Cricket World Cup 2019: England and New Zealand's previous final heartbreaks

By Sports Desk July 13, 2019

There will be a new winner of the Cricket World Cup in 2019 as hosts England and New Zealand each aim to lift the trophy for the first time in Sunday's final at Lord's.

England thrashed Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday after weather meant the Black Caps needed two days to upset India at Old Trafford. And now one of these two teams will end a long wait for World Cup glory, setting aside past failures.

For England, there have been three previous agonising defeats. So often losing semi-finalists, New Zealand finally made it beyond the last four in 2015, only to come up short in the decider.

Ahead of the huge contest at the home of cricket, we look at the previous final appearances for the two nations.

 

1979 – BRILLIANT RICHARDS LIGHTS UP LORD'S

England edged New Zealand in the last four at the second ever World Cup in 1979, their reward a meeting with holders West Indies. The hosts elected to bowl and that initially looked set to pay dividends, the Windies reduced to 99-4 before Viv Richards stepped up. 'The Master Blaster' smashed a sublime unbeaten 138, with Collis King weighing in with 86 off just 66 deliveries, a knock that is too often overlooked when recalling the game these days.

England's response to that score of 286-9 from 60 overs was slow but steady. Opening duo Mike Brearley and Geoff Boycott both hit half-centuries, yet a lack of urgency left the rest of the line-up too much to do. After briefly lifting the tempo, Graham Gooch's departure signalled a stunning collapse. The home team lost their last eight wickets for 11 runs to be dismissed for 194, Joel Garner doing much of the damage as he recorded figures of 5-38.

 

1987 – GATTING DISMISSAL TURNS THE TIDE

The 1987 tournament was the first to be played outside of England, though they still reached the final after knocking out co-hosts India on home soil in the last four. Australia posted a competitive 253-5 from their 50 overs after opting to bat first, David Boon leading the way with 75.

Despite their reply suffering a disastrous start with the loss of opener Tim Robinson for a golden duck, England appeared on track at 135-2. The game changed, however, on captain Mike Gatting's ill-judged attempt to reverse sweep the occasional spin of his Australian counterpart, Allan Border. Bill Athey made 58 but, left needing a challenging 17 off the final over, England came up seven runs short against their Ashes rivals.

 

1992 – PAKISTAN'S CORNERED TIGERS ROAR

Rain had already denied England what appeared set to be a routine win over Pakistan in the truncated group stage prior to the teams meeting again in the final. Captain Imran Khan had rallied his Pakistan squad, dubbed "cornered tigers", to spark an impressive recovery following a sorry start to the tournament.

Dropped on nine by Gooch, Khan top-scored with 72 to steer Pakistan to 249-6, an impressive total considering they had managed only 70 runs by the halfway stage. Opener Ian Botham failed to trouble the scorers as England slipped to 69-4 and while Allan Lamb and Neil Fairbrother engineered a recovery mission, England's hopes were sunk by two wickets in as many deliveries from Wasim Akram. Their innings ended with four balls to spare, all out for 227.

 

2015 – TRANS-TASMAN MAULING IN MELBOURNE

Joint-hosts Australia and New Zealand met at the MCG in front of a crowd of 93,013. Some of those in attendance may not have made it to their seats by the time the inspirational Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum was cleaned up by Mitchell Starc in the first over. The Kiwis never recovered from the early setback, despite a valiant 83 from Grant Elliott.

A paltry 183 never looked to be enough, even with Aaron Finch sent back without troubling the scorers. Michael Clarke's 74 in his final ODI appearance led the way for Australia, who rushed across the finishing line with 16.5 overs to spare to be crowned champions for a fourth time in five editions.

 

Related items

  • Wagner eyes scalp of 'freak' Stokes Wagner eyes scalp of 'freak' Stokes

    Ben Stokes is the scalp most prized by Neil Wagner after the England batsman finished day one of the first Test with New Zealand on 67 not out.

    The tourists overcame a slow start and recovered from 120-3 to reach 241-4 by the close at Bay Oval.

    Stokes – described by Wagner as "a bit of a freak" – was key to their revival, compiling his timely knock patiently as he faced 114 balls, sending nine to the boundary rope.

    The all-rounder has proven a thorn in the Black Caps' side before, most notably in a superlative display at the Cricket World Cup final in July.

    And left-arm seamer Wagner is determined not to give Stokes any more footage for his ever-expanding highlights reel.

    "Ben is that sort of a player," said Wagner. "He is a special talent and he is a bit of a freak at times.

    "For us, everyone wants to get him out because you know how important a wicket he is."

