ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
England claim the World Cup after a Super Over
Dramatic World Cup Final ends in a tie after thrilling Super Over with England claiming the title on a boundary countback
Louis Cameron at Lord's
15 July 2019, 11:00 AM AEST
England's trailblazing one-day side have been rewarded with the country's maiden World Cup crown after tying a thrilling final with New Zealand – twice.
In one of the most captivating climaxes to a deciding match of a major tournament, Ben Stokes (84 not out 98 balls) hit 14 off the final over of the match proper to level the scores at 241 and send the game into a Super Over.
Stokes and Jos Buttler, who'd earlier scored a crucial 59 off 60 balls, then took 15 off their Super Over, bowled by Trent Boult.
Jimmy Neesham and Martin Guptill came out for New Zealand's reply to face Jofra Archer, with Neesham hitting 14 from the first five balls, leaving New Zealand two to win the match off the final ball, faced by Guptill.
It was hit into the leg side where Jason Roy fired in a clutch throw from the boundary to run Guptill out off the last ball of the tournament coming back what would have been the tournament-winning second run.
It meant the Kiwis had also scored 15 off their Super Over. But England were declared winners on a boundary countback – a deciding factor under the tournament's playing conditions that is sure come under the microscope.
The tournament's playing conditions state that if scores are tied after the Super Over, the team who hit the most boundaries (fours and sixes) from the main match and Super Over combined will be the winner. England hit 26 boundaries in the match and Super Over, compared to New Zealand's 17.
It was a heroic effort from an exhausted Stokes to get England to parity, almost single-handedly taking 46 off the final five overs and then 24 off the last two.
Needing 15 off 50th over of the run chase from Boult, Stokes hit consecutive sixes, the second coming via four overthrows after he unintentionally deflected the return throw to the boundary diving to make his ground for a second run.
But Boult, who nearly ended Stokes' knock the over before when he caught him on the boundary before inadvertently stepping on the rope, kept his nerve when only three runs were needed, delivering a pair of unhittable yorkers as the Black Caps pulled off run outs off the final two balls of the run chase.
As they have done all tournament, New Zealand scrapped and fought with the bat, posting 8-241, before a classy showing with the ball left the hosts up against it at 4-86 near the halfway point of their reply.
So it was fitting that Stokes and Buttler were the ones take England to victory; no two players better typify the attacking, multi-talented player they have put their faith in during their ascent to becoming one of the most formidable one-day teams in the modern era.
On a dicey pitch that no batter looked truly comfortable on, Stokes and Buttler brought a previously-subdued Lord's crowd to life in a match-turning 110-run fifth-wicket partnership.
Already the tournament's breakout star, tearaway Lockie Ferguson delivered a consolation spell taking the vital wickets of Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes to claim 3-50.
Woakes grabbed three scalps, but it was unsung hero Liam Plunkett, the paceman who always seems to be the 11th man picked for England, who was the game's most influential bowler.
His 3-42 off 10 overs saw him take his tournament wicket tally to 11 – a figure made even more impressive considering all of his victims have batted in the top six, adding Kane Williamson to an enviable list that includes Virat Kohli, Quinton de Kock, Chris Gayle and Hardik Pandya.
Plunkett also removed opener Henry Nicholls whose 77-ball 55 went in vain, as did Tom Latham's gritty 47 of 56 balls.
Mark Wood (1-49 off 10 overs) bowled a 154kph rocket that clocked in as the joint-fastest ball of the tournament but left the field clutching his side to put his availability for the upcoming Ashes campaign under a cloud.
The oddities of the Decision Review System thankfully did not have a major impact on the decider's outcome, though they were a factor in its narrative.
A reprieve for ace opener Jason Roy on the first ball of the England innings was the most notable; despite ball-tracking technology leaving no doubt in anyone's mind that the only thing stopping Boult's inswinger from smashing into leg-stump was the opener's big, baby-blue front pad, Roy survived because of an arbitrary regulation that calls for more than half the ball to be shown hitting the stumps to overturn a not-out decision.
At the start of the tournament, batting first was about as trendy as wearing Crocs, but Kane Williamson's decision to do so despite heaving grey clouds looming over north London reflected a collective realisation that setting is a safer option than chasing under World Cup pressure; almost 60 per cent of games have been won by the team batting first.
Like they did against Australia in the semi-final, Archer and Woakes set the tone for England's excellent pace attack with probing new-ball spells that sparked a series of an influential Decision Review System moments.
Given out after being hit on the back pad by Woakes, Nicholls was the only person in the entire NW postcode that thought he wasn't out, yet as it turned out, ball-tracking technology agreed with him.
Guptill, encouraged by his opening partner's stunningly good fortune, followed his lead but had no such luck, burning their only successful review to hand England their first breakthrough.
Nicholls and Williamson cautiously put on 103 for the second wicket, before the DRS sent the skipper packing for his second-lowest score of the tournament (30). His faint scratch behind ended a terrific campaign.
Williamson was later named the official Player of the Tournament for his batting exploits throughout the tournament that yielded 578 runs at 82.57 – the most prolific World Cup ever by a Black Cap batter.
Guptill's folly earlier review proved costly when key man Ross Taylor was given out lbw off the first ball of a new Wood spell, with replays showing it would have gone over the top of the timber.
New Zealand scrapping their way to a competitive tally and hitting just three balls to or over the boundary in their final 10 overs was far from the up-tempo, high-scoring showcase of 50-over cricket tournament organisers would have hoped for.
They could have dreamed of what was to come.
Boult and Henry's initial bursts, plus the solid back-up provided by the speedy Ferguson and the not-so-speedy Colin de Grandhomme proved captivating viewing under emerging flickers of sunlight.
Roy made just 17 more runs after his let off as Henry's terrific spell was rewarded with his outside edge, while airy wafts saw the bats of Joe Root and Bairstow after they faced out three consecutive maidens.
The Kiwis were outstanding at the death, Boult and Ferguson almost unfailingly hitting the blockhole when they needed to, with only a sequence of daring trademark Buttler scoops and Stokes sweeps proving an effective counter.
But Stokes refused to let the game slip despite wickets tumbling all about him.
To see the tournament decided by the spectacular late sequence of events felt far from fitting, though none could argue this England side were not deserving of the title.
England XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult