World Cup Final: England vs New Zealand – Live Blog

It’s 9am, and cricket is about to start on Channel 4. Anyone can tune in, it doesn’t need a day pass, it doesn’t need a subscription. Just turn the television on, or if you’re one of those millions the ECB insist don’t “consume content” this way, use the 4OD app and stream it. Either way, the England cricket team are there to be watched by everyone for the first time in 14 years.

It’s a treat of course. A special occasion, a one off. And the sheer delight at cricket opening itself to the masses is tempered by the absolute fury that it can have been 14 years since this was last the case. For a sport, any sport to have hidden itself away for so long, as a deliberate strategy, remains extraordinary, and extraordinarily stupid.

The way the ECB have been banging on about “engagement” in the last few days is the mark of an organisation desperately trying to justify its own actions, using every possible matrix to try to deny the consequences of its own conduct. It’s a common tactic of course, the same kind of adding up that led Manchester United to claim they had 659 million fans, through amongst others sleights of hand including all those who support other clubs but who play United and thus count as being interested in them, but with cricket, the numbers are so frighteningly low to begin with that the exaggerated numbers are more terrifying than reassuring.

Still, today is a chance, a rare opportunity, for someone to stumble across the game that we love, and be hooked by it. It’s a common memory for so many of us, to have played in the back garden or the street, and to discover it shown on tv and be drawn in. Times have certainly changed in the world of broadcasting, but a central tenet of sports adherence has not – in order to fall for a game, it has to be seen, it has to be watched. Today can only be beneficial. But the sad part, the desperately sad part, is that instead of being a foundation on which to build, it is instead a one off, a quick glimpse through the palace gates at the riches beyond and little more. Celebrate this instance, but remain furious that it is all we get.

It will be intriguing to see what kind of viewing figures are gained, and it’s not hard to imagine that the ECB’s worst nightmare is if they are strong. They’ll certainly be higher than anything gained on Sky over the last few years, but a strong latent interest will shine a light on their policies like nothing else. Naturally, they’ll protest that it justifies their Hundred approach of showing the odd game to the public, and how they intend to capitalise on reaching non-cricket fans in future. That’s the trouble with the ECB – you can write their responses yourself, if you can bear to continually write sentences including the words stakeholders and engagement.

Of course, this is an ICC event, and the granting of free to air coverage is entirely the decision of Sky, so the ECB claiming credit would be laughably misplaced, but it is unlikely to stop them.

But this is an unqualified “good thing”, an unexpected bonus for those who might well be able to afford a Sky subscription, but who care enough for the health of a sport that they want to see everyone exposed to it, who want everyone to get the chance to appreciate it. Of course Channel 4 are going to switch to the Grand Prix, they’ve had that scheduled for ages, but it is not like the early years of the century – everyone, and I mean everyone, now has digital television and can switch. Perhaps just as importantly given cricket’s absence from the wider airwaves, some who tune in for the motor racing might just hang around for the cricket afterwards as well.

It’s sunny, it’s exciting, and we’re all going to watch cricket. What a fabulous day, and there will be a new winner of the Cricket World Cup. What’s not to like?

As for the game, England are warm favourites against a New Zealand team that epitomises the cliche about them being more than the sum of their parts, but who have some outstanding cricketers in their ranks too. There seems little doubt the team winning the toss will wish to bat first, and that the pitch will be a batting friendly one for such a showpiece occasion.

We’ll all be joining in with the live blogging and commenting during the day, so the usual reminder that auto-refresh is a plug in that we’ve not come across yet, so you’ll need to manually refresh the page. Oh the hardship…

09:10 – 5 Live have started the build up, Sky have started the build up, and half the Channel 4 audience are seeing for the first time that a World Cup has been on for the last 6 weeks.

09:17 – I remember the 1992 World Cup, getting up at 3am to go down to the student union to watch the final. My mate Jason was going to come with me, but overslept the little shit, so I was stood outside his house cursing his name as he drifted. He eventually turned up at about 9 I think.

09:30 – the irony of the Sky feed showing bits of the 2005 series on Channel 4 but with the Sky commentary.

09:50 – interesting watching the interview with Eoin Morgan. Some in the media have been falling over themselves to praise people behind the scenes, like Strauss. It surely can’t be too difficult to give the bulk of the praise to the bloke who has been in charge of the team for the last four years. He’s the one, not a suit.

09:55 – toss delayed to 10:15. So presumably a delayed start too.

10:16 – New Zealand win the toss and bat. Probably not an easy decision given the overhead conditions. Same side for New Zealand. Morgan says he’s not bothered about losing the toss and that it was a 50/50 call. England also unchanged.

10:29 – “I got a duck in the World Cup final, it’s not that bad!”. Brendon McCullum is great – all the pontification about pressure and so on, and he offers a healthy dose of perspective.

10:38 – is it just me who really, really hates anthems before a cricket match?

Ok here we go. Not really nervous, not like before the football or rugby World Cup matches. Odd in many ways, I’d like to be.

10:45 – having said that, it’s worth England being in the final for the sheer bitterness of some of our Australian friends in particular. Marvellous.

Massive wipe at the first ball by Guptill. Fantastic to see, and what I’d hope to watch down the local club.

It’s a World Cup final and we’ve got Michael Clarke on comms. Did we deserve that?