    At the top of the order, Rory Burns made a half century but could have been sent packing with only 10 runs to his name when he appeared to edge Trent Boult.

    However, the appeal was tame and dismissed, with no review taken, which proved a mistake – although an understandable one, according to Wagner.

    "It's quite a tough ground. There was another one that sounded like a nick and was nowhere near the bat," he explained.

    "When it's windy – and you don't always feel that from the grass banks – it's quite hard to hear those things.

    "There was a little bit of a noise [for the Burns chance] but it was a bob each way; [sometimes] you want to take that risk but also you want to keep hold of them for when you do need them."

  • Big Match Focus: Manchester City v Chelsea (Saturday 17:30 GMT) Big Match Focus: Manchester City v Chelsea (Saturday 17:30 GMT)

    Their title hopes dwindling, Manchester City face another tough assignment when Premier League action resumes this weekend as they welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium.

    The back-to-back English champions lost 3-1 away to Liverpool in their most recent outing and find themselves fourth in the table, nine points adrift of the unbeaten leaders.

    Saturday's visit of Chelsea is far from ideal for Pep Guardiola, then, with Frank Lampard's in-form side sitting a point better off than City after winning six league games in a row. 

    Chelsea's youngsters are firing on all cylinders while City's big hitters have seemingly gone off the boil, but the Blues have lost three of their last four top-flight trips to City, including a 6-0 thrashing in this corresponding fixture last season.

    CHELSEA PUNCHING ABOVE THEIR WEIGHT

    The loss of Eden Hazard, coupled with a transfer ban that, as things stand, will stretch into a second window, was supposed to spell the end of Chelsea's top-four aspirations.

    That has been far from the case, however, with Lampard being given freedom to turn to youth in his debut campaign as a Premier League boss.

    A 26-point gap separated the sides last season, yet with nearly a third of the current campaign played it is Chelsea who are better positioned.

    The obvious question, of course, is whether they can last the distance and maintain their push for silverware on multiple fronts.

    Chelsea were also third after 12 games last season, but the mood is far more positive around Stamford Bridge compared to 12 months ago when Maurizio Sarri was in charge.

    The shift to focus on youth has yielded dividends, with Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount thriving, but there is one major flaw to this Chelsea side - an inability to defend.

    They have conceded 17 league goals so far - no side in the top nine has let in more - and shipped four at home to Ajax in the Champions League earlier this month.

    City, too, have had defensive issues of late, highlighted in the defeat at Anfield that saw their makeshift back four opened up countless times.

    Guardiola's men have registered four clean sheets in their last 11 league games, contributing to three defeats already this term - one fewer than in the whole of their title-winning campaign last time out.

    HEAD-TO-HEAD: SERGIO AGUERO V TAMMY ABRAHAM

    Keeping out the opposition has been a problem for both sides, but they have certainly not lacked goals of their own.

    No Premier League team has scored more goals than City's 35 this term, with Sergio Aguero responsible for nine of those.

    Aguero tends to fare well in this fixture, too, having scored 10 top-flight goals against Chelsea - only versus Newcastle United (15) and Tottenham (11) has he managed more.

    The Argentina international has found the net eight times in his last six league appearances against the London outfit, including a hat-trick in the 6-0 thrashing nine months ago.

    Only two players have scored more Premier League goals than Aguero in 2019-20, one of those being Tammy Abraham, who will lead the line for Chelsea.

    Abraham has netted in back-to-back top-flight fixtures and has opened the scoring in five different league games this term - at least two more than any other player.

    Nine of his 10 goals have been scored from open play inside the box - eight with his right foot and one with his head - while Aguero has six open-play goals inside the area.

    Both players have two assists to their name, showing that there is more to their game than just finding the back of the net.

    FORM GUIDE

    City have been beaten by Norwich City, Wolves and Liverpool in their last eight league matches - as many defeats as they suffered in their previous 26 games in the competition.

    The 2-0 loss to Wolves came at the Etihad Stadium on October 6 and Tottenham drew 2-2 there in August, but City have won 13 of their 15 home league matches in 2019.

    Chelsea beat Palace 2-0 last time out to make it six successive Premier League wins, a feat they last achieved in May 2017 when winning the title under Antonio Conte.

    Away from home, meanwhile, Lampard's side have won five in a row, scoring 18 goals in those matches at an average of 3.6 per game.

    HISTORY SAYS...

    City were penalty shoot-out winners when the sides met in last season's EFL Cup final following a goalless draw and tend to perform well in this fixture.

    The reigning champions have won three of the last four Premier League meetings between the sides, keeping three clean sheets in the process.

