England Win The World Cup “By The Barest Of Margins”

A World-Cup final that will go down as one of the most memorable ODI matches in recent history, it was on the 14th of July in 2019 that England won the World Cup in a dramatic fashion – a tied super-over, eventually winning on the ‘boundary count’ rule against Kane Williamson-led New Zealand.

The Indian Express reported a simple match summary of the thriller: New Zealand made 241, England equaled it. England then made 15 in the Super Over. New Zealand equaled it. England hit 26 boundaries. New Zealand couldn’t equal it. Game over.

Coincidentally, it was New Zealand-born Ben Stokes who stood between New Zealand and the World Cup trophy, playing what many experts called “the knock of his life” of 84 not out. Along with him, it was Jos Buttler’s gritty half-century and partnership with Stokes that kept England in the hunt after a shaky start on a seaming wicket.

Fortune favors the brave, they say. In this case, it was a deflection off Stokes’ bat as came for a second run in the final over. To make matters worse for the Blackcaps, the ball went for a boundary, resulting in England scoring 6 runs off that 1 ball. As if the thriller match and the controversial boundary rule weren’t enough, acclaimed umpire Simon Taufel, while commenting on the game said the umpires on-ground made an “error of judgment” of awarding six runs instead of five, as per the rules.

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For England, this was one of the best moments of their cricketing history. Failures in 1979, 1987, 1992, and especially in 2015 had led to a transformative change in the way they played their cricket. Overhauling and rebuilding a team from scratch after their exit from the 2015 World Cup, it was Eoin Morgan who took over the reins as captain, along with coach Trevor Bayliss put together the squad – all of this culminating in winning the World Cup at Lord’s, called the “home of cricket”.

While it was England who won the accolades and the trophy that mattered the most, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson’s calm, collected demeanor found hundreds of admirers. The ‘Player of the tournament’ winner was appreciated for his conduct, despite the controversial note the game ended on. He pointed out that while it boiled down to some runs ‘here and there’ towards the end, there were other junctures in the game that they could have done better.

It was a dream run for Kane Williamson the batter, though. He scored 578 runs, the most by a captain in a World Cup that included 4 half centuries, and accounted for 27 percent of all the runs New Zealand scored.

The 2019 World Cup final had it all – joy, sorrow, pressure (so much of it), controversies – above all reiterating that there is never a dull moment in the game and the “barest of margins”, as commentator Ian Smith called England’s win on-air, will always bring cricket fans of all nature together.

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