In what was immediately labeled “the greatest cricket World Cup final there has been, by a mile,” by The Guardian, England — the country where the sport originated — won their first world championship, taking the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. To clinch the victory, the team needed a tiebreaking super over to come out on top against a disciplined New Zealand side — who suffered their second consecutive World Cup final defeat.
In fact, the super over went down to the final ball, with New Zealand needing two runs from the delivery bowled by England’s 24-year-old newcomer Jofra Archer. But as New Zealand’s Martin Guptill dove to get his bat over the line for what would have been the winning run, England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was able to receive the ball from Jason Roy at deep mid-wicket and dislodge the bales with just inches to spare.
After each side totaled 241 runs in the regulation 50 overs each and ended neck-at-neck with 15 in the super over, England took the victory by hitting a greater number of boundaries during their initial 50-over innings.
Perhaps the most extraordinary moment of the match came in the 50th over, when Man of the Match Ben Stokes dove for a second run, appearing vulnerable to a run-out that would have sealed the match and the Cup. Instead, the ball deflected off of his outstretched bat and rolled all the way to the boundary, as the BBC recounted. The bizarre play gave England six off the delivery.
Stokes immediately apologized, but the deflection was clearly unintentional, and under the laws of cricket, the extra four runs counted. This left England needing two off the final delivery from The Black Caps left-arm pacer Trent Boult. An exhausted Stokes managed only a single, sending the game to the deciding super over, bowled by Boult for New Zealand and Archer for England.
“I was pretty sure I was going to bowl [the super over] but I had to check with Morgs,” Archer said, referring to England Captain Eoin Morgan. “My heart is still racing. I would have been surprised if we didn’t win, especially with this man around,” he added, reaching out and touching Stokes on the shoulder during the post-match interview.
“I am pretty lost for words. All the hard work to get here and be world champions, it’s an amazing feeling,” said Stokes, quoted by The Guardian. “It was written in the stars to happen for us.”
With England winning the Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2017, England is the second country, after Australia, to hold both the men’s and women’s World Cups at the same time, according to Sky Sports statistician Benedict Bermange, per his Twitter account.