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England win their first-ever World Cup

England made World Cup history on Sunday as they defeated New Zealand by boundary count in the final which went to a super over after the two sides tied at 241 runs at Lord's on Sunday.

With the victory, England became first-time champions in the tournament.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williams was crowned Player of the Tournament and England batsman Ben Stokes awarded Player of the Match.

The match took an unexpected turn at the very last ball when England reached the exact target posted by New Zealand.

The host team required 2 runs from the last ball but ended up scoring only one, bringing the two sides to a draw, and a six-ball shootout known as the super over.

That meant both teams would get one over each to bat, facing six balls each with a maximum of three batsmen.

In the super over eliminator round that followed, England set a 16-run target for New Zealand which the Kiwis matched evenly.

England’s Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler took 15 off Trent Boult’s over.

Jofra Archer bowled England’s over against Martin Guptill and Jimmy Neesham, who smashed a six off the second ball.

With two runs required off the final ball, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and Jason Roy combined to run out Guptill as he came back for the second.

Both sides finished on 15 so England won due to a tie-break rule because they hit more boundaries.

After defeats in previous finals against Pakistan in 1992, Australia in 1987 and the West Indies in 1979, it was a cathartic moment for English cricket.

“My heart is still racing. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever won, a great bunch of fellas, a really good family to me,” Archer said.

Stokes was in tears as England’s players danced joyously around the pitch.

“I’m pretty lost for words. All the hard work over four years, to get here and be champions of the world. It’s an amazing feeling. I’m pretty done,” Stokes said with an expression that mixed elation with bewilderment.

“Playing against New Zealand is always a great event. They are a seriously good team and really good lads. I said to Kane Williamson I’ll be apologising for that for the rest of my life.”

Morgan and his teammates were cheered to the rafters by the ecstatic capacity crowd at Lord’s as they joined Bobby Moore’s 1966 footballers and Martin Johnson’s rugby union team of 2003 as England’s World Cup winners.

“Wow! It’s hard to sum it up, what a day, what a tournament,” England batsman Joe Root said.

“Everyone has done everything asked of them. We have performed under pressure, it was almost written in the stars for Ben Stokes.”

England’s triumph was the culmination of a remarkable rise over the past four years.

Champagne super over

Following their dismal first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup, England’s then director of cricket Andrew Strauss embarked on a root-and-branch reform of their one-day international set-up.

Adopting an aggressive game-plan under Morgan and Australian coach Trevor Bayliss, England’s rebuilding plan paid off spectacularly.

They had already climbed to the top of the ODI rankings heading into the tournament and, after plenty of highs and lows over the past six weeks, they eventually justified their tag as the bookmakers’ pre-tournament favourites to win the World Cup.

It was not an easy ride for England, whose defeats against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia in the group stage put them on the brink of elimination.

But Morgan’s men kept their cool to defeat India and New Zealand and book a last-four spot before crushing Australia in the semi-finals and surviving one final test of their nerve against New Zealand in what will be remembered as a champagne super over.

While England celebrated, it was another heart-breaking loss for New Zealand, who also finished as runners-up in the previous World Cup in 2015 after losing to Australia in the final.

“We knew we would have to fire a few shots. Credit to England for the way they stuck at it,” New Zealand’s Neesham said.

“On another day the coin may have fallen our way. We’ll look back in a couple of years and say this was a pretty good experience. “

England innings

New Zealand bowlers had troubled the England batting lineup and the hosts were reduced to 89 for 4 after 24 overs.

England lost their star batsman Jason Roy (17) at the hands of Matt Henry in the sixth over. Joe Root (7) was dismissed when he flicked an easy catch to wicketkeeper Tom Latham on Colin de Grandhomme’s delivery at 16.3 overs.

Ferguson then provided his team a breakthrough in the 20th over when he bowled out Jonny Bairstow (36). According to ESPNcricinfo, with the dismissal, Ferguson had the highest number of middle-overs wickets in the World Cup.

English skipper Eoin Morgan headed back to the pavillion after scoring just 9 runs off 22 balls when Lockie Ferguson took a stunning catch, inches above the ground on a ball by James Neesham in the 24th over.

Later, as the side gained momentum, Ben Stokes hit the 50-run mark and his partnership with Jos Buttler reached 110 runs, with the two having taken it upon themselves to rescue the team.

Jos Buttler (59), Chris Woakes (2) and Liam Plunkett, fell within a few balls of each other.

Then, in the last two overs, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid and Mark Wood were all dismissed for a duck.

With the steady fall of dismissals, which began after the 45th over, it had started to appear New Zealand had gained the upper hand in the fight to the finish.

However, the last two overs saw England put up a brilliant fight and bridge the gap to reach the target.

New Zealand innings

New Zealand managed to post a modest score of 241 runs despite frequent fall of wickets.

The top-scorers of the New Zealand side were Henry Nicholls (55) and Tom Latham (47).

Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett starred among England’s bowlers and bagged three wickets each. Mark Wood and Jofra Archer picked one apiece.

The Kiwis lost their first wicket in the seventh over, when Martin Guptill (19) was given lbw on a delivery by Woakes.

Guptill was replaced by skipper Kane Williamson (30) who formed a 74-run partnership with opener Nicholls. The skipper took his time settling in and just as he was gathering pace, he was dismissed by Plunkett in the 23rd over. The umpire was not convinced so England captain Eoin Morgan went for a review that confirmed that the ball had connected with the bat before being caught by Jos Buttler.

The New Zealand captain has been the backbone of the Kiwi batting and has scored 30 per cent of his team’s runs in this World Cup. The score predictor, that showed 300 runs when Williamson was on the crease, dropped to 287 after his dismissal.

Ross Taylor (15) was dismissed by Wood in the 34th over just when he was trying to form a partnership with Latham. He was followed by James Neesham (19) in the 39th over, who became Plunkett’s third prey of the day.

Woakes returned in the death overs and bagged two major wickets of Latham and Colin de Grandhomme (16).

Matt Henry (4) fell to Archer in the final over of the innings.


New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first.

England captain Eoin Morgan said it would have been a “50/50 call” and was “not at all” disappointed to be bowling first.

Both teams are unchanged from the semifinals.

The start of the final, earlier set for 2:30pm, was delayed by 15 minutes because of early-morning rain.

After some early-morning rain, the covers were removed at the home of cricket, revealing a green-looking pitch. World Cup finals tend to be low-scoring matches and this is likely to be no exception, if previous matches at Lord’s are anything to go by.

England were in the title match for the fourth time, and the first since 1992, while New Zealand were playing in a second final, after losing to Australia in 2015.

New Zealand made it to the final after a dramatic win against India in the first semi-final of the tournament which went into a second day of play due to rain. England secured their place in the final following an 8-wicket victory against defending champions Australia in the second semi-final.


England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Tom Latham (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson

Uzzal Hossan Khan

Special Correspondent, MENA Region.
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