Champagne Super-over: England win the Cricket World Cup


England claw back from 81-4 to tie both innings and a historic super-over to win their first Cricket World Cup.

What a game. What a day. Whoever says cricket doesn’t get the heart racing can certainly swallow some humble pie today.

England, after losing Jason Roy, Joe Root, and Eoin Morgn cheaply, managed to claw back with stunning innings from Jos Buttler (59) and Ben Stokes (84*) seeing them tie New Zealand’s total of 241 and take it to a super-over.

After Stokes and Buttler returned to hit a respectable 15 from their six deliveries, New Zealand needed to pass it in order to lift the trophy. Martin Guptill hit a three, with Neesham following it up with a six and needing two from the final ball.

It was nurdled into deep extra cover, with Jason Roy picking up the ball, slinging into Jos Buttler with an inch-perfect throw. Buttler reached out with his left hand, and knocked off the bails, with Guptill failing to make the ground. Euphoria for England. Devastation for the Kiwis.


Photo: Getty Images

It has been a tough World Cup for both teams as much as a good one. They finished 3rd and 4th behind India and Australia, and it was these two who were favourites to book their place at Lords today.

New Zealand began the World Cup strongly, winning all of their first five matches with one being abandoned. They lost their last three and looked to be distinct underdogs for the semi-final against the might of Virat Kohli and India.

England began strongly too, but with losses to Australia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan they needed to beat both India and a flying New Zealand at the time to qualify for the semi-finals.

They did with consummate ease, thanks at most to the flourish of Bairstow and the power of Roy.

It was the old enemy Australia yet again in the semi-final. Again though, England’s batting made the chase of 223 easy after superb work from the bowling sextet of Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid. A total team performance.

The Kiwis had more of a struggle but battled to victory in a rain affected match at Old Trafford. After posting 239, New Zealand had the table toppers India 20-odd for four, Williamson’s men put in an incredible team performance and fielding masterclass to bowl out an M.S. Dhoni inspired India for 221.

But England and New Zealand secured their path through to the final, and there would be a new name on the Cricket World Cup trophy.

New Zealand v England - ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019 : News Photo

General view of the toss as Eoin Morgan of England flips the coin during the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and England. Photo by Gareth Copley via Getty Images

Kane Williamson won the toss (above) and chose to bat in conditions which perhaps favoured bowling. But with the potential forecast change and pitch deterioration, both sides had pros and cons.

Morgan trusted in his two opening bowlers who have both been superb throughout this World Cup. Woakes and Archer had taken 30 wickets between them before the match began and took four for 52 in the semi-final.

It came close in the first few overs, with DRS ruling out an LBW decision reviewed by Henry Nicholls.

His opening partner in the destructive Martin Guptill, who himself has struggled this tournament, was then trapped almost identically to Nicholls except this time it was striking leg stump. 29-1. Wonderful from Woakes.

A steadying period with both bat and ball followed, with the skipper Williamson and Nicholls going at around four an over before the breakthrough at 103. Plunkett, possibly playing his final World Cup for England aged 34, came up trumps against Captain Kane with a feathered nick to Buttler. Gone for 30 and surely the key wicket for England.

New Zealand v England - ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019 : News Photo

Plunkett gets the prized wicket of Kane Williamson – Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

One became two just four overs later, and top scorer Nicholls followed his skipper back to the changing rooms for 55 from 123 balls, a measly strike rate but a dogged and determined innings in a tough situation.

It became a recurring theme in the Kiwis innings of players getting in and getting out. The pitch certainly favoured the bowlers with the greenery and overcast allowing for both seam and swing movement. And for bowlers such as Matt Henry, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson this promised havoc in the second innings.

Guptill’s incorrect use of the Kiwi’s review then came back to bite Ross Taylor. With Mark Wood’s good length delivery judged to be hitting the wickets by Marais Erasmus, the experienced batsman departed not knowing the ball was forecast by ball-tracker to miss by an inch. Lucky for England, terrible for Taylor.

Jimmy Neesham then edged to Joe Root, leaving the Kiwis at 173-5. Colin de Grandhomme came to the crease as the last recognised batsman and put on a valuable 46 with the terrific Tom Latham. Latham himself scored 47, the second top scorer for the Blackcaps and the seventh wicket to go down.

Latham himself chipped to James Vince, who after hours sitting on the sofa was called on as sub to take two catches and immerse himself in the action. Fair play to the Hampshire man for full commitment.

Archer and Woakes finished the innings that they started, restricting them to 241-8. A par total but competitive in this intense environment.

New Zealand v England - ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019 : News Photo

Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy of England make their way out to bat during the Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and England at Lord’s. Photo by Gareth Copley via Getty Images

If tension was at a peak before the game, it had reached levels beyond human comprehension as the two superstar openers took to the famous Lord’s wicket. And it would continue to rise at an astronomical level throughout the second innings.

Bairstow and Roy began nervously (understandably so) but saw off the painful accuracy of Trent Boult in it’s majority. It was his partner in tandem Matt Henry who verged on unplayable in this period, and picked up the crucial one of Jason Roy.

In the fourth stump channel, Henry’s seam movement made it almost impossible to judge and Roy nicked to Latham. At 28-1 it placed England in a very similar position to their opponents. Almost identical in fact.

