It’s safe to say no one would have expected the ICC World Cup Final 2019 to be so nail-biting. The world saw on 14th July, one of the most epic matches in cricket history, perhaps in any sports history. What began as a normal match will go down as one of the most iconic moments of cricket history. Both due to its suspense and controversy. If England owes this match to anyone, its Ben Stokes. The man singlehandedly took his team to victory, both in the innings and the super over. You can’t deny the match proved to be a bit too lucky for England this time around. They survived a lot more than we expected.
Stokes was caught…. almost
For example down at the last few balls England needed 22 of 9 balls. Stokes being 62* at the moment shot off one of Jimmy Neesham’s and the ball traveled down the ground, into Boults hands though. Unfortunately, Boult was unaware of his position at the moment, he caught the ball and his foot hit the boundary. This did not only awarding Stokes the six but saving him from the wicket.
The most unbelievable moment though was one of the next balls, England needs 9 of 3. Stokes hits off Boult and runs for it. Martin Guptill caught the ball and shot it back to the keepers end while Stokes struggles to run and dives for the line. The returning ball hits his bat off to a four. And this is the only time I am ever going to see a person get six runs off a ball without hitting a six.
This has to be the most controversial moment of the entire game because it was this moment that cost New Zealand the entire World Cup. Some report that the six runs gave were wrong even by the ICC rules because Stokes had not crossed the line when Guptill had launched the ball back. So they should ultimately have been given 5 runs. And yes New Zealand would have won if that had been the case.
Super Over it is
After the unbelievable tie, it all came down to the super over, one over for each team to finally dictate the match. England ended up scoring 16 runs in the six balls they got. But there was a catch for New Zealand. If they tied the super over the match would be decided on who scored the most boundaries. And this was 24 for England and 16 for NZ. Who would have thought it would come down to the last ball, with Martin Guptill just a meter away from the line when he was run out by Jos Buttler.
Yes, England won the ICC World Cup Final 2019, tied more accurately but they win the world cup based on a rule. A rule that is now receiving a huge amount of backlash, not just from the people but also from professional cricketers all over the world. After tying the match and the super over, England won by default due to most boundaries scored. What are the chances you may ask but yes, it happened. You cannot deny England had been far too fortunate throughout this match a bit too much. So many moments that gave them the upper hand when they didn’t earn it.
What I wonder now is how the English team feels. It would have been one feeling to win the match the way it is conventionally won. But winning the World Cup based on an arbitrary rule, you cannot deny they may feel they don’t deserve it that much.