14.07.2019 indeed would be remembered as one of the most memorable and remarkable days in sporting history!
Why do we say that? Because yesterday it was the World Cup final, Wimbledon final and British GP final and none of us could leave our television sets and go anywhere.
While all the matches were remarkable and witnessed the finest performances there is something about the CWC final that has got the whole world talking.
Why did England win the World Cup and not New Zealand despite stupendous innings?
England scripted history by lifting their maiden World Cup at Lord’s yesterday. But the match will also go down in history as the most memorable one due to the finish.
The Eng Vs NZ match was exciting from the beginning but the real drama came in during the finishing moments.
Both England and New Zealand batted through 102 overs and ended at a tie not once but twice but then finally England was crowned as the World Champions as they scored more boundaries than New Zealand.
The overthrows, however, played the most important role here which we will discuss in the following lines.
Let us take a closer look at the last 15 minutes of the epic game to understand this better.
With wickets falling one after the other, and England needing 22 runs off 9 balls it was Ben Stokes on whose shoulder’s lied the responsibility of handing over the big victory to his nation and in an attempt to swing James Neesham’s delivery hits a shot that flies to the mid-wicket boundary.
Trent Boult almost ready to take the catch, but unknowingly takes a step backward and touches the padding surrounding the boundary.
Had this not happened, Boult would have led the Kiwis to a gigantic victory but that backward step changed the entire game and then NZ had to do it all over again.
Instead of heading close to an all-out situation, England now had to score 16 runs off 8 balls.
The other ‘DEBATABLE SIX’
Just 3 balls left in the final over and Neesham bowls a duck for Archer. England has just 2 wickets left.
Ben turns down two singles to save Rashid from Boult’s exquisite death bowling.
After hitting the third ball for a six, Stokes needs nine to write to claim the game.
Boult delivers a full toss and the ball hits the boundary for four. But by then, England had already run for 2 and so gets credited the four additional runs as overthrows. So it becomes a six and not just a four.
There is very little that Stokes could have done to avoid this. He had perhaps no idea that the ball would hit his bat.
The first tie
England is trying hard to score runs off every ball.
Rashid gets run out. With two more runs needed to win, Boult delivers and Stokes prods away to long on.
Stokes and Mark Wood run between the wickets to chase the winning run, but Wood is run out and the scores end in a tie.
So what happens next?
England lost more wickets (all ten of them) compared to New Zealand’s eight, but the number of wickets lost is not considered, as per the Law 16.3.1.
The two teams instead face a “super over” — an innovation introduced by Allen Stanford of West Indies-based Stanford 20:20 fame.
THE SUPER OVER
Both teams can pick any three batsmen and one bowler to take part. The team batting second in the match would now bat first in the super over.
So England has to bat first. Stokes was joined at the crease by Jos Buttler.
The duo makes 15 runs from six deliveries from Boult.
And now it’s New Zealand’s turn. Jimmy Neesham makes 13 off the next five and Archer starts with a marginal wide.
With Guptill on strike now, only two runs are required for the win.
Guptill sets off for an unlikely two but he is runout and scores are leveled again.
So back to square one but it is only England which is celebrating the win. Why?
According to the rules mentioned in paragraph 13 in Appendix F of the ICC Laws for super overs, the winner of the game in the event of a tie is the team that scores more boundaries during the match.
Is that fair? Perhaps not. Should both England and New Zealand be declared as winners and there could have been another history in the books of World Cup that for the first time there is not one but two winners to claim the trophy? Perhaps yes!
If the number of boundaries was equal, then the next deciding factor to break the tie could have been about how many runs were scored on the final ball of each super over.
Technically speaking, England scored four. New Zealand scored one.
In the semi-finals, if the rain had played the spoilsport then the team that finished higher on the points table would have progressed to the final.
If we apply the same logic here as well then England beat New Zealand with about 119 runs in the group stages and basis of that England would have been declared the World Champions anyway.
While we can keep debating this forever, and yes England will go down in history as the winners of World Cup 2019, one thing cannot be denied and that is the ultimate winner was the game of cricket.
The sporting enthusiasm with which the game was played and the sheer joy that the cricket fans all over the world fans get while watching such a nail-biting stupendous match!