Ben Stokes was labelled “almost superhuman” as he inspired England to World Cup glory for the first time after a thrilling denouement to their final against New Zealand at Lord’s.
England’s chances of overhauling New Zealand’s 241 for eight seemed to be forlorn but under the utmost pressure, Stokes held his nerve to contribute an unbeaten 84 to leave the scores tied at the end of a dramatic 100 overs.
Despite showing clear signs of fatigue, Stokes returned to bat in a super over, putting on 15 alongside Jos Buttler.
There was a further twist in the tale when Jimmy Neesham and Martin Guptill took 14 from Jofra Archer’s first five balls.
But scampering back for a second from the final delivery of the match, Guptill was short of his ground after Jason Roy’s throw from deep midwicket enabled Buttler to lop off the bails, giving England victory by the unlikely method of registering more boundaries across a riveting contest.
That would have been inconceivable without Stokes’ efforts, with England captain Eoin Morgan in no doubt as to the significance of his talismanic all-rounder’s contribution.
Morgan said: “To come through it is extraordinary. He’s almost superhuman. He has really carried the team and our batting line-up.
“To bat with the lower order the way he did, I thought was incredible. He managed to deal with the emotion and atmosphere in an incredibly experienced manner.
“Hopefully everyone watching at home will try to be the next Ben Stokes.”
Stokes’ previous final in an England shirt ended in heartbreak when he conceded four successive sixes as the freewheeling Carlos Brathwaite secured the World Twenty20 crown for the West Indies in 2016.
Morgan added: “A lot of careers would have been ended after what happened in Kolkata. But Ben has stood up individually, and in the unit for us, a huge number of times since then.
“Here he’s had a huge day out, and we’re thankful for that.”
Stokes recognised the magnitude of the finale, watched on by 30,000 at the home of cricket, a mass gathering at Trafalgar Square and a bumper audience, swelled by being broadcast on free-to-air television.
At the presentation ceremony, he said: “I’m pretty lost for words. All the hard work 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.
“The lads, in this one-day team, the Test team, my family, their support has been massive. Now I’m just looking forward to tonight.”
Following his exertions with the bat, Stokes even had some wise words for Archer in the heat of battle.
The young paceman said: “Stokesy came over and told me, win or lose, today will not define me as a player.”
Morgan attended the press conference with the World Cup trophy after leading England to their first global 50-over title, ending 44 years of disappointment in this tournament.
Morgan said: “This means absolutely everything. It’s been an absolutely incredible journey. I still can’t quite believe it, that’s why I’m carrying it around as much as I can.”
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Morgan recognised there were moments that went in England’s favour, most notably in the final over when a diving Stokes unintentionally made contact with the ball as he stretched to make his ground, leading to four overthrows.
He added: “It was the most incredible game of cricket, with nothing between the sides. It was the finest of margins, and it could have gone either way.
“I spoke to Adil (Rashid) and he said that Allah was with us. So Allah was with us as well.
“I commend the Blackcaps and Kane (Williamson, New Zealand captain), they’ve been absolutely incredible. Admirable spirit, the fight they’ve shown.”
Asked about his future, Morgan added: “We’ll let the dust settle. We’ll celebrate as hard as we can and then reflect.”
Morgan and the rest of the team will celebrate the World Cup victory at the Kia Oval in Kennington, Surrey, on Monday morning.
Gates are open to the public at 10.30am and the team will arrive at 11.30am.
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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.
England’s excruciating wait for a maiden ICC World Cup trophy ended at Lord’s on Sunday with the hosts prevailing via a Super Over in a thriller of a final to break New Zealand’s hearts.
Both teams scored 15 runs apiece in a super over that was as thrilling as the regulation match but England clinched the grand prize because they scored more boundaries than New Zealand.
A commanding bowling display had earlier seen Eoin Morgan’s men restrict New Zealand to 241-8 but they were made to sweat in a dramatic run-chase by a spirited Kiwis with the scores ultimately tied after 50 overs.
Ben Stokes nearly took England across the finish line with a sensational unbeaten innings of 84 but he was able to score just the one run off the final delivery bowled by Trent Boult when two were required for an outright win.
The Blackcaps made early inroads with Matt Henry dismissing the in-form Jason Roy before Lockie Ferguson got into the action. The pacer dismissed a well-set Jonny Bairstow before completing a stunning catch in the deep to end Morgan’s stay at the crease.
A scratchy Joe Root edged a Colin de Grandhomme delivery into the hands of Tom Latham as England found themselves reeling before Stokes and Buttler turned it around.
The pair added a 110-run stand for the fifth wicket while bringing up their respective half-centuries before Ferguson brought the Kiwis roaring back into the game with the wickets of Buttler and Chris Woakes.
Stokes continued to march on as wickets continued to tumble at the other end with the equation eventually coming down to 15 required off the final over. Stokes struck one huge six before scoring another six off the next ball through a deflected overthrow to the boundary.
Earlier, New Zealand managed to get the rub of the green in the toss but Martin Guptill’s early dismissal meant that they made a poor start with the bat. Kane Williamson (30) and Henry Nicholls (55) attempted to repair the damage with a 74-run stand but Liam Plunkett sent back both the set batsmen in an excellent second spell to put England in command.
Mark Wood trapped Ross Taylor lbw to a contentious decision before Plunkett had James Neesham caught in the deep to put the Kiwis in further trouble. Tom Latham led a minor fightback for the Black Caps with a gritty innings of 47 but England pacers Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer were excellent at the death to keep them restricted to 241-8.
The star all-rounder has been in sensational form throughout the tournament but has been unfortunate to end up on the losing side against Australia and Sri Lanka despite playing gritty knocks of 89 and 82 respectively.
He didn’t exactly finish the job for the hosts on Sunday in the regulation 50 overs either but his stupendous effort helped England claw themselves back into the game just when all hope looked extinguished. It was another fighting display from Stokes filled with plenty of gumption and he followed it up by another stellar showing in the super over where he struck eight runs off just three deliveries.
Deflected overthrow proves costly for Kiwis
There were many game-changing moments in the match in the decisive final overs but the one that hurt New Zealand the most was the deflected overthrow that went for six runs ultimately.
England required 9 runs off three deliveries with Stokes at the crease before the left-hander struck a Boult delivery to the on-side. The all-rounder charged through for a quick second before putting in a dive to make the crease.
It was at that moment that the throw from the deep struck Stokes and deflected to the boundary ropes behind the wicketkeeper. What should have been two runs, ultimately turned into six and proved to be the difference between a World Cup final win and a loss in the end for New Zealand.
That freakish 4 overthrow of the bat from Stokes being England’s luck. Has been an incredible finals. Super-over #EngvsNZ— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) July 14, 2019
England are now the second World Cup champions to have lost more than two matches overall in the competition. The hosts tasted losses against Pakistan, Australia and Sri Lanka in the round-robin phase before going on a strong run to capture the trophy.
Previously, no team had lost more than two matches in a World Cup apart from Pakistan in the 1992 edition who also lost three games on their way to the title.