Jofra Archer has revealed how a timely word from Ben Stokes helped him stay cool enough to deliver the super over that sealed England’s first World Cup.
Archer only made his international debut in May but when the moment came to make one last push for glory – after both sides tied on 241 runs – it was the 24-year-old who took his place in the spotlight.
England’s batting heroes, Stokes and Jos Buttler, had just posted 15 in their six-ball shootout and the hosts needed someone to defend the mark.
Archer instantly nominated himself and captain Eoin Morgan agreed. It was the most pressurised over any England bowler has sent down since Stokes was clubbed for four successive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite in the final moments of the World T20 three years ago.
“Stokesy came over and told me, win or lose, today will not define me as a player,” said Archer.
“He probably went through the same emotions and the same feeling when he bowled the last over and that is why he came over to me,” added Archer.
“Stokesy told me that even if we lost it wouldn’t be the end of the world, that everyone believes in me, but I’m just so pleased we won.
“If we’d lost I don’t know what I’d have done but thankfully I don’t have to think about that now.”
Archer has been the picture of composure in the early days of his international career.
However, when the triumphant moment came, courtesy of Jason Roy and Jos Buttler’s shared run out of Martin Guptill, he said: “Man, it was serious, serious passion.
“I can’t imagine a better group of guys to win with. I can’t put it into words, I can’t believe we won.
“It has been the best time of my life so far, making my debut and winning the World Cup in the space of two months is really, really special. Hopefully I can look back in 10-15 years and say ‘I was part of that’.”
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.”
Any plans for tomorrow?— England Cricket (@englandcricket) 14 July 2019
Why not come and celebrate with the team at the Kia Oval?
Join us from 10.30am!
Sign up here: https://t.co/umkAOlsNTl#WeAreEngland #CWC19 #ExpressYourself pic.twitter.com/uZ7qp9HlgF
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.
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.