England are the winners of the 2019 Cricket World Cup after defeating New Zealand in dramatic fashion in the final at Lord’s in London. The Kiwis won the toss and chose to bat first but they could only manage a paltry 241 for eight in their 50 overs. England also struggled on the tricky wicket and only managing to tie the Black Caps total in reply forcing a super over. It was with the super over also tied the English claimed victory having scored more sixes in their innings.
The Black Caps would have been under no illusion about their chances in this final starting as the clear underdogs and looking to upset the host nation at the home of cricket and to that end, New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson won the toss, in overcast conditions and opted to bat.
Unfortunately, for Kiwi fans, it was somewhat of a pedestrian start as their top-order batsmen made decent starts but failed to kick on. Martin Guptil who has struggled for form throughout the tournament was the first to depart trapped leg before by seamer Chris Woakes for 19.
Williamson and Henry Nicholls steadied their innings with a 74 run second wicket partnership but as they looked to accelerate Williamson was scalped by seamer Liam Plunkett for 30. Nicholls continued with veteran Ross Taylor at the other end, scoring a fighting half-century but he too succumbed to Plunkett a few overs later for 55.
Taylor also failed to make a significant contribution, departing soon after for 15 and New Zealand were in some trouble on 141 for four in the 34th over. Jimmy Neesham also didn’t trouble England’s bowlers, holing out to mid-on for 19 as Plunkett claimed his third wicket.
Tom Latham dug in his heels in the latter part of their innings, taking his team past the 200 mark with a well-played 47. The Kiwis eventually limped to 241 for eight in their 50 overs, a well below par total that many would argue is simply not enough to challenge the hosts formidable batting line-up.
True to form, England’s openers Jason Roy and Johnny Bairstow started positively, cruising to 24 in the first five overs. Seamer Matt Henry had other ideas though. He made the breakthrough for the Kiwis with some superb new ball bowling dismissing Roy for 17.
The wicket seemed to slow down England’s scoring rate and with pressure mounting. Joe Root looked to break the shackles but only managed to find an edge off the bowling of Colin de Grandhomme. Lockie Ferguson struck a few overs later with the scalp of Bairstow for 36 leaving England on 71 for three in the 20th over still needing another 171 runs to win.
Ferguson would have dared New Zealand fans to dream an over later with a brilliant catch that had England’s captain Eoin Morgan back in the dressing for nine.
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler ensured that that hope was short-lived as they led England’s recovery. Absorbing the pressure and maintaining their composure — the pair shared in an epic 110 runs fifth-wicket stand with both batsmen notching up half-centuries.
It was Ferguson who finally ended their partnership with the scalp of Buttler for 59 leaving England on 196 for five needing 46 more runs from just 31 deliveries. Ferguson struck again in his next over dismissing Woakes for two while Neesham took two wickets in the penultimate over and the English slumped to 227 for eight.
England needed 15 runs from the final over and some heroics from Stokes ensured that England tied New Zealand’s total forcing a super over. Facing Trent Boult, Buttler and Stokes managed to club 15 in the over leaving the Kiwis needing 16 runs to win.
It came down to the wire as the Kiwis needed two runs off the final delivery and sadly for New Zealand Guptil was run out, and with the super over tied too, England won based on the number of sixes in their innings.