Root had a lapse of character, in which he swung in a haphazard fashion to Latham. He scored just seven from 30 deliveries, wasting valuable balls for the hosts to use. Although he has had a cracking World Cup, he didn’t cover himself in glory.

Yorkshire teammate Bairstow followed just three overs later, but via the vicious medium of the commentator’s curse.

“Bairstow loves playing against New Zealand, he’s scored three hundreds in his last three against them. He’s just starting to get into his stride…”


– Isa Guha (Sky Sports)

He chopped on to his stumps after a loose ball from the lightning Lockie Ferguson and England succumbed to 71-3. They were in trouble.

A captain’s innings was needed, but it never looked like coming from Morgan.

A fantastic and calm leader, perfect for the style, but was outsmarted in his own individual performance by the New Zealand bowling arsenal. Ferguson was again involved, this time catching from the bowling of Jimmy Neesham.

Jos Buttler had to come up big for England. One of the most supremely talented cricketers in the world, he needed to absorb all of it to get England out of this. He had to. And he did as much as he could.

His effort of 59 from 60 balls which in the circumstances was worth double was staggering. Alongside Ben Stokes he put on an invaluable 113. Without Jos Buttler, England would not have been in the picture. A massive performance.

It now rested on Ben Stokes’ rather tired shoulders. Surely, with 45 runs needed and five overs to get them, England were dead and buried.

Woakes, Plunkett, and Archer departed for a combined twelve yet England found themselves needing 15 to win from the final over.

New Zealand v England - ICC World Cup - Final - Lord's : News Photo

Photo: Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

Ben Stokes’ had his lucky stars shining down on him. An act of almost divine proportion.

After a six due to Trent Boult’s spikes on the boundary cushion, a two was ran down to deep extra cover. Or so they thought.

After running a quick second, Stokes dived to save himself for the remaining balls. But what happened was so accidental, so coincidental, so cruel for New Zealand.

The bouncing ball struck Stokes’ bat as he dived in, thus running away to the empty boundary and counting as six. It was unintentional and how the Kiwis stayed calm and composed in an emotional moment we shall never know.

Rashid and Wood sacrificed themselves for singles, and England tied the innings. 241 all out, 84* of which came from the bat of Ben Stokes. A remarkable effort both physically and mentally.

Seven weeks. 48 matches. A four-year project. All down to six balls each.

Super overs. A modern phenomenon. The lottery which was to decide the Cricket World Cup.

England to bat first, and there was almost no discussion as to who came in. Jos Buttler, after earning a rest, was recalled for his services and his dynamic play which could prove difficult to deal with for Kane and his comrades.

And of course Ben Stokes. One final push, for both body and mind, to win it for his country.

The over, bowled by Trent Boult, began with possibly the perfect scenario for England. Stokes was almost out on his feet and swung a tired bat. Looping over third man, he ran through pain and treacle to gain three runs. Buttler on strike. Three on the board.

Buttler then hit a single to deep mid-wicket , and Stokes swept away Boult’s Yorker for four between the boundary fielders. A massive memento and eight off three for England.

Buttler would hit a four off the final delivery to give them 15. New Zealand needed 16 due to their inferior boundary count.

Morgan and his side would place their faith in the most inexperienced player in their team. He may already feel like part of the furniture, but Jofra Archer has only played in 14 ODIs.

The first two were knocked away, with Neesham smashing Archer for six over cow corner. Pressure was piling on the Bajan bowler with only five runs needed off three balls.

Neesham then ran a two, and with hype intensifying, Archer had the bottle to bowl a slower ball bouncer which only went for a single. They had 14 from the over, but nothing under a two would win them the World Cup.

Archer bowled the final delivery, a good length ball. Swatted into the leg-side by Guptill, and they ran the first at pace. Who was to pick up the ball? The subject of my previous article, the diminutive man in the field, Jason Roy.

He needed to enter a mode of zen. He needed the perfect throw. And wow did he deliver it. Cricketing basics were performed to their utter maximum.

A bounce, stinging the gloves of Jos Buttler. Guptill despairing to make his ground. Buttler took off the bails with utter brilliance. 15 was not enough. The game was tied. The super over was tied. But England had WON.

The country in its entirety, gripped by the madness on both Sky subscription and freeview Channel 4, exploded into mass elation. England had made history.

Eoin Morgan:

“I still can’t believe it. It’s phenomenal. Full credit to Kane and his team for playing so admirably, but we got it over the line and I am so proud of my team after these four years.”

Andrew Strauss:

“I’m a wreck. I don’t know what to say. It’s completely unfathomable. The commitment, the effort, the drive, the determination, the hunger those guys showed under the upmost pressure, it was just extraordinary to watch. ‘The greatest game of cricket in history! And it was in a Lord’s World Cup final.”

Brendon McCullum:

“England held their nerve under pressure. New Zealand will be devastated for the rest of their careers because they had an opportunity to win the World Cup.

They’ll have respect for Eoin Morgan because England play incredibly brave cricket. They were beaten by a team that, when the pressure was on, they found a way to get across the line. He goes down in history as the England captain who led his team to a world championship.”

England win the Cricket World Cup. What a day for modern sport in this country, and what a fantastic display of togetherness in a divided time. Thank you, boys.


About Author

Sports Journalism student, streamer at LFC Transfer Room, Anfield Agenda. Liverpool fan with a particular interest in Welsh, Youth, and African football.

Comments are closed.