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30 May 2023

England v New Zealand: World Cup final talking points

Photo: AFP


England beat New Zealand to win their first World Cup in the most dramatic fashion at Lord's on Sunday.

Needing a modest 242 for victory, the hosts ended on 241 all out, with Ben Stokes unbeaten on 84, sending the match into a Super Over.

The six-ball shootout also ended in a tie, with both sides hitting 15 runs, but Eoin Morgan's side won by virtue of a superior boundary count in the match.

Here are three things we learned from a memorable final:

Stokes-Buttler team up to make history

With Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan back in the dressing room, it needed a special effort from the England middle-order.

Stokes was joined by Jos Buttler at the crease and a defiant 110-run partnership got the hosts back in the game.

Both renowned for their big hitting, the two men dug deep, running hard for the singles and twos, while the occasional boundary kept the run rate in check.

But after Buttler's departure it was Stokes who almost single-handedly kept England's World Cup dream alive.

The prolific partnership was reunited in the Super Over as Stokes and Buttler combined for 15 runs.

Wicketkeeper Buttler also made a telling contribution with the gloves as he ran out Martin Guptill with the final ball of the match.

Plunkett unbeaten, Archer holds his nerve

England did not lose a single match with Liam Plunkett in the side and he again proved the lucky charm with the prized scalp of Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson.

A master of the art of bowling in the middle overs, Plunkett then bowled the dangerous Henry Nicholls for 55 and sent Jimmy Neesham trudging back to the pavilion.

He was ably supported by pace spearhead Chris Woakes, who also took three key wickets.

However, it was Jofra Archer whom captain Eoin Morgan trusted to bowl the Super Over.

Archer had bowled a brilliant final spell in the New Zealand innings and after a terrible start to the Super Over, the 24-year-old held his nerve to restrict the Black Caps to four runs off the final three balls.

Nicholls, Latham finally step up

Throughout the World Cup New Zealand were over-reliant on Williamson's runs, but the skipper found support in battling innings from Nicholls and Tom Latham on Sunday.

Nicholls stood guard with Williamson for a key second-wicket stand after the Kiwis lost Martin Guptill early following their decision to bat first in overcast conditions.

The usually attacking Nicholls curbed his natural instincts to bring up his first fifty of the tournament.

After Nicholls' departure it was Latham who put up his hand in a gritty knock.

The wicketkeeper-batsman knuckled down, nudging to point and cover as he put valuable runs on the board against the accurate English attack.