England are getting used to needing more than just regulation to win World Cups.

An extraordinary victory over New Zealand at Lord's on Sunday saw England secure their maiden Cricket World Cup title.

But not even 50 overs each could separate the teams, and they were also level after the Super Over. Hitting more boundaries was what gave England their triumph.

They have now won a FIFA World Cup, a Rugby World Cup and a Cricket World Cup, and each one took a little extra.

1966 FIFA World Cup final – England 4 West Germany 2 (after extra time)

This remains England's only FIFA World Cup crown and it only came after late drama and what would have been heartbreak had the result gone the other way.

Helmut Haller put West Germany ahead at Wembley before Geoff Hurst's header brought England level in the 18th minute.

But just as Martin Peters' close-range finish looked set to be the winner, Wolfgang Weber scrambled in an equaliser.

Hurst's 101st-minute goal has remained controversial to this day – the effort appearing not to cross the line after bouncing down off the crossbar – and he later sealed England's win.

2003 Rugby World Cup final – Australia 17 England 20 (after extra time)

The boots of Jonny Wilkinson would settle England's first and thus far only Rugby World Cup title, but only after a huge battle in Sydney.

Lote Tuqiri scored the opening try after taking a high Stephen Larkham kick in the corner, but three penalties from the brilliant Wilkinson put England 9-5 ahead before Jason Robinson went over.

Elton Flatley's kicking brought Australia back into the game and his penalty with seconds remaining forced extra time.

A 45-metre penalty from Wilkinson put England ahead again, only for Flatley to respond for the hosts.

The final moment fittingly belonged to Wilkinson, who used his right foot to kick the match-winning drop-goal.

2019 Cricket World Cup final – New Zealand 241-8 & 15-1 England 241 & 15-0 (England win on boundary count)

Perhaps the most extraordinary of the three happened at Lord's on Sunday.

The Black Caps elected to bat and managed 241-8 from their 50 overs, thanks to decent contributions from Henry Nicholls (55) and Tom Latham (47).

Ben Stokes (84 not out) and Jos Buttler (59) led England's response. They needed 15 off the final over and Stokes hit a six before getting six more when he inadvertently deflected a ball to the boundary rope with his bat when diving to make a second run. More drama followed, however, with run outs on the final two balls leading to a tie.

England made 15 from their Super Over and New Zealand did likewise, Martin Guptill run out when coming back for a second – and match-winning – run off the final ball, sparking wild celebrations for the hosts.

A furious Ben Stokes kicked his bat up in the air before whipping off his helmet and rocking his head back with his eyes shut as he trudged back to the famous Lord's pavilion.

The England all-rounder was in a complete state of disbelief at what had just happened and so was everyone else fortunate enough to witness the greatest Cricket World Cup final of all time.

Stokes had made a magnificent, mature 84 not out but was left crestfallen when Mark Wood was run out going for a second run to win it off the last ball.

That kept New Zealand's hopes of being crowned world champions for the first time alive under blue London skies on a glorious Sunday evening.

The brilliant Stokes was consoled by Wood as headed back towards the Long Room at the home of cricket, but the New Zealand-born former England vice-captain would have another shot at redemption.

Stokes and Jos Buttler (59) had rescued the hosts - who were 86-4 on a slow track chasing a seemingly modest 242 to end their long wait for a maiden World Cup triumph - as their fifth-wicket stand of 110 made it very much game on with the tension palpable.

That only increased when England needed 15 off what anxious fans, perched on the edge of their seats throughout an absorbing contest, presumed was the last over.

Stokes launched Trent Boult over the ropes and had six more from the next delivery when Martin Guptill's bullet throw from the deep struck his bat and ran away to the fence when he lunged desperately to get home coming back for a second.

Just three needed to win off two balls, surely England had one hand on the trophy? The buzz around the ground grew louder than ever, but Adil Rashid and Wood were run out as New Zealand's astonishing fielding ensured the scores were tied, with Boult breathing a sigh of relief having stepped on the rope attempting to catch Stokes in the penultimate over.

Bewildered spectators from various parts of the world were off their seats wondering what happens next as a shell-shocked, exhausted Stokes - who passed 400 runs for the tournament - went down on his haunches like a weary boxer who had just come through 12 rounds.

A Super Over was the answer, so Stokes kept his pads on and pulled himself off the ropes for another chance to be England's hero.

The 28-year-old duly struck eight of the 15 runs he and Buttler took off Boult as they played with freedom after knuckling down with great application earlier in the day.

Then it was the turn of Jofra Archer, who was charged with the task of racing in for England, the hopes of a nation he only qualified to play for a matter of months ago on his shoulders.

The Barbados-born quick started with a wide, then had his head bowed after Jimmy Neesham dispatched him into the crowd with a huge blow.

Five runs from three balls for Kane Williamson's men to make history. Just as it seemed there could surely not be another twist, it came down to two required off the last delivery.

Kiwis sat with their head in their hands as Archer steamed in and bowled to Guptill, who clipped the paceman to Jason Roy on the midwicket boundary and darted to the non-striker's end.

Roy whipped in the throw as Guptill frantically ran back for a second, yet with the World Cup within the opener's grasp, Buttler whipped off the bails and one of the great sporting venues erupted.

