The world order in cricket will witness a new dawn when a title-starved England meet their match in New Zealand in a World Cup final that will produce a new champion at Lord’s on Sunday.
Never ever had an England limited overs team fired the imagination of cricket loving public in general with their aggressive brand of cricket like the current one, the turnaround that started after their exit at the group league stage of the 2015 World Cup.
New Zealand, on the other hand, have banked on a committed bunch of individuals with a quiet yet assertive leader in stylish Kane Williamson, who would like to go one better than his predecessor Brendon McCullum during the last edition.
At the hallowed Lord’s, England will certainly start as favourites with perhaps the most destructive 50-over batting line-up comprising Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and captain Eoin Morgan.
Roy (426 runs) and Bairstow (496 runs) have been intimidating in this tournament and Trent Boult and Matt Henry would love to repeat their semi-final show against India in the final too.
Joe Root (549) has exactly been what England needed, a stable hand holding the middle-order together. Stokes has teed off whenever he got a chance and perhaps Buttler is the only who is due for a big knock, after his century earlier in the tournament against Pakistan.
Whatever the condition of the pitch is, England wouldn’t mind bowling first as Joffra Archer (19 wickets), Chris Woakes (13 wickets) and Mark Wood (17 wickets) have been phenomenal. Even Liam Plunkett (8 wickets), despite some inconsistencies, has been good and Adil Rashid (11 wickets) has fired in the semi-final when it mattered.
New Zealand, despite their final loss to Australia at an imposing MCG, wouldn’t carry much of a baggage even though they have six players with the experience of playing a big final unlike England which has none.
Williamson (548 runs), possibly the most loved and respected cricketer will like to play one more good knock and expect a bit more support from Martin Guptill (167 runs) and Ross taylor (335 runs).
|Completed matches||England won||New Zealand won|
|Overall||86 (Tied: 2)||41||43|
England's road to the final
|South Africa||The Oval||Won by 104 runs|
|Pakistan||Trent Bridge||Lost by 14 runs|
|Bangladesh||Sophia Gardens||Won by 106 runs|
|West Indies||Rose Bowl||Won by 8 wickets|
|Afghanistan||Old Trafford||Won by 150 runs|
|Sri Lanka||Headingley||Lost by 20 runs|
|Australia||Lord's||Lost by 64 runs|
|India||Edgbaston||Won by 31 runs|
|New Zealand||Riverside Ground||Won by 119 runs|
|Australia (semi-final)||Edgbaston||Won by 8 wickets|
New Zealand's road to final
|Sri Lanka||Cardiff||Won by 10 wickets|
|Bangladesh||The Oval, London||Won by 2 wickets|
|Afghanistan||Taunton||Won by 7 wickets|
|South Africa||Leeds||Won by 4 wickets|
|West Indies||Manchester||Won by 5 runs|
|Pakistan||Leeds||Lost by 6 wickets|
|Australia||Lord's, London||Lost by 86 runs|
|England||Durham||Lost by 119 runs|
|India (semi-final)||Manchester||Won by 18 runs|
Key numbers for England and New Zealand
- England are playing in their first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final since 1992 whilst New Zealand have now reached this stage in back-to-back editions (also 2015) having never made it to the final before.
- England are trying to emulate the England women’s ODI side who lifted the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2017 with a dramatic 9-run victory over India at the same venue (Lord’s).
- England have won seven of their last nine men’s ODIs against New Zealand, including a 119-run victory at The Riverside (Durham) in the group stage of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
- Before England’s triumph over New Zealand earlier in this tournament they hadn’t beaten the Black Caps in the Men’s Cricket World Cup since 1983, suffering a string of five consecutive defeats against them in the competition in that time.
- England and New Zealand have met twice before in men’s ODIs at Lord’s, the Black Caps winning both previous encounters, a 5-wicket victory in 2013 and a 51-run triumph in 2008.
- This will be England’s seventh World Cup match at Lord’s, they have won four of their previous six such games but did lose their solitary fixture at this London venue so far in the 2019 edition of the tournament (64-run loss to Australia).
- New Zealand had won three out of three men’s ODIs at Lord’s before suffering an 86-run loss to Australia at the iconic venue earlier in the tournament.
- Having played one more match than New Zealand at this World Cup (India v New Zealand group stage abandoned), England have hit over 1,000 more runs than the Black Caps including 100 more boundary fours and 53 more sixes.
- Martin Guptill’s first ever ODI in England was a match at Lord’s in May 2013 against England, the opener scored 103* in that match before following it up with a knock of 189* in Southampton two days later.
- England duo Jofra Archer and Mark Wood have picked up more wickets from short balls at the tournament than anyone else; taking 10 and six respectively.
- England’s Jofra Archer has bowled more dot balls (338) than any other bowler this year; third on this list is New Zealand’s Trent Boult (320, Pat Cummins 323).
- Ben Stokes (England) is yet to be hit for a six at this World Cup; the only one of 59 bowlers to bowl 30+ overs in this edition of the tournament yet to be hit for a maximum.
- Both Jofra Archer (19) and Mark Wood (17) have taken more wickets in this edition than any England bowler had ever taken in an edition of the tournament previously (Ian Botham 16 in 1992).
- In England’s semi-final victory over Australia, Eoin Morgan and Joe Root recorded a 20th 50+ partnership in ODIs, the most of any duo for England (Roy & Bairstow 19, Bell & Cook 19).
- England have recorded three consecutive opening wicket stands of 100+, only once before (1980) have England managed this in men’s ODIs and they’ve never strung together four such partnerships.
- Kane Williamson has scored more runs (548) in this World Cup than any other player has managed in an edition for New Zealand, Joe Root has set the same record for England (549 runs). Both players are in with a chance to overhaul Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 673 runs in one edition (2003).
- Eoin Morgan (England) has struck more sixes (22) in this edition than any other player, only Chris Gayle (26 in 2015) has ever hit more in an edition of the tournament.
- Ross Taylor (987 runs) and Martin Guptill (976) are both vying to become the second player after Stephen Fleming (1,075) to score 1,000 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup runs for New Zealand, Kane Williamson requires 119 to reach the same milestone.
Stats about the World Cup finals
- Neither England nor New Zealand have ever won the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup before, whichever side triumphs in this match will be the sixth different team to win the tournament.
- The team winning the toss has lost four of the last five men’s World Cup finals, Australia’s win over Sri Lanka in 2007 the exception.
- Only once has the side batting first in an World Cup final scored more than 300 runs (Australia 359/2 v India, 2003), the highest successful chase in a final was India’s 277/4 v Sri Lanka in the 2011 final (victory target of 275).
- After the first nine editions proved to be a tough hunting ground for hosts, the last two editions have been won by one of the country co-hosting it. England have the chance to complete a hat-trick on Sunday at Lord’s.
(With ICC inputs)