Stoke propels England to win first World Cup in a Super Over



Sports Desk, Barta24.com
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Dramatic World Cup Final ends in a tie after thrilling Super Over with England claiming the title on a boundary countback.

England's trailblazing one-day side has been rewarded with the country's maiden World Cup crown after tying a thrilling final with New Zealand – twice.

In one of the most captivating climaxes to a deciding match of a major tournament, Ben Stokes (84 not out 98 balls) hit 14 off the final over of the match proper to level the scores at 241 and send the game into a Super Over.

Stokes and Jos Buttler, who'd earlier scored a crucial 59 off 60 balls, then took 15 off the Super Over, bowled by Trent Boult, before Jason Roy fired in a clutch throw from the boundary to run Martin Guptill out off the last ball of the tournament.

It meant the Kiwis had also scored 15 off their Super Over. But England were declared victorious on a boundary countback – a deciding factor that is sure to come under the microscope.

It was a heroic effort from an exhausted Stokes to get England to parity, almost single-handedly taking 46 off the final five overs and then 24 off the last two.

Needing 15 off the last six balls from Boult, Stokes hit consecutive sixes, the second coming from four overthrows after he unintentionally deflected the return throw to the boundary diving to make his ground for a second run.

But Boult, who nearly ended Stokes' knock the over before when he caught him on the boundary before inadvertently stepping on the rope, kept his nerve when only three runs were needed, hitting a pair of seemingly unhittable yorkers as the Black Caps pulled off run outs off the final two balls of the game.

As they have done all tournament, New Zealand scrapped and fought with the bat, posting 8-241, before a classy showing with the ball left the hosts up against it at 4-86 near the halfway point of their reply.

So it was fitting that Stokes and Buttler were the ones take England to victory; no two players better typify the attacking, multi-talented player they have put their faith in during their ascent to becoming one of the most formidable one-day teams in history. 

On a dicey pitch that no batter looked truly comfortable on, Stokes and Buttler brought a previously-subdued Lord's crowd to life in a match-turning 110-run fifth-wicket partnership.

Already the tournament's breakout star, tearaway Lockie Ferguson delivered a consolation spell, taking the vital wickets of Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes to claim 3-50.

Woakes grabbed three scalps, but it was unsung hero Liam Plunkett, the paceman who always seems to be the 11th man picked for England, who was the game's most influential bowler.

His 3-42 off 10 overs saw him take his tournament wicket tally to 11 – a figure made even more impressive considering all of his victims have batted in the top six, adding Kane Williamson to an enviable list that includes Virat Kohli, Quinton de Kock, Chris Gayle and Hardik Pandya.

Plunkett also removed opener Henry Nicholls, whose 77-ball 55 proved went in vain as did Tom Latham's gritty 47 of 56 balls.

England XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood

New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult