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England WIN the Cricket World Cup: Ben Stokes the hero as hosts beat New Zealand in incredible final at Lord’s

England won the Cricket World Cup for the first time in dramatic fashion as they beat New Zealand in one of the most incredible matches of all-time.

England captain Eoin Morgan lifts the World Cup with the England team

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England captain Eoin Morgan lifts the World Cup with the England team

After both teams had scored 241 from their 50 overs, they each had to bat again in a sudden-death super-over.

The six-ball shootout had only occurred 11 times in international history and never before in an ODI.

Remarkably, the teams went blow-for-blow once again, with the outstanding Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler hitting 15 for England off Trent Boult before Jofra Archer conceded 14 off his first five deliveries.

The Barbados-born bowler, the least experienced player on either side, held his nerve as Martin Guptill forced the ball into the off-side and came back for a second that would have taken the trophy.

Enter Jason Roy, who picked up cleanly despite unimaginable pressure and hurled a flat, decisive throw towards Jos Buttler, who scattered the stumps as Guptill scrambled.

While the super over scores were level, it was England who clinched the trophy having scored more boundaries in their innings.

Jos Buttler celebrates after running out Martin Guptill to win England the World Cup

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Jos Buttler celebrates after running out Martin Guptill to win England the World Cup

Buttler is followed by his jubilant England teammates

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Buttler is followed by his jubilant England teammates

New Zealand had won the toss and it took their captain Kane Williamson 12 balls to get off the mark, eventually off and running with a single from Archer.

In all England sent down 44 dots in the first 10 overs, keeping the score down to a sedate 33 for one in the powerplay.

Change bowlers Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood let the control drop slightly, offering up 22 runs in their first three overs.

With 20 overs gone the score had stretched to 91 for one, with Nicholls moving to 40 and Williamson up to 24 after taking the attack to Adil Rashid’s leg-spin.

Liam Plunkett celebrates taking the wicket of Jimmy Neesham

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Liam Plunkett celebrates taking the wicket of Jimmy Neesham

The game was drifting, with the New Zealand pair looking increasingly settled in their task and the score reaching three figures in the 22nd over.

But Plunkett returned to bowl the next and struck gold with his fourth delivery. He went full outside off stump, tempting Williamson to feel for it but finding a touch of extra bounce.

He went up immediately, as did Buttler, but Williamson was unmoved. Morgan needed no invitation to review and technology confirmed a thin edge, sending the key man back for 30.

Nicholls moved to 50 shortly after the wicket, a hard-working 71-ball effort, with Ross Taylor in place as his next foil.

Plunkett delivered a second huge scalp with the penultimate ball of his sixth over.

Nicholls was the man to go this time, his stern vigil ended by a cutter which moved in and scattered the stumps off the inside edge.

Plunkett’s transformative second spell came to an end having yielded two wickets and just seven runs from four overs.

With 32 gone the Kiwis were 134 for three, Taylor and Tom Latham in charge of steering the remainder of the innings.

Plunkett celebrates taking one of his three wickets

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Plunkett celebrates taking one of his three wickets

Wood returned for another blast at the Pavilion End and wasted no time ramming home the advantage, rapping Taylor on the front pad and persuading Erasmus to raise his finger.

The ball was high enough to have cleared the stumps but Guptill’s frivolous use of the review meant he had no recourse to challenge. At 141 for four, the visiting side were in trouble.

Neesham and Taylor put on 32 for the fifth wicket and were threatening to find some momentum when Plunkett, inevitably, parted them.

Immediately after being whipped for four by Neesham he offered up a slower cross-seamer, which the batsman could only lift gently to Joe Root at mid-off.

That left New Zealand on 173 for five and Plunkett with standout figures of three for 40.

Woakes drew Colin De Grandhomme into a false shot for a soft dismissal, the Kiwi batsman chipping straight to sub fielder Vince for a facile catch.

Chris Woakes also starred with the ball for England

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Chris Woakes also starred with the ball for England

De Grandhomme departed for 16 from 28 balls with New Zealand slipping to 219 for six in the 47th over.

Latham chipped out in woeful fashion next, stubbing a full-toss from Woakes right down Vince’s throat.

That meant he fell three short of a half-century to trudge off on 47, with New Zealand down to 232 for seven in the 49th over.

