This was never going to be an easy match. The ICC Cricket World Cup Final featured two teams that didn’t have a World Cup title between them for over four decades in the men’s competition. Following 100 overs, the last few containing as much drama as the previous finals, nothing could separate New Zealand from England. For the first time in the history of the World Cup, a Super Over was needed to determine the outright winner.
The Super Over
Jimmy Neesham was asked to score 16 runs from 6 balls, striking the second legitimate delivery of Jofra Archer into the Mound Stand which made the equation go to 7 terms off four balls. A series of two’s followed before the bumper of Archer took Jimmy off the strike. At the end of a personal trail tournament, Martin Guptill had to score two more runs otherwise England was bound to lift the trophy.
Archer delivered a Yorker, Guptill managed to find deep midwicket, and the throw of Jason Roy managed to find Guptill short. This allowed Joe Buttler to complete the run-out to finally end all the years of hurt and disappointment in an afternoon of agony.
England only managed to get close to the chase thanks to the partnership between Ben Stokes and Buttler with their phenomenal 110-run stand that lifted the hosts from an awful 86 for 4. Both players walked out again during the super over to score 15 runs which shifted the pressure back to New Zealand once again. The team responded by taking out Neesham, a player that was contemplating retiring from cricket, to face Archer during his 14th ODI. There could only be a single hero.
That being said, there was a handful of heroes on both teams during the final. For the second consecutive time, New Zealand managed to accumulate a score hovering around 240 and managed to defend it with the best of their abilities. However, just when they thought that they claimed victory at Lords, players from Christchurch ripped it away from their hands in a truly unbelievable and extraordinary fashion. Ben Stokes ended the match with 89 runs unbeaten. However, like Guptill, he was also unable to score two runs from the final ball to win the game during regulation time.
New Zealand entered the final already believing that they won the trophy before the game even started. This was probably the biggest mistake in the match as England was ready to give it their all to finally bring the trophy home. There are tons of highlights to look back on during the game, but there’s no denying that Ben Stokes was the critical ingredient for England to win the World Cup finally. It was a truly magnificent performance by both teams, and it will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best cricket matches to date.