Guptill's best & worst work, plus that Santner leave - Things you might have missed in the Cricket World Cup final

By Sports Desk July 15, 2019

There was chaos at Lord's on Sunday as England won the Cricket World Cup, beating New Zealand in the final in scarcely believable fashion.

An incredible clash went all the way to a Super Over and a boundary count to decide the winner after the scores were tied, with Ben Stokes' heroic effort to get England back into the match absolutely vital.

Plenty has been said and written about Stokes, his bizarre accidental six and the Super Over, but a lot of the finer details of the match were lost amid the noise.

We take a look at five key factors in England's win that might have been missed.

 

MIXED REVIEWS FROM NEW ZEALAND OPENERS

It did not take long for this absorbing contest to spark intrigue as the New Zealand openers had contrasting fortunes with reviews. Henry Nicholls' decision to go upstairs was a good one as replays showed Chris Woakes' delivery, initially ruled lbw, was going over the top and the batsman went on to make 55. Martin Guptill's call when he was dismissed was less impressive.

Woakes beat him on the inside edge and Guptill unwisely asked to take another look, throwing away a review. There was then no option open to Ross Taylor, who would have escaped after being pinned by Mark Wood.

WILLIAMSON'S FAILURE MORE COSTLY THAN ROOT'S

Both Kane Williamson and Joe Root enjoyed outstanding World Cups and were fully deserving of their places in the official team of the tournament. But neither man truly fired at Lord's on Sunday, with Williamson gone for 30 from 53 balls and Root even more sluggish with seven off 30.

Tom Latham still performed admirably after the New Zealand captain went, reaching 47, yet they went 92 balls without a boundary at one stage and failed to truly kick on. Williamson ended the tournament with 50 fours but was badly missed in those middle overs - especially considering boundary count became the final tie-breaker.

SANTNER DUCKS FINAL BALL TO SET 242

This really was a match of fine margins, with both teams scoring the same number of runs in their regular innings and then again in the Super Over. Every tiny error could be perceived as costly and there was a bizarre moment as Mitchell Santner inexplicably limited New Zealand's scoring at 241-8.

Jofra Archer sent in a slower-ball bouncer to end the Black Caps innings and Santner, with nothing to lose, ducked out of the way. That decision eased England's chase by a tiny but decisive margin.

DE GRANDHOMME DESPERATELY UNFORTUNATE

He might not have been an obvious hero, but had New Zealand held on in the fast and furious finale, Colin de Grandhomme could have been considered the match-winner. England's target of 242 was relatively modest but they were strangled by De Grandhomme, who took 1-25, having dropped Jonny Bairstow in his first over.

His was the most economical 10-over spell in a World Cup final since 1992 when Derek Pringle claimed 3-22. Like Pringle, though, his efforts were ultimately in vain.

BLACK CAPS' SPORTSMANSHIP EVIDENT AGAIN

Three sixes off the final two overs of England's innings did the damage for New Zealand. But while much has been made of the ludicrous nature of the third, as Ben Stokes accidently nudged a throw to the boundary, Guptill deserves credit for his honesty following the maximum that kickstarted England's surge.

Stokes looked to have been denied at the fence by Trent Boult, but the left-armer stepped on the boundary before unloading for Guptill to take the catch. In a fine show of sportsmanship, for which New Zealand were lauded throughout the tournament, Guptill immediately signalled for six.

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    It was one of Archer's rockets that clattered into Smith's neck and knocked Australia's talisman down on Saturday.

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    Labuschagne survived that onslaught and went on to make a crucial 59, but Root feels Barbados-born seamer Archer can be instrumental as his side seek to retain the urn.

    "He makes things happen when not many others in world cricket can," Root added.

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    In the immediate aftermath you want to know how the player's feeling and then look at their orientation and memory, so asking those simple questions is just to see if they are responding correctly.

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    CA said Smith "passed the CogSport and SCAT5 assessments" when he came off the pitch, so why was the concussion not spotted then?

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    Smith returned, misjudged a delivery and was given out lbw – later reviewing that decision when it clearly appeared he was out. Some people have said it was obvious from those acts that he was concussed - do you agree?

    Being struck by a ball at that speed is quite a shocking incident that's going to be quite painful. Often people say, 'He clearly didn't look right'. But if you're in pain and you've had a shocking incident, you're not going to look right anyway.

    That's not necessarily the same as concussion.

    It was revealed today that Smith suffered a "delayed concussion response" – what is that?

    The concussion itself hasn't been delayed. He had concussion from moment one. It's that he wasn't showing any signs or symptoms that concern that until now.

    In my experience, the vast majority of time players do have some symptoms at the immediate point of injury and then they go away very, very quickly. It may have been by the time they got out there he was feeling absolutely fine.

    So it looks like the Australia medical staff actually followed all the procedures correctly?

    We reckon that probably about 10-to-20 per cent of concussions have that delay in onset.

    As an outsider, it looks like everything's been done correctly and the right decisions have been made at every point, and he unfortunately fits into that small category of players that look fine at the time and then go on to develop symptoms further down the line.

    CA said Smith is a "serious doubt" for the third Test, which begins on Thursday, and that per its concussion policy, he must not play or train until at least 24 hours after he has been cleared by the doctor. What is the process for a player returning to their sport and why do medics have to be careful?

    You shouldn't be doing any activity until your symptoms have settled. In professional rugby they say you have to be 24 hours symptom-free before you start doing any sort of exercise. The theory is most people start to feel well when they do absolutely nothing and we want to see whether any symptoms come back with exertion and mental strain, so you gradually start to introduce exercise.

    The big thing about concussion and the way you manage it, is the risk comes from further injury, not the initial injury. The risks from a one-off knock that's treated well are almost non-existent, but while the brain's still recovering, if it takes further knocks, that's when risks happen.

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    REDS WIN AGAIN TO EQUAL RODGERS' RECORD

    Liverpool racked up their 11th consecutive top-flight victory with a 2-1 win at Southampton, equalling the club record set under Brendan Rodgers in April 2014.

    Sadio Mane's third goal in four days sent Jurgen Klopp's men on their way just before half-time at St. Mary's and the Senegal international has scored 20 goals for the club in 2019 - eight more than Liverpool's next sharpest shooter, Mo Salah (12).

    Roberto Firmino doubled the European champions' lead 19 minutes from time to ensure Danny Ings' late goal - courtesy of Adrian clearing the ball into his shin - was nothing more than a consolation as the Reds made sure they started the season with two wins for the second consecutive campaign, a feat they last achieved in 1993-94 and 1994-95.

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    PUKKI TREBLE EXTENDS MAGPIES' TRAVEL WOES

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    LEICESTER LEAVE LAMPARD WINLESS IN THREE

    Leicester City came from behind to draw 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and make Frank Lampard the first Blues boss since Rafael Benitez (2012-13) to fail to win any of his first three games in charge.

    After a Premier League opening day defeat at Manchester United and a UEFA Super Cup loss on penalties to Liverpool, Chelsea took the lead through Mason Mount's home debut goal only to be pegged back by Wilfred Ndidi's second-half equaliser.

    Mount's opportunist strike made him the first English player to score on his first home Premier League appearance for Chelsea since Paul Hughes netted against Derby County in January 1997, while Ndidi's bullet header was his fifth goal in 90 Premier League appearances.

    Ndidi scored from a corner by James Maddison, who has created 50 chances from set-pieces in the Premier League since the start of 2018-19 - at least six more than any other player in the division.

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