Archer castled Matt Henry for four in the final over, conjuring a fine yorker to reduce New Zealand to 240 for eight, with three balls left in the innings.

New Zealand closed their innings on 241 for eight from their full 50 overs, leaving England requiring 242 to lift the World Cup trophy.

There was drama with the first ball of England’s reply, umpire Marais Erasmus unmoved after Jason Roy was caught flush on the pads by an inswinger from left-arm seamer Trent Boult.

New Zealand immediately reviewed and Roy was only reprieved by umpire’s call on leg stump.

Roy played and missed off successive Henry deliveries, drawing gasps from the crowd in a tetchy start from England.


However, the in-form opener, who has registered at least a half-century in eight of his last nine ODIs, crunched the seamer down the ground for four.

Bairstow inside edged Boult past his stumps while the left-armer was unfortunate not to make contact with anything, nut-megging Roy with a yorker.

Roy advanced down the track and sent a skier over the mid-on fielder, who was unable to take the catch as the ball bounced safely.

Bairstow, who had made two off his first 10 deliveries, crunched Boult for two authoritative off-side fours in the space of three Boult balls.

Roy was loose on the drive, playing and missing off Henry, who eventually had his man when another punch from the batsman took the outside edge and was taken low by wicketkeeper Latham, bending forward to snaffle the chance.

Colin de Grandhomme celebrates taking the wicket of Joe Root

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Colin de Grandhomme celebrates taking the wicket of Joe Root

Roy and Bairstow had contributed three successive century stands since the former returned from a hamstring tear but England lost their first wicket with 28 on the board.

In going past four, Bairstow went beyond 500 runs for the tournament. England ended the first powerplay on 39 for one.

Bairstow was given a life on 18 when De Grandhomme shelled a relatively simple return catch from the Yorkshireman’s drive.

Bairstow’s tuck to square leg in De Grandhomme’s next over saw England claim a comfortable single, their first run in 20 balls, following three successive maidens.

Henry continued into a seventh over following an impressive start but went too full to Bairstow, who assuredly clipped off his legs for four.

Another boundary followed off the next ball but in far more fortuitous circumstances, Bairstow once again inside edging narrowly past his stumps.

Root was unable to make it out of double figures. The ball after coming down the wicket and missing a swipe across the line off De Grandhomme, he aimed another booming drive at the seamer and only succeeded in feathering behind.

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It was the shot of a man under pressure to keep the scoreboard ticking over, and he departed having contributed seven off 30 balls. He left the crease with England on 59 for two.

Bairstow’s punch through the covers off Lockie Ferguson seemed to allay any nerves but the Yorkshireman’s luck finally ran out when he chopped the paceman on to his stumps.

Bairstow departed for 36, having contributed just over half his side’s runs, as England slipped to 71 for three.

The tension was slowly building as the England batsmen struggled on a pitch where slower deliveries were proving difficult to get away.

Morgan, whose technique has been questioned under the short ball, took evasive action from a rising delivery from Ferguson, the ball clipping the England captain’s helmet on the way through to Latham.

Another lifter cleared Morgan as well as New Zealand’s wicketkeeper on its way to the boundary, gratefully accepted by England.

England were in major strife when Morgan, perhaps sensing the need to accelerate, carved Neesham’s first ball in the air to deep point, where Ferguson took a fantastic catch diving forward.

Jos Buttler had a couple of moments of fortune, initially as the penultimate delivery of De Grandhomme narrowly missed bat and stumps.

Off the very next ball, England’s wicketkeeper sliced into the air but bounced short of third man as De Grandhomme finished with astonishing figures of 10-2-25-1.

When Boult offered some width Buttler could not resist, cutting uppishly beyond the diving Guptill.

However, the outstretched right hand of New Zealand’s gun fielder at backward point was unable to pouch the chance.

Jos Buttler plays the ramp shot against New Zealand

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Jos Buttler plays the ramp shot against New Zealand

The partnership had passed 50 when Buttler was struck on the front pad by Henry, leading to a New Zealand review, only to go to waste as technology showed the ball would have bypassed leg stump.

However, the asking rate was up to seven an over at the end of the 36th.

The tension was palpable as the overs ticked away, Buttler diffusing some of it with an outrageous trademark scoop after stepping across his stumps off Henry.

The equation came down to 65 runs from the final eight overs.