While there were puzzled looks from cricket-lovers who had travelled from various parts of the globe, the England players sprinted off into the outfield in front of the grand old pavilion knowing they had conquered the world.

Victory by virtue of having struck more boundaries than the Black Caps, who suffered the most painful loss four years after being thumped by Australia in the final.

New Zealand fans had been up in anticipation of celebrating their finest hour, but instead sat in a state of shock as Stokes clutched a bottle of champagne after picking up the man of the match award.

Stokes had been left out of the squad for the previous World Cup and suffered the anguish of being taken apart by West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite in the last over of the 2016 World Twenty20 final, costing England glory.

Eleven months after he was cleared of affray following a brawl in Bristol, Christchurch-born Stokes was a national hero, having shattered the dreams of his country of birth.

As 'Heroes' was played over the sound system with England fans dancing and singing, it was mission accomplished for Eoin Morgan's men.

In 2015 they returned home from the tournament in Australia and New Zealand in shame after failing to make it out of the group stage, but now they were on top of the world on home soil.

Trevor Bayliss, Andrew Strauss and Morgan played huge parts in totally transforming England from ODI failures to the best in the world, but nobody could have scripted the manner in which they attained glory, in the most dramatic of fashions.

Roger Federer believes the "stars are aligned" but he may have to produce another out-of-this-world performance to dethrone Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon.

Federer followed up his record 100th victory at the All England Club against Kei Nishikori by beating old rival Rafael Nadal in a classic semi-final on Friday.

The Swiss legend faces another mouthwatering duel with defending champion Djokovic in the final at SW19 on Sunday.

Federer produced a regal Centre Court masterclass to down fellow great Nadal 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 6-4 and does not feel he needs to do any homework for the challenge of taking on the world number one.

The 20-time grand slam champion said: "This is like a school: the day of the test you're not going to read, I don't know, how many books that day. You don't have the time anyhow.

"It's quite clear the work was done way before. I think that's why I was able to produce a good result against Rafa. It's been a rock-solid year from me, [I] won in Halle. 

"Stars are aligned right now. From that standpoint I can go into that match [against Djokovic] very confident."

Federer added on the battle between the top two seeds: "At the end of the day it comes very much down to who's better on the day, who's in a better mental place, who's got more energy left, who's tougher when it really comes to the crunch.

"In the tennis, there's always somebody who's going to be a little bit better because there's no draws in our sport. It's always quite brutal sometimes."

Top seed Djokovic has won his last three matches against Federer and beat him in both of their previous two deciders at the grass-court major.

The Serb says his use of the visualisation process has enabled him to see clearly as he strives to retain the title. 

"It is part of my pre-match routine. I also do it on the court. I think we all do it to some extent, whether it's conscious or unconscious." said the 32-year-old.

"I think it's normal that when you care about something, you want to prepare yourself the best possible. Especially on the changeovers, you visualise and imagine what the next point or next game will be like.

"It is a quite challenging battle within yourself. I think at this stage we play in one of the most important stadiums and tournaments in the world, playing semi-finals, finals, fighting for the trophy with one of the biggest rivals.

"I think the most important and probably the first win that you have to make is the one within yourself, then whatever happens externally is, I guess, a consequence or manifestation of that.

"The visualisation is part of the mental preparation. It's very, very important for me. I do it all the time."

Simona Halep said seeing royalty in the crowd gave her an "extra boost" as she claimed a first Wimbledon title, while Mark Philippoussis was drinking on the job at SW19 on Saturday.

Halep thrashed Serena Williams 6-2 6-2 in less than an hour on Centre Court and was given a royal seal of approval following her majestic performance.

Philippoussis, a two-time major runner-up, was in weekend mode as he sampled an alcoholic beverage while playing in the invitational doubles.

Dylan Alcott was trending on Twitter in Australia after his historic victory at the All England Club.

Catch up on what was happening on the penultimate day of the grass-court grand slam.

 

HALEP GIVEN 'UNFORGETTABLE' ROYAL BOOST 

Halep picked out "Kate" as the one person she would like to see in the Royal Box for her first Wimbledon final.

The 2018 French Open champion got her wish and exchanged words with the Duchess of Cambridge after denying Williams a record-equalling 24th major singles title. 

"It was an honour to play in front of her. I had the chance to meet her after the match. She's very kind, very nice," Halep said after becoming the first Romanian to win a singles title at Wimbledon, with Williams' friend the Duchess of Sussex also in attendance.

"Yeah, it was an extra boost when I saw all of them there, the Royal Family. Winning in this position, it's really nice. It's unforgettable."

 

PIMM'S O'CLOCK FOR PHILIPPOUSSIS

Philippoussis built up a thirst as he rolled back the years on No.1 Court.

The Australian unsuccessfully scurried across to try and keep a point alive in his doubles clash partnering Tommy Haas against Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra.

Philippoussis almost ended up on the front row of the crowd, but stopped himself before grabbing a spectator's Pimm's for an early-evening tipple.

He even posed for a selfie after sipping away casually with his legs crossed, drawing laughter from the crowd in an alternative happy hour.

