England’s hero Ben Stokes was left lost for words after the hosts clinched their maiden ICC World Cup trophy in dramatic style in a thrilling final at Lord’s against New Zealand.
The two teams were level after 50-overs apiece with the match ultimately going down to a super over where another tie ensued. However, the Kiwis were unfortunate to end up on the losing side due to their fewer number of boundaries compared to England.
In the end, the game came down to the finest of margins and Stokes’ unbeaten 84 and eight runs respectively in the regulation play and super over turned out to be the difference for the hosts.
“I’m pretty lost for words,” Man-of-the-match Stokes told Star Sports after the thriller at Lord’s.
“All the hard words that’s gone in over these four years, this is where we aspired to be. To do it with such a game, I don’t think there will be another like this in the history of cricket,” he added.
One decisive moment in the game occurred during the final over of England’s chase of 242 with a throw from the deep deflecting off Stokes to ultimately run away to the boundary for a total of six runs.
“Not the way I wanted to do it, ball going off my bat like that, I apologised to Kane Williamson,” Stokes said.
On his part, Williamson rued the deflected overthrow among other things but expressed his pride at his team’s overall display in the tournament.
“That (deflection) was a bit of a shame, wasn’t it? You just hope it doesn’t happen in moments like that,” he lamented.
“You can nitpick, but perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be for us. It is perhaps tough to review the match, and such small margins. So many small parts in that match that could have gone either way as we saw. Congratulations to England on a fantastic campaign.
“I’d like to thank the New Zealand team for the fight they showed to keep us in the tournament, and get us this far. A tie in the final. So many parts to it. The players are shattered at the moment. Obviously it’s devastating. They’ve performed at such a high level through the tournament.”
England skipper Eoin Morgan was swift to offer his commiserations to Williamson and New Zealand after that epic finale at Lord’s.
“There wasn’t a lot in that game. I’d like to commiserate with Kane. The fight, the spirit they showed. I thought it was a hard, hard game,” said Morgan.
The World Cup winning captain was delighted to bring a successful end to the process that started for England four years ago after a dismal 2015 campaign in Australia and New Zealand.
Since then, England have revamped their strategy completely in the ODI format and it has paid dividends for them ultimately.
“This has been a four-year journey, we’ve developed a lot over those years, particularly the last two. To get over the line today means the world to us,” Morgan concluded.
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