Image source: www.gulfnews.com
After a rain-interrupted World cup, the British weather was generous enough allowing an uninterrupted final, though in the morning the toss was a delay for 15 minutes and a little rain was predicted in the evening. A tournament of 48 matches over 45 days the new champion England claimed the title after 44 years of waiting.
image source : www.thehindu.com
The final’s pitch has been a little different, with a little green it was expected to help the seam bowlers. In the last four matches at Lord’s, the teams batting first won the matches including on 3 occasions the teams chasing were bowled out. As these little statistics of the team were highlighted in every media and on the web, the Kiwi captain Kane Williamson also followed the suit, despite an early overcast and little rain in the morning.
Traditionally Lord’s pitch provides a little bit for both the bowlers and the batsmen, but due to little grass and early damp condition which is expected to clear later on, which indeed happened. Was choosing to bat first following the suit of previous matches a wise choice? Many might have different opinions, but what New Zealand put as the target, 241 runs, the English team struggled to chase that and the scheduled 50 over match ended in a tie, first ever for the world cup final. The English team currently ranked number one, had a formidable batting lineup and on and on in the world cup 2019 matches many 300 plus runs were scored and a few were chased down. As a humble total of 241, compared to the present world cup’s run standard, in which a team had to be certain to put a target that is very much defendable and it was not a normal match, but the big match, the title decider. Eventually, the scheduled match tied, also the super over, where in the single over England put a target of 15 runs, as per regulation of super over upon a tie in terms of runs the match would be decided by greater boundary scored. Hence, English finally claimed the title by superior boundary count 26 to 17.
image source: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn
A little highlight of the scheduled innings: The Newzealand innings opened by Guptill, who had a dismal world cup and Nicholls. Woakes opened the bowling for England with a wide. The first run from the bat came from Guptill’s bat as he scored 4 runs on the fifth ball of Woakes first over. In the 3rd over Woakes almost claimed his first wicket, as his 3rd ball came in to hit Nicholls pad and the umpire was quick to give the lbw, Nicholls reviewed and the decision was reverted. On the second ball of the 4th over Guptill hit Archer over the boundary and two balls later again another four of Archer’s bowling. On the 2nd delivery of the 7th over of Woakes, the Kiwi opener Guptill was trapped lbw at the score, upon which he had taken a review and lost it. Guptill departed at 29 and of a personal score of 19 in which he hit a six and 2 boundaries.
After Guptill, the Kiwi captain Kane Williamson came to the crease. The second wicket fell, as Williamson, at 103 on the board. On the 23rd over’s fourth ball Plunkett’s ball went past Williamson’s bat almost kissing it, the English appealed but the Umpire didn’t budge, but Plunkett thinks he got his man and Morgan takes the review. In the review it was confirmed by the ultra edge, the ball just tickled the outside edge, so the review stands for the English and Umpire’s decision was reversed. Kane Williamson departed at his personal score 33 of 53 balls, an innings consisted of only two boundaries.
The Williamson –Nicholls partnership was the highest partnership for the Blackcaps of 74. Nicholls completed his half-century in the 26th over, could only add 5 more runs before bowled out by Plunkett in the 5th delivery of 27th over, the score on board was 118 for 3.Latham joins the Taylor at the crease before contributing 15 runs, on the 34th over he judged lbw of Wood’s ball. The ball in which Taylor was given out, struck him above knee roll, there was a doubt whether it would hit the stumps as the kiwi’s had no review left they couldn’t review. The ball-tracking showed it missed the top of the leg stump, bad luck for the Kiwi.
Neesham joins Latham. The hard hitter Neesham hits two fours in the next over. In the 39th over Neesham had fallen victim to Plunkett’s ball, Plunkett’s third wicket, this proved why England has chosen him over Moeen Ali. The Neesham –Latham partnership contributed 32 runs before broken. In comes de Grandhomme after the departure of Neesham. De Grandhomme –Latham partnership contributed 46 runs, the second-highest partnership of the Kiwi innings.
At the end of 44th over the New Zealand score was 204 for 5, only six overs to go, to get past 250 or in the 280s New Zealand had to score fast, needed regular boundaries or better, over boundaries. In the 45th over Latham hit a six over the wide long-on, the score reached 210 for 5.At the 5th ball of the 47th over de Grandhomme fallen victim to Woakes ball. Woakes’ slower delivery ballooned toward the mid-off from de Grandhomme’s leading edge, a miscued attempted shot toward the mid-on where the substitute fielder Vince caught that very easily. Latham was caught next in the 49th over’s 3rd ball, by the same fielder (Vince) in the mid-off of Woakes ball, Woakes third wicket. Latham trying to loft the ball over mid-off couldn’t connect well, instead of given easy catch, a very soft dismissal. Henry joins in the melee and hit a four of the last ball of the over toward midwicket. On the third ball of the final Archer bowled Herny by a slower full toss. Boult joined next. New Zealand finished their innings at 241 on the scoreboard.
New Zealand’s highest scorer was Nicholls scoring 55(77), next was Latham 47(56). England’s Woakes got 3 for 37 in 9 overs and Plunkett got 3 for 42 in 10 overs.