 

ALCOTT MAKES HISTORY TO COMPLETE 'DYLAN SLAM'

Alcott won the first ever quad wheelchair singles title at SW19 with a 6-0 6-2 thrashing of Brit Andy Lapthorne.

Australian Alcott now holds ever major singles title, a feat christened the 'Dylan Slam' and the top seed was delighted after his triumph on Court 12.

"I'm trending on Twitter at home," he said.

"The AFL is on at the moment, and the NRL. I'm trending with them. People care and watch now. I love that, you know what I mean? So cool."

He added: "My dad said, 'Congratulations on your eighth Grand Slam.' I said, 'That's nine, champion.'"

 

BUBBLES BURST AFTER COSTLY UNFORCED ERROR 

There were no smiles outside a champagne bar when a lady knocked a bottle over earlier in the afternoon.

While not all of the bubbles were lost, it still proved to be a costly unforced error.

Thankfully the bottle did not smash, but the spillage created a racket as the women frantically attempted to limit her losses.

A short time after the pre-match toss of a coin which had been sent to space, pocket rocket Simona Halep blew a kiss into the sky after turning on the after-burners to win her first Wimbledon title.

Thousands packed into Centre Court and around the grounds of the All England Club knowing they may see Serena Williams match Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

Yet it was the phenomenal Halep who made history, becoming the first Romanian to win a singles crown at SW19 by dismantling the legendary American 6-2 6-2.

Halep has adopted what she described as a "chill" approach since claiming her first major triumph at the French Open last year and her ice-cold temperament had Williams feeling the heat on Saturday.

The 27-year-old was the underdog against an opponent who had beaten her nine times in their 10 previous meetings, but declared she was "mentally stronger" ahead of her first Wimbledon final.

Halep stated she had fallen in love with grass during the tournament and her heart must have been throbbing as she swarmed all over a startled Williams, before planting a kiss on the Venus Rosewater Dish.

The amiable Constanta native had lift-off from the start of a one-sided contest after a gold coin that was taken on a mission to the International Space Station last year was flipped.

It was mission accomplished after just 56 minutes of a relentless, out-of-this-world masterclass from Halep in which she made only three unforced errors.

The majestic former world number one was a bundle of energy throughout, dictating rally after rally and drawing gasps from the crowd with her astonishing athleticism and skill.

Williams was beaten in straights sets by Angelique Kerber in the final last year and suffered a huge meltdown as Naomi Osaka brushed her aside in the US Open decider two months later.

The 37-year-old looked like she did not know what had hit her again during and after a regal performance with the Duchess of Cambridge and Williams' friend the Duchess of Sussex watching on from the Royal Box.

She was made to look sluggish by a vibrant Halep, who charged around the hallowed turf at rapid speed and never looked back after racing into a 4-0 lead in only 11 minutes.

Williams had a forlorn look of resignation on her face as the sprightly seventh seed defended as if her life depended on it, winning points she had no right to with incredible court coverage.

"She played out of her mind. It was a little bit deer in headlights for me," Williams said after another chance to match Court's tally passed her by in a flash.

Halep dropped to the grass that she has taken to her heart, while Williams sat in her chair staring into space.

The rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer continues on Sunday as the defending Wimbledon champion takes on the eight-time All England Club winner in the 2019 final.

A 48th career meeting will represent the 16th grand-slam clash between the modern-day greats, with this the fifth to decide a major title.

Of the four previous grand slam finals between the pair, two have come at Wimbledon and Djokovic has won them both.

As Federer seeks revenge in SW19, potentially setting up another classic, we take a look at those four past mammoth matches.

2007 US Open: Dominant Federer downs new rival

Djokovic's first major final appearance was incredibly Federer's 10th in a row - and that experience ultimately told for the Swiss star. Djokovic, then just 20, led by a break in all three sets but could not get the job done, squandering set points in the first two before tiring. A fourth consecutive Flushing Meadows success was Federer's reward for a 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory.

"I think straight sets was a bit brutal for Novak, to be honest," Federer said. "He deserved better than that. He's had a fantastic run, not only this tournament but the entire year. I told him at the net 'keep it up'. We're going to have many more battles I think." He was not wrong.

2014 Wimbledon: Djokovic edges Wimbledon epic

If Sunday's clash is anything like this one, we are in for a treat. Djokovic got his first major final win over Federer in thrilling fashion at the All England Club, triumphing 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-4 despite letting championship point slip in the fourth and facing break points in the decider. It ended a run of three consecutive grand slam final reverses for Djokovic.

Boris Becker, Djokovic's coach, explained: "We were all dying out there, keeping it cool from the outside, but burning up inside. He had that match point, he served for the fourth set, but Roger wouldn't be Roger if he wouldn't always find another shot."

2015 Wimbledon: Novak denies veteran Federer again

Federer had been bidding to claim a record eighth Wimbledon title and become the tournament's oldest champion in 2014. He had another chance 12 months later but again found Djokovic in his path. It had appeared as though the Swiss would at least push the defending champion all the way when he won the second set tie-break 12-10, yet Djokovic proved too strong in the third and fourth.

Federer would eventually get his historic success in 2017, reflecting after that win: "I had some tough ones, losing to Novak. I kept on believing and dreaming and here I am today with the eighth."