Stokes was left on all fours by a fantastic yorker from Neesham, which England’s all-rounder was just able to dig out with his bat before dropping to the floor.

Buttler was the first to his 50 off 53 balls, thumping Boult over the cover fielder for four and taking his and Stokes’ partnership into three figures, the first century partnership of the match.

Lord’s was rocking, the atmosphere fevered, as Stokes followed Buttler to a half-century three balls later, leaving England needing 53 from the final six overs.

Buttler hammered a Ferguson full toss over cover for four but was fortunate a slice off the next ball went fine, stopped at the third man boundary by Boult, who saved two.

However, Buttler was on his way back to the pavilion after an excellent 59 from 60 balls when he miscued a slower ball from Ferguson to substitute fielder Tim Southee, running in from cover point to take a fine catch.

Ben Stokes was England’s hero against New Zealand

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Ben Stokes was England’s hero against New Zealand

Neesham conceded only three singles from the first five deliveries of the 46th over but Stokes flicked a fuller delivery to midwicket, where the fielder was unable to intercept.

England needed 39 from 24 balls, and Woakes was soon on his way after swinging across the line and top-edging an attempted pull off Ferguson, with Latham holding his nerve to take a steepler.

Three of the first four balls Plunkett faced were dot balls but he did crack one to the midwicket fence as England were left needing 34 from the final three overs.

Stokes split the fielders in the deep on the leg-side when Boult was fractionally off his length as 10 were taken in the 48th over.

England needed 24 from the final 12 deliveries.

England’s hopes were slipping away when Plunkett holed out to long-off off Neesham for a run-a-ball 10, leaving England needing 22 from the final nine deliveries as Archer joined Stokes in the middle.

Stokes went for a big heave off the next ball – and the end looked nigh when Boult took the catch, only for the left-armer to step on to the boundary rope before tossing back to Guptill.

Archer suffered a golden duck after being cleaned up by Neesham.

The equation was simple: England needed 15 from the final over to win the World Cup.

Tim Southee catches the ball to take the wicket of England’s Jos Buttler

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Tim Southee catches the ball to take the wicket of England’s Jos Buttler

Stokes was unable to clear the ring from the first two balls, Boult nailing his lengths, and the all-rounder refused the single.

The Durham man got down on one knee and slog swept the next ball for a maximum before a strange turn of events led to England needing three from two balls.

Stokes failed to connect cleanly with a full toss but, coming back for a second, he dived into the crease, the ball from Guptill’s throw bouncing off his bat and racing away for four.

Six runs – the two England ran and the four overthrows – were therefore added to England’s total as Stokes held his hands up in apology.

Rashid sacrificed himself coming back for a second as he was run out at the non-striker’s end to get Stokes back on strike as England were left needing two runs from the final ball in a grandstand finish.

Stokes bunted into the leg-side and ran back for a second but new man Wood failed to make it back to his end as England were all out for 241.

But Stokes’ herculean 84 not out meant the match was taken to a Super Over to determine the winner – the first time this has happened in the history of the World Cup final.

Stokes and Buttler came out to bat for England, Boult the bowler for New Zealand.

England’s Ben Stokes plays the last shot of the match

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England’s Ben Stokes plays the last shot of the match

Each side will have six balls and three batsman. Two wickets end the super over.

In the event of the teams being tied at the end of the super over, England would win by virtue of a superior boundary count in their innings.

Stokes sliced in the air from Boult’s first delivery but he and Buttler ran hard to collect three before the latter claimed a single.

Stokes then slog swept Boult for four and then collected a single. Boult’s next ball was a yorker but Buttler was still able to get back for a couple before creaming a shot into the leg-side for four.

England, therefore, left New Zealand needing 16 to win the World Cup thanks to Stokes making eight and Buttler seven from three balls apiece.

The World Cup final went down to a super over

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The World Cup final went down to a super over

Neesham stretched but failed to make contact with the first delivery, signalled a wide, before he and Guptill ran a couple after shovelling into the off-side.

Neesham was well back in his crease when he walloped Archer for a maximum to leave the Kiwis needing seven off four. A misfield from Roy at deep midwicket then allowed Neesham and Guptill to come back for two.

A quick single was taken from the penultimate ball, Archer opting to keep the ball in his hand rather than risk overthrows.

Two were needed from the final ball but they could only manage one and England lifted the World Cup thanks to scoring more boundaries in their innings.

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