The English reply: England’s target was set a mere 242, compared to 300 plus frequenting innings in the world cup. In many media, the prediction of winning was 85% plus in favor of England but as the game unfolded the predictions were proven wrong .England’s reply was one of the very few in the ODI, a tie.
England opened their innings with Jason Roy and Bairstow, this opening pair made 4 century-plus partnerships in last 6 matches. Jason got the opening strike, the first ball was a dot, just one run from the first over. Roy hit the last ball of the 2nd over for four, an overpitched ball got connected with the full face of the ball ran quickly toward the mid-on. Henry was bowling magnificently. In the fifth over of Boult Bairstow stroke two fours, one between point and cover and another between the cover and mid-off. England’s score at the end of 5th over, reached 24 for none.
On the 6th over New Zealand strikes, the key wicket Jason Roy fallen when tried to push Henry’s ball toward the offside, a ball coming in towards the off stump nicked by Roy and the wicketkeeper, Latham collected the low catch easily. New Zealand got an early break, had this partnership gone on, the dream of the title would have gone much further from New Zealand early, providing a breather and hope for New Zealand.
Root joins the party in the middle with Bairstow. New Zealand at that time was bowling exceptionally well, de Grandhomme and Henry on the charge, they bowled three back to back maiden over in a row form 10th to 12th over. At the end of 12th over the score was 39 for 1, the run rate was 3.25 and the required rate was 5.34. In the 11th over Bairstow hit a ball straight back to the bowler, which de Grandhomme couldn’t hold that on. In the 14th over Bairstow hit two back to back boundaries of Henry, providing a little breather for the host. On the 3rd ball of the 17th over Root went for a drive at a wide delivery of de Grandhomme’s ball giving a gentle tickle and a regulation catch for the keeper.
The English captain came in the middle after Root, the minute target of 241 seemed far far away. On the 3rd ball of 20th over Bairstow followed Root, of Ferguson’s ball close to the stump, trying to play on the square of the off side the ball struck the inner edge onto the stump.
Stokes joined the party, the beginning of a great inning of 84 that defined the world cup final of 2019. At the score of 83, of Neesham’s first ball of 24th over, Morgan tries to upper cut a ball over the mid-off instead giving a beautiful catch to Ferguson, who was positioned at the boundary quickly sprinted in to grab a low catch. After the departure of Buttler joined Stokes for a match-saving partnership of 110. Stokes remained not out, but Buttler got out of Ferguson’s ball scoring 59 of 60 balls in which he has hitten six boundaries.
Next, Woakes has fallen to Ferguson, Plunkett, and Archer to Neesham.In the last overs 3rd and 4th ball England scored two six runs, of which the first was an over boundary by Stokes of Boult’s ball over the Mid wicket and on the next ball Stokes slog of a full toss went to Guptill on the boundary, who went for a direct throw which struck Stokes overstretched bat and went to the boundary, thus six runs from that ball without an over boundary. At this point only 3 runs required of 2 balls, and inform Stokes was on strike, on the second to last ball of the innings, trying to get 2 runs of the ball Rashid fell short , he sacrificed himself ,as it seemed not possible to get a second run as the ball went quickly to the fielder standing at long-off. The equation is,2 runs required of 1 ball. Again on the last ball Stokes push the ball straight to the fielder at long-on and went for a 2 run which was impossible and Wood was run out. Two successive run-outs from two successive balls in a desperate effort to win the title. The scored tied, thus to decide the winner the tiebreaker Super over was enforced for the first time in an ODI final in the history of world cricket.
In England’s innings’ the highlight had been Stokes’s unbeaten 84 and his anchorage from one side of the helped stabilize the English batting. If Stokes got out quickly there was a strong possibility that their innings could have folded earlier. Newzealand’s Henry and Grandhomme bowled magnificently. Henry with one wicket gave only 40 runs in his allotted 10 overs, whereas Grandhomme was much more economical, in 10 overs he gave away only 25 runs with one wicket. Though Grandhomme and Henry were not as successful as Ferguson and Neesham, who got 3 wickets each, but they tamed the mighty English batting very successfully, they forced the English batting , due to that English batsmen miscued many shots trying hit boundaries.
The Super Over: In the super over without losing any wicket England made 15. Stokes and Buttler opted to open for England, Newzealand’s Boult was given the charge of bowling. Stokes and Buttler hit a boundary each.
Archer for England came to bowl against the two kiwi openers, Guptill and Neesham opened the super over for the Blackcaps. Archer’s opened with a wide, on the second legal ball Neesham hit Archer over the deep mid-wicket. On the last ball Newzealand needed 2 runs to win, Archer’s ball into Guptill’s pad, which he thrashed towards deep midwicket, the ball was collected and thrown at the keeper’s end in a hurry, at which Guptill failed to make his ground. So, on the last ball, Guptil managed to score only one and the score leveled, thus according to the regulation due to the greater number of boundaries 26 to 17 England became the new World Champion.
image souce: www.thesportsrush.com
At long last, after 44 years the crown of cricket came home. Newzealand’s Kane Williamson was awarded as the player of the tournament and Ben Stokes became the man of the match of the final.