2015 US Open: More pain for Roger in New York

Although Federer did go on to get that precious eighth Wimbledon win, he had to endure another major loss to Djokovic first in the immediate aftermath of the 2015 All England Club defeat. The second part of an ultimate 'Novak Slam' came at Flushing Meadows, where the start was delayed by three hours due to rain but Djokovic kept his nerve in another epic, saving 19 of 23 break points.

Djokovic beat Federer again in the last four at the Australian Open en route to another title, but the two have not met at a grand slam since. Revenge might well be on the mind this weekend.

Atletico Madrid may be unhappy with the deal, but at long last Antoine Griezmann is a Barcelona player.

Griezmann looked set to join the Catalans last year only to announce in a televised documentary he was staying at Atletico.

But that was only part of a transfer saga that looks set to rumble on after Atletico complained Barcelona should have paid €200million for the France forward, rather than €120m.

We look back at the long road Griezmann has travelled in order to finally join Barcelona on a five-year deal.

June 2017 – linked with Manchester United

Griezmann hit 16 LaLiga goals in the 2016-17 season and was subsequently linked with joining Premier League giants Manchester United. But after United's interest in the forward reportedly cooled and Atletico had a transfer ban upheld, Griezmann suggested he had decided to stay. At the time, €100m would have been enough to trigger the release clause in Griezmann's contract.

November 2017 – rumours pick up pace

Despite a slow start to the 2017-18 season, Griezmann continued to be linked with a move away from Atletico. Diego Simeone defended his lack of form with United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona all said to be circling.

 

December 2017 – Atletico report Barca to FIFA

Soon after, it became clear Barca were at the front of the queue for Griezmann, but Atletico were already taking issue with the Catalans' transfer tactics. It came to a head when Atletico reported Barca for an alleged illegal approach. Barca's director of institutional and sporting relations Guillermo Amor had previously suggested the club's president Josep Maria Bartomeu may have met Griezmann to discuss a move.

January 2018 – Barca deny deal agreed

A report in Sport claimed Barca had agreed a deal to sign Griezmann at the end of the 2017-18 season. But Barca hit back, fiercely rubbishing the reports in a statement that read: "Barcelona strongly denies the information that has appeared over the course of the last few hours in different media regarding Atletico Madrid player, Antoine Griezmann, and an alleged deal with our club."

 

March 2018 – Simeone ignoring speculation

Only a few weeks later, there were widespread reports saying Griezmann had agreed a deal with Barca, but Atleti boss Simeone rejected the rumours. "I have to talk about realities," Simeone told reporters. "Today he is with us, he plays fantastically well and there is very good togetherness with the fans."

June 2018 – La Decision

After Griezmann's goals earned Atletico Madrid the Europa League title, downing Marseille in the final, speculation over his future reached fever pitch. He seemed certain to leave for Barcelona, but in a documentary made by Gerard Pique's Kosmos production company, he announced he would instead stay. Griezmann then signed a new contract with an improved release clause of €200m.

 

Early 2019 – Rumours build, La Decision II?

Griezmann fired France to World Cup glory after La Decision, but rumours he was going to leave Atletico simply would not go away. And, as the end of the season neared, it was reported Griezmann had another documentary planned in which he would mull over his future once again.

May 2019 – Griezmann goes public

In a video posted to social media, Griezmann confirmed his intention to leave Atletico, with production values in the hastily published clip a far cry from the previous year's La Decision. In his final appearance for Atletico, he was subsequently booed by unhappy supporters.

July 5 – Atletico release scathing statement

After a strangely quiet few weeks, Atletico accused Barca of prompting Griezmann to break his contract. Atletico claim they learned the forward and Barca had put an agreement in place as long ago as March, when his release clause was still €200m, while the club said they had been negotiating since mid-February. Griezmann's release clause dropped to €120m on July 1.

July 7 – Griezmann misses training

The transfer rapidly gathered pace as Griezmann failed to report for the first day of pre-season training with Atletico, who opened disciplinary proceedings against the player as a result.

 

July 12 – Deal finally confirmed

Five days later, Griezmann is a Barcelona player after the club deposited his release clause. He put pen to paper on a five-year deal to end his stay at Atletico. But the Rojiblancos immediately released a statement announcing the club are challenging the transfer. Because Atletico claim Griezmann and Barcelona had a deal agreed before his release clause was reduced, they demand €200m – €80m more than Barca paid. The saga is not over yet.

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.

 

England's Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow walked to the crease with the eyes of the cricket world on them.

The pre-tournament favourites and hosts were on the brink of a surprising Cricket World Cup elimination, knowing victories against India - and then New Zealand - were virtually essential to book a place in the semi-finals.

A string of unexpected defeats, defined by unsuccessful run chases, had a nation on edge, but on this occasion at least, against India, Roy and Bairstow had the chance to write the script. The chance to set the tone. The chance to keep England's World Cup dreams alive.

A breathtaking 160-run partnership in just 22.1 overs followed, the England pair negotiating their way through a tricky opening period before freeing the arms in the fashion fans have come to expect.

Roy, back from a hamstring injury, had the best seat in the house as a fired-up Bairstow thrashed 10 fours and six sixes in a scintillating 111. 

