On Sunday – July 14 the World witnessed one of the most absorbing, heart-wrenching, exciting and emotional cricket encounters of all time. The fact that it was an ICC Cricket World Cup finals was an icing on the cake. Where literally nobody deserved to lose – host-England were declared winner on boundary count rule.
The blackcaps needed 16 off the Super Over and 30,000 spectators at Lords in London were sitting patiently with all sorts of emotions. The MCC candidates wearing blazer with multi-coloured tie were sitting right near the premium hospitality area – the long room and as Eoin Morgan’s England team crossed the long room to step onto the ground, all hailed the team and gave them much-needed boost. Some applauded, some patted, some cheered from behind, but ‘everyone’ was involved.
The Irish-born Eoin Morgan had a chance to not only write England’s destiny, but also had an opportunity to do what no Englishmen had done – win the World Cup. Morgan, who is ought to be occupied with several thoughts as whom to bowl, where to set the field, what can be the plan B, didn’t let the emotions overpower him. With a plain face, Eoin went to Jofra Archer and gave him the white cherry.
Here, the West Indies-born cricketer, whose World Cup selection was doubtful till every last date of announcement had the task to restrict New Zealand under 16. Fairly young, Archer – who was playing his 14th International match did what he know the best – bowled according to the pitch and not the batsman on strike. Though, Jimmy Neesham smashed him over mid-wicket fielder for six, Morgan looked normal. From a distance, all what one could observe was Morgan wanted to give Archer that space.
In first five ball off the over, Eoin went to Archer just once, let me say this once again, just once. With spectators literally on their feet for the final delivery of 2019 World Cup and chanting ‘Allez Allez Allez...Allez Allez Allez’ - the world was set for the best finish.
The equation had come down to two runs off the final ball. It was when Morgan went to Archer and spoke to him for merely five seconds. Jos Buttler, Joe Root were still not involved in the quick meeting.
To snatch victory from Kiwis was looking lost dream. The New Zealand players were trying to fit in the small balcony eagerly waiting for Archer to bowl the last ball. The 24-year-old lad knew that the only way to stop Martin Guptill score two runs was to bowl in the block hole. Archer marked his run up and bowled over the wicket right on the money and all Martin Guptill managed was to get bat on ball.
The ball travelled on the leg side towards Jason Roy, who quickly came towards the ball and picked it in one go and threw it towards the striker’s end. On one hand, when Eoin Morgan was standing still in 30-yard-circle, Colin de Grandhomme started to jump in the dressing with a belief that Guptill will complete the second run.
However, Jason Roy threw the ball at striker's end, and Buttler collected and whiped off the bails as Guptill fell short with the dive. Colin de Grandhomme knew it’s all over for New Zealand as the jumps turned into stand still and ecstasy turned into agony in Kiwi camp. Guptill sat on his knees, not ready to move. He knew that even after the scores were tie, New Zealand had finished as runner ups.
If at all he had a doubt, the lightning atmosphere at Lords was enough to understand. Both camps missed a breath, one out of celebration and other out of dejection. In the end, England finished as new World Cup winners, and New Zealand finished as new champions. It’s just that, ‘Lords wanted to see English smile’.