    Chelsea have collected just two victories from their last 10 league trips to City, winning 1-0 in February 2004 and 3-1 in December 2016.

    They shipped six goals in the most recent league encounter and have kept only one clean sheet in their last 12 visits to the Etihad Stadium.

  • From St Petersburg to Sochi – Leopards dreaming big after Russian relocation From St Petersburg to Sochi – Leopards dreaming big after Russian relocation

    When the 2018 World Cup rolled through Sochi, it left a void – regular football.

    The eye-catching Fisht Stadium, a venue for the Russia national team, hosted six World Cup fixtures last year – including the quarter-final between the hosts and eventual finalists Croatia.

    Once the showpiece tournament packed up and departed the seaside holiday resort, it left behind a 48,000-seater stadium initially built for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    Desperate to make use of the world-class facility, St Petersburg's second team were controversially relocated 2,300km to Sochi – rebranded from FC Dynamo Saint Petersburg to PFC Sochi ahead of the 2018-19 Russian National Football League season.

    PFC Sochi are the fourth Sochi-based club to emerge in the past 15 years – Zhemchuzhina Sochi the first to spring into existence in 1991. They were also the last team to feature in the Russian Premier League (1999) prior to PFC Sochi's promotion last term.

    Now, Sochi finally have a professional team competing in Russia's top flight for the first time in 20 years.

    "Such a big city like Sochi should have a team in Russian Premier League. The weather here is sunny almost the whole year, plus there is no real winter with snow and frost – ideal conditions for playing football 365 days per year," PFC Sochi CEO Dmitry Rubashko told Omnisport. "In addition, as a World Cup legacy we have great infrastructure in the area with natural and artificial fields."

    "When we got the message about the club's transition, we didn't completely realise what it brings with it," added deputy general director for development Andrey Orlov. "I came to Sochi with one small bag, thinking that it's just for a couple of days. Finally, I spent about two months here before things were really settled and processes were managed.

    "However, we were jumping between two stadiums [Sochi Central Stadium – where Brazil were based for the World Cup – and Fisht] for about four months."

    Sochi is a picturesque and unique city, the Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains providing a stunning backdrop. But its attempts to be a football town have struggled, and for a number of reasons – the popularity of ice hockey, Formula One and not to mention Sochi has a status as a vacation town, with residents coming and going.

    "The club already have many partners, new ones are about to come. We are fully supported from the city and locals. We do everything for the club's bright future in a long-term perspective," Sochi president Boris Rotenberg said.

    Director for development Aleksandr Kim added: "Football is the game for the fans. To attract fans to the stadium is on the top of our priority list. First and foremost, attending a game should be convenient. For this purpose we are developing transport infrastructure around the stadium: during the last year we cooperated with car-sharing, public bike and scooter companies and worked closely with the city administration to make transportation to the stadium and back more convenient.

    "Additionally, we created special space for children of the supporters in the stadium, where parents can leave their kids on matchdays. We see many positive references back to this initiative. Entertainment is also an important part of our matchdays. We steadily grow and invite new partners; create new interactive activities and lotteries. As a result attendance gets higher. Last year the average attendance was about 4,000-5,000 spectators. Now it increases to 10,000. I am pretty sure it gets higher when the team performs better."

    "The Russian Premier League have been waiting for Sochi for many years. South, sun, no snow – it's just a dream for the fans, players and coaches," Kim continued. "In addition, one of the greatest stadiums in Russia. It is a travel dream for many Russian supporters. Attending local matches you can easily combine football with normal vocation travelling to Sochi."

    The move away from St Petersburg had no negative affects last term as Sochi finished runners-up to step up to the Russian Premier League.

    Sochi – using the World Cup training base in Adler – are now going head-to-head with the likes of powerhouses Zenit, Lokomotiv Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow.

    While the Leopards – who saw head coach Aleksandr Tochilin resign on Wednesday – only have three wins from 16 matches to be five points adrift of safety, they have long-term plans.

    "We have big ambitions. It is our first season in the Russian Premier League. Firstly, we need to focus on each game separately. To get on the pitch and to win. We have to win every game and go up in the standings," Rotenberg said.

    "We are a stable club. It is the place where the players can feel confident. They can get the basis, which gives them broad perspectives to grow faster. All our players have something to prove. It is a chance for them to make a step forward. We already cooperate with local football schools.

    "Our final aim is not just to build a club, it is bigger: we plan to build a system. The academy, which consists of plenty teams of different ages. And certainly the players should have perspectives to transit from one team to another."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.