Bairstow's opening partner fell for 66 but the damage was done, England pushing to a total of 337-7 that would prove far too much for India.

Another must-win match followed and so did a big opening partnership.

Roy (60) and Bairstow (106) added 123 in 18.4 overs on this occasion, again setting the platform for a 300-plus score that England's bowlers comfortably defended against New Zealand.

England then headed into a semi-final against the old enemy, Australia, with their mojo back. 

And the attacking brand of cricket that saw England claim the world number one ranking in the 50-over format was on full display in that contest, too.

Roy and Bairstow faced a different challenge, chasing on that occasion, but the result was exactly the same: another 100-plus partnership in quick time. 

Set 224 for victory, Roy was the main aggressor this time, walloping five sixes in a 65-ball 85 before an unjust dismissal. Bairstow added 34, too, as they wiped 124 from the target in 17.2 overs, effectively ending the game as a contest with a mix of timing, game awareness and, of course, customary aggression.

The contribution of new-ball bowlers Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer in England's recent resurgence cannot be denied, but it is Roy and Bairstow who have been the driving forces.

Of the 14 century-plus partnerships for the first wicket at the World Cup, Roy and Bairstow have provided four in just seven attempts. A 95-run partnership between the duo came in a clash against West Indies, too.

And the pair's importance to England was highlighted by the three matches that Roy missed. England lost two of those, stand-in James Vince and Bairstow combining for opening stands of 44, 1 and 0.

All of that means that the New Zealand camp will arrive at Lord's on Sunday having spent honours analysing, reviewing, fretting and plotting. Just how do they get Roy and Bairstow early?

England's success at the top of the order comes in stark contrast to New Zealand's early efforts with the bat.

The Black Caps have only produced only one opening stand of 100 runs or more at the World Cup, Martin Guptill and the now-dropped Colin Munro providing it against Sri Lanka in the third match of the tournament, almost six weeks ago.

Guptill and Munro combined for an unbeaten 137-run union on that occasion but the opening partnerships since - 35, 0, 12, 0, 5, 29, 2 and 1 - make grim reading for New Zealand fans.

Munro lost his place after a six-wicket defeat to Pakistan but his replacement, Henry Nicholls, has scored just 36 runs in three matches. Guptill, the leading run-scorer at the 2015 World Cup with 547, has managed only 167 in eight matches at the 2019 edition, and that tally includes a first-up 73 not out.

"No one is more frustrated than what I am," Guptill told 1 News.

The consequence of New Zealand's poor opening partnerships is an unhealthy reliance on captain Kane Williamson and, to a lesser extent, veteran Ross Taylor. And while the experienced pair have continued to dig their side out of trouble, another poor start in the final could prove costly.

Roy and Bairstow have provided England with an incredible source of momentum throughout this World Cup.

One more match-defining partnership from the pair will go a long way to helping England win the tournament for the first time.

When England and New Zealand met in the Cricket World Cup four years ago, Eoin Morgan and Kane Williamson had little influence upon the direction of an explosive contest.

Williamson dutifully compiled an unbeaten nine from 22 balls after a Brendon McCullum shellacking effectively ended the contest before he was called upon.

A year later, when McCullum stepped aside, Williamson took the reins as skipper of one of the most exciting sides in world cricket, ready to repeatedly make his mark.

The main problem for Morgan in being at the mercy of an eight-wicket defeat with 226 balls to spare, with no discernible means of turning the tide at any stage, was him already being the England captain.

Morgs way – tearing up the script of failure 

Previously a freewheeling trailblazer of a batsmen – a contemporary cricketer as his adopted nation struggled frequently and embarrassingly with the realities of the modern limited-overs game – Morgan was appointed two months ahead of an England World Cup campaign doomed to shambles.

His innovative, 360-degree strokeplay disintegrated into 90 runs across five innings during an ignominious group-stage exit.

Morgan was unable to stitch up reopened wounds from previous failures but, in tandem with Paul Fabrace and Trevor Bayliss, he ensured those scars would not be his own.

This England, Morgan's England, would play in their captain's image. A rollercoaster series against McCullum's New Zealand was the launchpad for a fearless approach where wickets lost or runs conceded were not to temper ambition.

Where previous captains unsuccessfully begged team-mates not to go into their shells, England version 2.0 had a skipper for whom shackles had always been there to break. Morgan was a leader by example, first and foremost.

Kane the run machine 

The example set by Williamson in that eventual 3-2 series defeat to England could scarcely have been better as he registered scores of 45, 93, 118, 90 and 50 – Morgan's own 50, 88, 71 and 113 before a final-game duck were similarly spectacular – and he took on captaincy for the World Twenty20 in 2016.

While McCullum's aggressive leadership had roots in his bludgeoning shot-making, Williamson the skipper instantly appeared every bit as shrewd and calculated as his unfailing deflections down to third man.

The Black Caps won four consecutive matches in India before a semi-final loss to England. Williamson led them superbly on the sort of slow, turning pitches they had previously struggled to negotiate.

Style and substance

Morgan grabbed the headlines with a record-breaking century against Afghanistan during the group stage of this World Cup, smashing a remarkable 17 sixes.

