ICC World Cup 2019: England are the new World Champions
In a drama befitting a Hollywood blockbuster, England pulled off a dramatic victory when they ran out Martin Guptill as he tried attempting the winning run. With scores tied at 241, the match went into Super Overs where New Zealand fell short by a run of the required 16 they needed to win.
Earlier, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bat. Martin Guptill's poor run of form in the World Cup continued when he was trapped LBW for 19 by Chris Woakes just when it felt that he had found his groove with a six and four off consecutive balls in an earlier over.
Henry Nicholls made 55 adding 74 for the second wicket with Williamson, but fast bowler Liam Plunkett dismissed both with scores on 105 and 118.
Ross Taylor struggled for his 15 runs and his agony ended when he fell LBW to Chris Wood with the New Zealand reading 141-4.
Wickets fell at regular intervals after that. Wicket-keeper Tom Latham's 47 somehow helped the Kiwis muster a modest 241. James Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme got out for 16 and 19 respectively, falling to Plunkett and Woakes.
Woakes was once again in the limelight after his brilliant semi-final show against Australia, finishing with figures of 3-37. Plunkett, playing his fourth World Cup ended with 3-42 from his 10 overs.
England made a sedate start to their chase and the normally explosive pair of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow failed to make an impact as the former departed with England's score reading only 28. In fact, Roy survived a very confident LBW appeal off Boult in the very first ball of the innings, but the umpire's call saved him.
New Zealand fast bowlers Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Colin de Grandhomme and Lockie Ferguson troubled English batsmen no end and the hosts were left tottering at 85-4. Their most prolific batsman Joe Root was all at sea against Grandhomme and tickled one to the keeper for just 7.
Bairstow's resistance ended at 36 when he bowled by Ferguson while skipper Eoin Morgan departed for just 9. But a 110-run partnership for the 5th wicket along between Joss Butler and Ben Stokes put England back in the driver's seat.
Butler's aggressive innings of 59 took 60 balls while Stokes at the other end managed to cross the half-century mark, too, later ending with a heroic 84 not out. But the hosts' march to the target of 242 was derailed by some excellent bowling by medium pacer Neesham and some exemplary fielding and catching, reducing England to stage where they needed a difficult 9 runs from just 3 balls.
Stokes who was in strike at that time seemed to manage only two runs but a throw from Guptill deflected off Stokes's bat to go to the third man fence as umpire Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs.
The target was now a much easier 3 runs from 2 balls after the fortuitous bonus of 4 runs to Stokes. Needing only 2 runs off the final ball Stokes pushed the ball to long-on but Wood's second run wasn't quick enough as he was run out with the score reading 241 and the match went into Super Overs.
Roy and Bairstow put up 15 in the Super Over. New Zealand managed 15 but England won by virtue of having scored more fours and sixes in the match than New Zealand.
A rapturous England celebrated their first win after four attempts in the Finals while for unlucky losers New Zealand it was a second consecutive loss after 2015. A World Cup win still eludes the Kiwis who will consider themselves hard done by a couple of doubtful umpiring decisions. But nevertheless, kudos to the hosts who, as it is, were the perennial favourites to lift the Cup.
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