Bengaluru, July 14: England need two to win from the last ball. The game can go in any direction. Ben Stokes on strike. And the man can take England over the boundary.
The wait before the final delivery was a pulsating one. Skipper Kane Williamson gives Trent Boult his final piece of advice for the innings (or so we thought). It’s Stokes vs Boult. Of all the possible outcomes, it’s a full-toss on middle. Boult searches for the yorker, but doesn’t get it right as Stokes pumps it down long-on.
Aiming to finish off the deal, Stokes tries to squeeze a second. Wood dishes out a desperate dive but the throw at the bowler’s end finds Wood short and England tie with New Zealand. This means, a Super Over will decide the outcome of the World Cup final.
As England was the team batting second, they will be the ones to set the target in the Super Over. Eoin Morgan trusts Stokes to give the hosts a defendable Super Over. Joining him in the middle would be Jos Buttler. Boult has been handed the responsibility to bowl the most important over of the World Cup.
Here’s a quick ball-by-ball account of England’s over in the Super Over:
0.1 Trent Boult to Ben Stokes: The first delivery goes for three runs.
Stokes lifts it between short third man and backward point. It’s away from the fielders and an exhausted Stokes and Buttler collect three from the first delivery.
0.2 Trent Boult to Ben Stokes: Stokes swipes it away along to deep square leg. Just a single from the delivery.
0.3 Trent Boult to Ben Stokes: Stokes finally finds the boundary rope as he beats deep midwicket to collect four runs.
0.4 Trent Boult to Ben Stokes: Just one run as Stokes slices it to Ferguson at backward point.
0.5 Trent Boult to Ben Stokes: Quick between the wickets Stokes and Buttler add two more crucial runs.
0.6 Trent Boult to Ben Stokes: Buttler finishes it off with a boundary as he whips it away firmly to the left of deep square leg. England end their Super Over with 15.
(Note: That’s exactly what England had needed off their last over to win.)
Jofra Archer has already been warming up, as Morgan hands him the task of defending the 15. The 24-year-old walks onto the field, shouldering the hopes of the entire nation.
If one would have thought that they had had their share of excitement, there was more in store. New Zealand need 16 to win. And if the Super Over is tied (which one wouldn’t have expected), then the World Cup winner would be decided by the number of boundaries scored! Who would've thought it would come to such an end.
Well, let’s take a look at how England wrapped up the tournament:
Jofra Archer stands by with the ball. Martin Guptill and Jimmy Neesham walk out into the middle. This it where it all ends as the final over of the 2019 World Cup unravel at the Lord’s
0.1 Jofra Archer to Jimmy Neesham: Archer looks for the wide yorker and ends up bowling a wide. An extra to start the over. Not the start England was looking for.
0.1 Jofra Archer to Jimmy Neesham: Two more runs on the board as Neesham stabs it down towards long-off.
0.2 Jofra Archer to Jimmy Neesham: SIX. England in trouble as Neesham clears his front leg and whips it over deep midwicket boundary to put the Kiwis in control.
At this stage Williamson’s boys need just seven off four deliveries. The hosts see the trophy slipping away as Archer runs in for his fourth delivery.
0.3 Neesham swipes it away to the left for two more runs. Kiwis edge closer as they need just five of three.
Everyone’s holding their breath. The anxious fans at the stadium and the ones who have packed Trafalgar Square wait with baited breath as Archer needs to defend five.
0.4 Jofra Archer to Jimmy Neesham: Two more runs as Neesham clips it to the right of deep midwicket this time.
0.5 Jofra Archer to Jimmy Neesham: Neesham sneaks a single and puts Guptill on strike for the final delivery.
New Zealand need 2 off 1 to win their maiden World Cup. The pressure and excitement level is way past its climax and all eyes are on Archer as he runs in. Call it coincidence or fate, but NZ need the exact same number of runs that England had needed to win the match.
0.6 Jofra Archer to Martin Guptill: Guptill clips it towards deep midwicket. They try to pull of a risky second to win. NZ need two to win. The throw is at the Keeper’s end. Guptill dives to cross the crease but Buttler breaks the wicket to tie the Super Over as well!
A thriller in the end, but celebrations break out as the hosts lift their maiden World Cup, based on the fact that they scored more boundaries than New Zealand.
The World Cup has panned out for over a month and this was the least expected end to it. The hosts, who had been favourites from the onset, did win it, but no one expected the final to unfold the way it did. A thriller indeed and a fairytale finish for Morgan’s men.
In true sense, the game of cricket won at the Lord’s on Sunday as both teams played their hearts out.
While Ben Stokes picks up the man of the match trophy, a heartbroken Kane Williamson picked up the player of the tournament award.