It was a desert island innings – the sort of performance you might pick as the one piece of cricket viewing to keep you sustained in isolation. Williamson's knocks do not usually fall into that category, although he is the batsman you would pick to make runs in any conditions if your life depended on it.

His only score below 40 in the tournament came when Mark Wood deflected a drive fortuitously back onto the stumps at the non-striker's end when the finalists met during the round-robin phase.

That body of work includes two centuries and a pair of fifties, the latter of which – a perfectly judged 67 against India as the roof appeared to be falling in on New Zealand's sodden Manchester semi-final – made a place at Lord's possible. Williamson is a sure thing.

England do not rely on the mercurial Morgan to the same extent. But whether Jofra Archer is tormenting opposition batsmen with laser-guided aggression, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow are ruggedly disassembling the opposition attack or Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett are bending the middle overs to their will, everything England do at their best takes its cue from his planning and calm conviction.

Weathering the storm

Stepping out at Lord's on Sunday will feel sweeter for two steely competitors who know they had to tackle adversity to get there.

The group-stage wobble of back-to-back defeats against Sri Lanka and Australia saw England's approach and their captain's stomach for the fight questioned. At a crossroads, Morgan doubled down and the hosts took apart the three best teams in the competition one after the other.

Although it felt more measured than Kevin Pietersen's social media yapping about Morgan, former Australia captain Michael Clarke and McCullum both wondered aloud whether Williamson was too conservative a leader for a country whose recent successes came on the front foot.

When it mattered most against India, the 28-year-old judged everything impeccably, never missing a beat in a game that pulsed with tension.

The influence of their 2015 mismatch upon New Zealand and England's respective directions of travel since has been well documented but this time, far from being swept along in the noise and confusion, Morgan and Williamson's fingerprints will be all over every moment of this Lord's showdown.

It will be a triumph hard-earned and richly deserved when one side lifts the trophy they both desire most.

The Cricket World Cup final will be played at the historic Lord's on Sunday as tournament hosts England take on New Zealand.

It promises to be a spectacular sporting spectacle, but perhaps not one that is top of everybody's list of things to watch.

With the men's Wimbledon final and the British Grand Prix taking place on the same day, England's showdown with the Black Caps has some stiff competition.

But here are five reasons why you should tune in to the cricket this weekend.

 

IT'S A WORLD CUP FINAL!

Okay, so we'll start with the obvious one, because the magnitude of this occasion should not be overlooked. It's a World Cup final at the home of cricket, contested by the hosts and a New Zealand side who were runners-up four years ago.

In fact, neither nation has ever won this coveted title, with England having lost in three finals. There are no happy mediums in such matches; it will be unbridled joy for the winners and utter dejection for the losers. That is what makes any sporting contest so captivating.

 

STAR-STUDDED CAST READY FOR THE BIGGEST STAGE

England are on the brink of justifying their status as pre-tournament favourites, a tag that was thrust upon them largely because of their stellar batting line-up, which runs deep. If you want to see a side that likes to get on the front foot and make big scores, England are the team for you.

Eoin Morgan, the England captain, has 22 sixes to his name and Joe Root's tally of 549 runs is the fourth highest in this year's competition, while Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler can rack up huge scores in a hurry.

But it's not all about the home side, because Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson has proven inspirational for his team, scoring just one run shy of Root's fine total.

Then there are the bowlers - fast ones, too. England have Jofra Archer and Mark Wood to provide the pace and while Trent Boult may be the ace in the Kiwi attack, Lockie Ferguson is the speedster in their squad.

 

A FAN-TASTIC ATMOSPHERE

I'll level with you – an England-India final would have been ripe for a better atmosphere than the one you'll witness on Sunday, but that's because supporters of Virat Kohli's side are unrivalled in world cricket. Putting aside the disappointment of them not being there, you can rest assured that England and New Zealand fans will bring the noise.

England are, after all, on home soil and the Kiwi following will be keen to enjoy themselves, having seen their side overcome underdog status against India in the semi-finals. The stands will be a riot of noise and colour. How can that fail to lift the spirits?

 

YOU MIGHT LEARN A THING OR TWO

If you're planning on making this the first cricket match you've ever properly watched, bank on the fact there will be numerous times when it's all a bit confusing. The abundance of stats, the strange terminology, the occasional spells of apparent inactivity when nobody seems to be doing much of anything... it can all be a bit baffling to the casual observer.

But watch closely and you will definitely learn a thing or two. A whole new world will open up to you as you get to grips with wicket maidens, yorkers and ducks of varying colours.

 

THERE'S NOT ANOTHER ONE UNTIL 2023...

International cricket does not begin and end with the World Cup, but it is unquestionably a big deal. After Sunday, this event will be put to one side for another four years.

If for some unfathomable reason you have thus far missed out on all the fun, this is your last chance to get involved.

England against New Zealand is scheduled to start at 1030 BST (0930 GMT). Just watch it.

Roberto Bautista Agut might return to Wimbledon on his stag party after losing to Novak Djokovic and one young spectator raised eyebrows as he read a book rather than watch Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal do battle.

Bautista Agut was due in Ibiza with a half a dozen friends this week, but they left the party island to watch him at the All England Club after he reached the semi-finals.

