Crazy sixes and Super Over drama: How the Cricket World Cup final was won

By Sports Desk July 14, 2019

The closing stages of England's remarkable Cricket World Cup final victory over New Zealand provided drama by the bucketload, with the hosts eventually prevailing following a Super Over at Lord's.

After New Zealand had posted 241-8, the final overs of England's chase could hardly have been more thrilling, and it turned out that was just the start.

We look back on how the drama unfolded as an astonishing final was won by the narrowest of margins, England prevailing due to the fact they scored more boundaries than the Black Caps.

 

STOKES SURVIVES MAJOR SCARE

Ben Stokes underpinned England's pursuit of 242, but the hosts were in big trouble after Jos Buttler's dismissal for 59 ended a fifth-wicket stand of 110.

When Liam Plunkett holed out to long-off in the 49th over, England needed 22 runs off nine deliveries.

Stokes then picked out Trent Boult on the long-on boundary from Jimmy Neesham's next ball, but the fielder could not avoid stepping over the rope while he still had the ball in his hands, meaning a crucial six runs were added to the home total.

 

IF YOU THOUGHT THAT SIX WAS UNUSUAL

A target of 15 from the final over became much tougher when Stokes failed to score from successive Boult deliveries.

England's key man thumped a maximum over midwicket to keep the chase alive, but no one could have possibly imagined what was to happen next.

As he came back for a tight second run to midwicket, Stokes dived and inadvertently deflected the ball - thrown in by Martin Guptill - to the boundary. The end result was one of the most unusual sixes you are ever likely to see and suddenly England needed just three from two deliveries.

 

NO WINNER AFTER 100 OVERS

To his credit, Boult responded superbly, and a fine yorker limited Stokes to a single from the penultimate delivery, with Adil Rashid run out at the non-striker's end as he chased a second that was never there to keep his partner on strike.

Stokes then played the final ball somewhat cautiously and could again only manage one, with Mark Wood also run out to ensure a Super Over was needed to split the teams.

 

YET MORE MOMENTUM SWINGS IN ONE-OVER SHOOTOUT

After such a gripping contest, it was no surprise to see even more twists and turns in the eliminator.

Stokes and Buttler were chosen to lead the England charge and both batsmen hit boundaries off Trent Boult to help Eoin Morgan's men to a healthy total of 15.

That score looked set to be surpassed when Jofra Archer started with a wide and was then taken for 12 in four balls - including a monstrous six over midwicket - by Neesham.

Yet the next delivery brought only a single, putting Martin Guptill on strike for the deciding ball with New Zealand needing two.

 

ARCHER AND ROY COMBINE TO SEAL GLORY

In arguably the most dramatic scenes Lord's has ever played host to, Guptill swiped Archer's final ball towards the deep midwicket boundary, where Jason Roy was lurking.

Roy had been guilty of a fumble earlier in the over, but on this occasion, he was not found wanting.

An accurate throw from the deep enabled wicketkeeper Buttler to break the stumps with Guptill well short of his ground and England duly celebrated an incredible victory by virtue of their superior boundary count, with the scores tied once again.

 

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    Stokes made a brilliant unbeaten 135 as England remarkably recovered from 286-9 to chase down 359 and beat Australia by one wicket at Headingley on Sunday, leaving the series level at 1-1 with two Tests to play.

    The England all-rounder, who starred in the World Cup final, also took four wickets in the match as he followed his unbeaten 115 at Lord's with another world-class performance in Leeds.

    Jack Leach provided vital support with one not out but Stokes went into one-day mode, hitting eight sixes in a blistering innings to secure one of cricket's most dramatic victories.

    "It was one of those 'I was there' moments," Broad said to Sky Sports. "It was absolutely spectacular. I don't think anyone in this ground will see a better innings. It had everything. He struck the ball beautifully.

    "The bloke has got the heart of a lion. Everything he does is for the team. He is the perfect team-mate. He didn't celebrate his fifty; he didn't celebrate his hundred. He deserves everything that comes his way because he's an incredible cricketer and an even better bloke.

    "The emotions of that last hour were outrageous. Cricketers don't go through that in careers - so for some of these World Cup players to go through that twice in six weeks is outrageous.

    "The belief has always been there in this game. But nine down, one ball finishes the Ashes series. Of course I thought the Ashes were over."

    England won the toss and put Australia in, failing to capitalise on reducing the tourists to 25-2, then making a pitiful 67 all out in response to give Tim Paine's side a huge advantage.

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    "On day one we should have bowled Australia out for 120 to be honest," Broad added. "I apologised to the guys after that.

    "67 all out is inexcusable, we didn't show any responsibility, we didn't communicate well. It was really poor.

    "Then we could have bowled them out for 150 again in the second innings. It's been a sloppy game for us but one man's heroics has bailed us out and now we all have to step it up.

    "Headingley has seen some special Tests over the years, the support was incredible. 1-1 didn't look possible two hours ago and now I am backing us to go on and win it."

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    "We said at the start of the day we just had to believe," Root said at the post-match presentation. 

    "We have witnessed some freakish things this summer during the World Cup and I didn't think we would see something so similar happen during the Ashes.

    "It was an incredible game of cricket, an incredible atmosphere, Test cricket is alive and kicking, as is this Ashes series. It is fabulous to be able to stand here, be 1-1 all in this series and take all of this in.

    "To try and sum up Stokes' innings in words is impossible. He has got previous and he has got that in the bank, he had to call upon all that but to stay as calm and collected as he did in the moment it took a great amount of skill, courage and belief in his own ability. It is a fabulous marker for everyone.

    "I am still trying to get my head around everything, it was just amazing. When you are on the right end of these sorts of results it carries a lot of weight. Hopefully it can make a big difference.

    "Ben deserves all the plaudits and adulation that he gets given."

    England and Australia resume the series at Old Trafford for the penultimate Test of the series, with the action starting on September 4.

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