ICC CWC19 Final: In the end, it was only the number of boundaries that England scored in the match that saw them emerge victorious in the ICC World Cup 2019 final at Lord’s on Sunday.
The final over of the second innings was going New Zealand’s way until a lucky deflection off Ben Stokes’ bat after he had completed two runs saw the ball run away to the boundary and give them six runs.
However, with 3 needed off 2 balls, New Zealand effected consecutive run-outs to ensure the game ended in a tie and for the first time in history, a Super Over was needed to determine the world champions.
England scored 15 runs in batting first thanks to a couple of boundaries from Stokes. In reply, Jimmy Neesham and Martin Guptill put together exactly the same number of runs in their six balls.
Yet the fact that the hosts scored more boundaries – England found the boundary 26 times while New Zealand did so 17 times – helped them get over the line.
The rules state that “in the event of a Super Over tie, the team that hit more boundaries (combined from the main match and the Super Over) shall be the winner.”
It was a fitting end to a finale that threatened to go either way throughout the course of the second innings.
Chasing 241 to win, England started in circumspect fashion on a Lord’s track that offered some assistance to bowlers.
Jason Roy survived an LBW call in the first ball of the first over but would depart in the sixth over after nicking one to Tom Latham off Matt Henry.
Joe Root dug in alongside Jonny Bairstow but he would depart in the 17th over. Bairstow made a gritty 35 but chopped one on from Lockie Ferguson.
Eoin Morgan departed after Ferguson took an excellent catch running in from the deep on the off-side when the England skipper chopped at a short wide ball from Jimmy Neesham.
This was where Stokes and Jos Buttler came to England’s rescue. The two put together a 110-run partnership for the fifth wicket and started to find the boundary regularly in the final 10 overs.
Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and Archer all departed in quick succession before a manic final two overs failed to separate the two teams.
Earlier, Plunkett’s three-wicket haul in the middle overs helped England keep New Zealand to 241-8 after New Zealand opted to bat first.
Plunkett got Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and Neesham to break New Zealand’s flow in the middle overs and end with 3-42, while Woakes took 3-37 from nine overs.
Guptill was successful in hitting two fours and a six but the positive intent brought about his downfall.
He was trapped leg before by an in-swinger from Woakes looking for a big drive. It was as plumb as it got, but Guptill used up the review regardless.
At the other end, Nicholls scrapped his way out of trouble. He was given LBW to Woakes but reviewed successfully.
He was joined by Williamson as the duo stitched together a 74-run stand for the second wicket to steady the ship.
Williamson looked to weather the storm, taking 12 balls to get off the mark as New Zealand scored 33-1 in the first 10.
The arrival of Adil Rashid got Williamson going too, but just when the partnership was building, Plunkett broke it with the big wicket of Williamson.
Williamson falling in the 23rd over was a big boost for England, who made it better with the wicket of Nicholls for 55, the left-hander missing another cross-seam ball from Plunkett.
Much depended on the experienced Taylor, but he fell to an umpiring error from Marais Erasmus who gave him LBW off Mark Wood. Replays showed the ball was going over the stumps.
Neesham began in a counter-attacking manner, breaking England’s complete control in the middle overs. He ended up lofting Plunkett to mid-on for his third scalp.
New Zealand struggled for momentum right till the end. Tom Latham got a few but Colin de Grandhomme struggled with a 28-ball 16.
Woakes kept bowling slower balls but De Grandhomme and Latham kept being surprised and fell in soft manners. New Zealand scored just 62 runs in the last 10.