After six weeks and 47 matches full of riveting cricket action, it all came down to a super over as England emerged champions after defeating New Zealand by the virtue of scoring more boundaries after their scores were tied in their quota of 50 overs as well as the super over.
Both New Zealand and England finished their innings on 241 runs each as the match went down to a super over to decide the winner and as it turned out it were England who scored more boundaries on the day and were thus crowned as the new world champions.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, New Zealand started their innings defensively. Opener Martin Guptill departed on an individual score of 19 with New Zealand’s score reading 29.
After this, Williamson along with Henry Nicholls stitched a 74-run partnership for the second wicket. Things were going smoothly for New Zealand but a ripper from Liam Plunkett sent the in-form batsman Williamson back to the pavilion after the latter’s handy knock of 30.
After Williamson’s departure, New Zealand failed to recover their composure, courtesy, an exhibition of some brutal pace attack in the middle overs from the Englishmen.
On 118, New Zealand lost their well-set batsman Nicholls after the latter’s half-century (55). Soon, Ross Taylor (15) became the victim of an umpiring howler when New Zealand were 141. Taylor was adjudged LBW in the 27th over bowled by Mark Wood. TV replays showed that Taylor was not out but NZ did not have any reviews left.
In a bid to boost the run-rate, James Neesham (19) tried to take on Plunkett but his hit landed into the hands of Joe Root.
After Needham, wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham (47) and Colin de Grandhomme (16) added 46 runs for the sixth wicket and took the Kiwis to a fighting total.
In response, Jason Roy was dismissed for 18 as England lost their first wicket early. In fact, at one stage England were 4 down for 86 runs, thanks to some brilliant display of disciplined bowling from the Kiwi bowlers but a 110 run partnership for the fifth wicket between Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes brought England back into the game.
Post Buttler’s dismissal, New Zealand were in with a chance but Stokes ensured that England somehow go into the super over instead of falling short by a touching distance.
In the super over bowled by Trent Boult for New Zealand, Stokes and Jason Roy scored 15 and Kiwi batsmen needed 16 to win which was bowled by Jofra Archer.
Even though the Black Caps managed 15 runs, thanks to James Neesham’s remarkable hitting, it was England who were declared winners on account of hitting more boundaries in their innings.
England thus became the World Champions with the minimum margin of victory possible- a day and a moment that will go down in history as one of the best in English cricket.
For Kiwis, it was tantalisingly close but that alone is the beauty of the sport that it is not over until it is over.
Cricket’s mega event perhaps could not have been more entertaining, exciting, and a nail biter in the real sense than this one.
Brief Scorecard: New Zealand 241/8 (Tom Latham 47; Kane Williamson 30; Liam Plunkett 3/42) England 241/10 (Ben Stokes 84*; Jos Buttler 59; Lockie Ferguson 3/50)
Player of the Match: Ben Stokes
Player of the Tournament: Kane Williamson