Though cricket has its origins in the United Kingdom and it was introduced to more countries as the British Empire expanded, England did not win a single World Cup all these decades. But, history was rewritten Sunday, when England lifted their maiden ICC World Cup trophy, beating a battle-hardened New Zealand in a nerve-wracking final that was decided via a dramatic Super Over in London. In the 50-over contest, England hit 24 boundaries while New Zealand had 16. And, in the Super Over, the home team blasted two fours, and Kane Williamson’s team hit a six.
This was after Colin de Grandhomme produced the most economical 10-over spell in a World Cup final since Derek Pringle’s 3/22 in 1992, finishing with figures of 1/21, while Lockie Ferguson and Jimmy Neesham chipped in with three wickets each. Earlier, Henry Nicholls (55 off 77 balls) and skipper Kane Williamson (30 off 53) added 74 runs for the second wicket after a fabulous first spell from Chris Woakes (3/37 in 9 overs) and Jofra Archer (1/42 in 10 overs) on a helpful Lord’s track. During his stay in the middle, Williamson also became the captain with most number of runs in a single World Cup, breaking the 12-year-old record of former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene who had amassed 548 runs in the 2007 edition.
While Woakes had the best figures statistically, it was the tall Liam Plunkett (3/42 in 10 overs), who used the cross-seam variations effectively to stop the Black Caps on their tracks. In their chase, England lost Jason Roy for a 17 and then saw Joe Root (7) and Jonny Bairstow (36) getting dismissed to leave the hosts reeling at 71 for three in the 20th over. It became worse when Lockie Ferguson took a brilliant diving catch running in from the deep to send back skipper Eoin Morgan (9) as England slipped to 86 for four in the 24th over. The cup is finally England’s and it’s time for everyone to wish the team, hoping for India to win it next time.