Defending champion Djokovic failed to read the script, knocking the Spaniard out in four sets on Centre Court.

There were gasps throughout the grounds as Federer and Nadal served up another classic, which the Swiss legend won to set up a showdown with Djokovic, but it seemed not everyone was totally captivated.

Catch up on what was happening at the grass-court grand slam on Friday.

BAUTISTA AGUT TO MAKE UP FOR LOST TIME

Bautista Agut was happy to miss out on a few days of celebration with his friends, but is ready to let his hair down over the weekend. And his time at Wimbledon may not be over.

"Now I think I deserve some vacations. We will have some time off after that," he said.

Asked about the Ibiza trip, he revealed: "We had everything reserved from Thursday or Wednesday until Sunday. They all knew before it was a small chance I would be here, me playing in the quarter-finals. Well, it was nice.

"I think they really had a good plan. They spent Wednesday in Ibiza. They came to watch a good match, the semi-final of Wimbledon. Maybe tomorrow we come back."

 

NOT ALL EYES ON CHAPTER 40 OF FEDERER-NADAL

It seemed impossible to take your eyes off a captivating 40th battle between Federer and Nadal.

Two of the all-time greats struck 83 winners between them, drawing roars of approval from a packed Centre Court crowd and thousands around the grounds.

Tickets were like gold dust for a pulsating contest that will live long in the memory, yet one young boy in the crowd was spotted reading a book rather than being transfixed on the action.

Here is hoping he did not miss too much of chapter 40 of their great rivalry.

COINS READY FOR LIFT-OFF

The coins used for the toss ahead of the finals will definitely not be scaling new heights.

NASA astronaut Drew Feustal took the pair of bespoke gold coins to space last year after All England Tennis Club chairman Philip Brook came up with the idea at the 2017 championships.

They travelled to the International Space Station aboard Mission 56 in a journey that will be featured in a new one-minute film called "The Coin Toss."

It will be the stars who are crowned Wimbledon champions who are feeling out of this world this weekend.

There was a shake of the head from Roger Federer as he walked off Centre Court with roars reverberating around Wimbledon following another titanic tussle with Rafael Nadal.

Eleven years after he was beaten by Nadal in a classic final when they last met at SW19, it was the Swiss maestro who came out on top in the 40th edition of one of the great rivalries.

A buzz of anticipation over another epic showdown could be felt around the All England Club from the moment two legends sealed their passage into the semi-finals.

The thousands who packed into one of the most famous arenas on the planet perched on the edge of their seats as they witnessed the majestic Federer triumph 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-3 6-4, setting up a clash with Novak Djokovic on Sunday.

For three hours and two minutes those fortunate to have a ticket were mesmerised, looking on in disbelief at an astonishing exhibition between two icons who have 38 grand slam titles between them.

There were 51 winners unleashed from the racket of Federer, the 20-time major champion, and 32 from Spaniard Nadal just over a month after he blew his old foe away in the wind at the same stage of the French Open.

The two sporting heavyweights were given a rapturous ovation as they strode out with a spring in their step in the sun, but you could have heard a pin drop when a mouthwatering contest got under way.

At the same auditorium where a sleeveless top revealed his bulging muscles and locks flowed to the bottom of his neck whey they locked horns in 2008, the intense Nadal still resembled a caged tiger ready to hunt his prey.

Federer, with a steely focus in his eyes, was like a coiled spring a month before he turns 38, coming forward at every opportunity as they traded punches in a tight first set.

It was first blood Federer after he twice came from a mini-break down to win a tense tie-break, but Nadal yanked up his sweat bands and barely put a foot wrong as he charged around the court at blistering speed to level a gripping match.

There would have been concerns for Federer fans when he skewed a forehand high into the crowd, yet he was calmness personified in the third, racing across the turf and aggressively moving a set away from another final.

Federer won a 25-shot rally in that third set and showed no signs of fatigue in the fourth, swatting away a majestic inside-out cross-court forehand winner before breaking to lead 2-1.

A rattled Nadal bellowed in the direction of his box as a calm Federer continued to draw gasps from the stands and way beyond in another masterclass.

Yet Nadal was never going to go down without a fight and many rose to their feet when he fizzed a thunderous backhand beyond Federer before he had a chance to react.

Nadal saved four match points in style, but Federer lifted his arms into the blue sky on a glorious Friday evening after reaching a 12th Wimbledon final.

He was among the majority who were shaking their head at the latest incredible show he and Nadal had served up. 

When Paris Saint-Germain made their world-record €222million move for Neymar in 2017, Barcelona were caught off-guard as the Ligue 1 giants paid the forward's release clause and left the Catalans powerless.

Barca could only sit and watch as the Brazilian made his exit, stepping from the shadow of Lionel Messi in the hope of usurping his former team-mate and Cristiano Ronaldo in the battle for the Ballon d'Or.

While things haven't exactly gone to plan for Neymar in Paris, Barca certainly appear to have learned from their mistake with respect to release clauses and the opportunity they present clubs willing to spend big.

Friday's announcement of Antoine Griezmann's arrival also brought confirmation of the club inserting a whopping €800m release clause in the Frenchman's contract.

Every player in Spanish football must have such a clause in their contract and, while they do not always come into play in a transfer, they can give clubs an automatic position of strength - or weakness.

