crowned as the World Cup champions for the first time.
New Zealand: 241/8 in 50 overs (Henry Nicholls-55, Tom Latham-47; Chris Woakes 3/37, Liam Plunkett 3/42)
England: 241/10 in 50 overs (Ben Stokes-84*, Jos Buttler-59; Lockie Ferguson 3/50, James Neesham 3/43)
New Zealand-15 runs
Result: England won the match (Due to scoring more number of fours).