It has been over two weeks since the end of the dramatic ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 final between England and New Zealand at Lord's. The clash between two teams who were gunning for their first world title produced one of the greatest matches in the history of cricket. New Zealand managed to reach 241 and it needed a superb knock of 85 from New Zealand-born Ben Stokes to ensure the match was tied after the end of 50 overs amidst a controversial deflection. In the super over, Stokes and Jos Buttler smashed 15 and even there, New Zealand could only tie the score and England were declared the winners based on a superior boundary count.
The outpouring of grief and criticism over the ICC rules from many cricketers, former players and analysts continue even today. Following the game between the New Zealand All Blacks and the South Africa Springboks at the Cake Tin in Westpac Stadium, Wellington, the official Twitter handle of the All Blacks took a dig once again at the ICC after the match ended drawn 16-16. The tweet stated, "No count back on boundaries in Wellington. It's a draw. Thanks for an epic Test @Springboks."
In a fluctuating Test match, the All Blacks fell behind when Handre Pollard took a long-range shot as South Africa took a 3-0 lead. After South Africa extended their lead to 6-0 thanks to another long-range kick, New Zealand pulled things back when Jack Goodhue scored the try and New Zealand converted the penalty to take a 7-6 lead after the end of the first half.
Following the resumption of the second half, fly-half Beudan Barrett kicked long-range and extended the lead to 10-6 but Pollard yet again reduced the deficit to one point with a long-range shot. When Richie Mo'unga converted two penalties and stretched New Zealand's lead to 16-9, it seemed the game was slipping away from the Springboks. However, with just one minute to go, Herschel Jantjies scored a crucial try and the penalty was converted as the match ended 16-16. However, New Zealand retained the Freedom Cup as they had won the previous encounter 32-30 against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria on October 6, 2018.
New Zealand will be aiming to win the Rugby World Cup for the fourth time but their first match will be against the Springboks in Yokohoma and they will be hoping to give the country plenty to smile after a heart-breaking Cricket World Cup.