Here, we examine the biggest release clauses in football and, although transfer fees continue to inflate, it will probably be a while before we see any of these figures matched...

 

€1billion - Karim Benzema

Perhaps surprisingly, no player has a bigger release clause than Benzema. Real Madrid would be able to demand up to £1bn if another club wished to attain the Frenchman's services.

Despite enjoying a solid 2018-19 season in which he scored 21 LaLiga goals, Madrid shouldn't be worried about another team triggering that monumental figure, given for a comparable figure you could buy almost any club on Earth.

 

€800million - Antoine Griezmann

It has been a deal nearly two years in the making, but Griezmann is finally a Barca player.

It's been a chaotic saga, which included Atletico reporting Barca to FIFA in 2017, a narcissistic and contrived documentary that saw the Frenchman commit to Los Colchoneros last year and finally the two clubs squabbling about release clauses.

Atletico are convinced Barca and Griezmann struck a deal in March when the player's buyout figure was €200m, meaning they feel entitled to that fee rather than the €120m deposited at LaLiga headquarters on Friday.

Regardless of the outcome of that wrangle, Griezmann's Barca release clause stands at €800m, even more than Messi's.

 

€750million - Luka Modric and Brahim Diaz

The reigning Ballon d'Or winner, Modric is the joint-second most valuable player in Madrid's squad - in terms of contractual release fees.

But curiously, the player he is tied with is Brahim, the January arrival from Manchester City. The young Spaniard featured only a handful of times in the second half of the season and there have been reports he could leave the club already.

It's fair to say it will not take €750m to lure the youngster away.

 

€700million - Lionel Messi, Vinicius Junior, Isco and Marco Asensio

When Messi entered the final year of his Barca contract in July 2017, the club remained publicly very calm about the prospect of him leaving on a Bosman deal at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Perhaps it was never really in doubt, as they did eventually tie him down in November 2017, but in the months afterwards there were murmurings that Real Madrid had been keeping tabs on the situation.

But Barca managed to insert a €700m release clause into Messi's deal. It might not be on the same level as Benzema's, but it should be enough to deter bidders, while the same can be said of three of Madrid's brightest young stars Isco, Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior, who have identical figures in their contracts.

 

€500million - Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Dani Ceballos

In the two years since Neymar left for PSG, Barca have tied Pique, Sergi Roberto and Busquets all down to new contracts with massive €500m release clauses.

But three Real Madrid players already had clauses for the same amount in their contracts, highlighting that Los Blancos have been rather more prepared than Barca for the situation that arose with Neymar's departure.

Bale - once the world's most expensive player - is among them, with Kroos and Ceballos also boasting hefty buyout clauses at half a billion Euros.

 

€400million - Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and Frenkie de Jong

Dembele and Coutinho are living proof of Barca's determination not to get caught off-guard ever again like they did with Neymar.

Signed for €105m and €160m, respectively, the pair are two of Barca's three most expensive purchases ever.

Granted, €400m is the smallest in this list, but Barca can feel safe in the knowledge that - at least for the time being - they are fairly well protected from unwanted advances.

However, neither has truly set LaLiga alight since joining the club, so Barca would be unlikely to demand the full release clause of either player at this point.

It remains to be seen how De Jong settles at the club, but Arthur has been a big hit in his one season.

Serena Williams and Simona Halep plan to "chill" and stay "calm" in the heat of a Wimbledon final battle on Saturday but that could be easier said than done.

Williams will get another chance to match Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam titles on Centre Court, 12 months after she was denied by Angelique Kerber.

The legendary American kept her composure during that defeat, but suffered a meltdown in a shock US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka last September.

Williams was also fined $10,000 for damaging a court with her racket during a practice session at the All England Club this month.

The 37-year-old says she has learned a more relaxed approach is the way forward as she prepares to face Halep at SW19.

Reflecting on her major final losses in 2018, she said: "I had to get to those finals. Looking back, to even be in those two finals last year was unbelievable.

"Now I'm in a different place. Like I just am more calm. Instead of having nothing to lose, I feel like I have things to lose, but I also have nothing to lose. It's like I'm in the middle."

She added after a semi-final defeat of Barbora Strycova on Thursday: "I was actually thinking this morning, when I won my first Wimbledon. I think it was against Venus.

"I was trying to tap into those emotions. I was really calm. I remember I think I hit an ace. I just remember how it's so, so different when you're younger as opposed to now. Now I just need to relax and do what I can do."

Halep was the epitome of composure in a straight-sets demolition of Elina Svitolina that secured her place in a first Wimbledon final.

The amiable Romanian won her maiden grand slam title at the French Open last year and says keeping her cool has been key to her success.

Halep said: "I'm in a good position. I have no pressure on myself. I have expectations for myself that I can do a great job on Saturday. Still I'm chill.

"It doesn't mean that I'm not working hard or I'm not focused on what I have to do. It's just that as a person I want to chill. We see that I'm better on court.

"I am confident. I know that everything is possible. If you don't give up, you have a better chance to do great things. I have learned that. I understood that I'm better now. I'm stronger."

With so much at stake, it remains to be seen whether they can practice what they preach.

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