Boy that pitch looks green. 5-0 after 1.

10:53 – great decision from Erasmus not to give a catch behind, and a good one from Morgan not to review it. Have to say, first instinct was it was out. Nope, hit the back leg.

10:55 WICKET! Nicholls lbw to Woakes. It’s been reviewed…oh this looks stone dead. Wow, going over the top. Must be going blind. So overturned, as you were. 8-0 off 2.3

11:00. 10-0 from 3. There’s movement for the England bowlers out there, but surviving the first half hour is going to be key.

I’m absolutely certain that my (abysmal) bowling arm came over at the same speed as Jofra Archer’s. But the ball dribbled out for me and goes down the other end like an Exocet for him.

11:03 – 22-0 from 4. Decent start.

How come I always get the promotion email about World Cup matches from the ECB well after the game is underway?

11:06 24-0. England have started reasonably, there have been a couple of alarms, but no more than ought to be expected.

Archer is perhaps bowling a bit short. The speed is starting to crank up though.

11:10 WICKET! Probably anyway – Woakes bowls full to Guptill and pins him in front. It’s been reviewed, and yep, that’s out. New Zealand also lose their review. 29-1.

Woakes has been good this morning, looking much the more dangerous of the opening attack. Kane Williamson arrives at the crease…

A general thing about reviews. Dharmasena hasn’t had a great tournament, but his error in giving Roy out in the semi-final would have been overturned had England not burned their review on a desperation attempt to prevent Bairstow’s dismissal. So it is here with New Zealand, by hoping for a miracle, they’ve now put themselves at risk of a mistake later. For all the criticism about a wrong decision, teams bring a lot of it on themselves with Hail Marys on ones where it’s a fair enough decision. My sympathy is in short supply.

11:20 bit of short pitched bowling from Archer to Williamson. A fast bowler pinging a batsman is great stuff. As long as you’re not the batsman. 30-1 from 8

Nicholls is struggling a bit here. 10 runs off 26 balls and looking a tad fretful with it.

11:28 Always easy to slate the commentators, and some are woeful. But it’s Atherton, Bishop and Smith on currently. They’re bloody marvellous. Can we have them on for the rest of the day?

1135 40-1, given it’s not easy out there, New Zealand will be pretty pleased with this start. Could have easily lost the final in the first hour, but they’re in the game.

1142 Bit of an iffy first over from Liam Plunkett, but everyone knows this entire game is about watching him bowl, and particularly watching him bat.

1148 50 up, in the 14th over. Been a bit of a struggle, but it’s fine. They’re in the game.

1150 Kane Williamson 4 not out off 24 balls. Which says above all else that people can get too stressed about the early part of an innings, because if he’s still there in 20 overs time, he’ll have a big score. Mark Wood into the attack.

1155 Mark Wood is getting more (away) swing than anyone else. Swing hasn’t been a big part in this tournament, it’s a pleasant surprise to see some.

95mph from Wood. That’s rapid.

1156 and that’s drinks.

1159 Hmm Stokes is limping a bit. Seems to be ok now, ran around the boundary well enough just now.

1202 68-1 from 16, and here’s Danny to take over.

1206 Tight over from Wood. New Zealand seem to be targeting 250-270, which has to be too low against this England team?

1210 Seven from Rashid’s first over, with not much spin off the pitch. It might be worth bowling Stokes a bit early on and seeing if the pitch if more receptive to Adil later on…

1214 Seven again from Wood’s third over. New Zealand are accelerating, and the English bowlers aren’t seeming very threatening in these middle overs so far.

1219 Another seven runs from Rashid’s over, and again no real threat.

1223 Seven runs from Wood’s end too. Since Woakes finished his 7-over spell, New Zealand are scoring at 6.4 runs per over, which could lead to them scoring over 350 altogether. Very worrying…

1226 Better from Rashid, only four of this one, but nothing to worry the batsmen. Ominous.

1230 WICKET. Williamson given not out edged behind, but that decision was by Dharmasena so England have reviewed. Huge spike on the UltraEdge and Plunkett has got Williamson out. Huge wicket from nowhere!

1242 A couple of tighter overs after the wicket and the pressure is back on the New Zealand batsmen. Losing Williamson could have cost New Zealand 50 runs or more from their total.

1248 WICKET No need for Dharmasena to fret about this decision. Plunkett bowls a full ball and an inside edge rips out Nicholls’ off stump. Amazing what happens when you bowl full.

1302 Three tight overs from Plunkett and Rashid, New Zealand’s wheels are spinning but they’re going nowhere fast. Stokes has apparently recovered and is bowling his first over.

1306 Stokes keep it tight, conceding four, and now it’s DRINKS.

13:08 – Dmitri taking over now. Teddy permitting.

13:10 – Rashid bowling his 8th over, with no wickets. Four singles from the first four balls and then two dots. Think they aren’t really taking a chance here, putting their eggs in a 250-270 basket. There’s not a lot in this wicket, so I’m not sure that’s a top idea.

13:12 – Ben Stokes on for his second over. All quite low key so far. Latham pulls the second ball firmly for a single to backward square. Ross Taylor does pretty much the same to the next ball, but just a single. No getting away from the lack of boundaries. Another nick for a single off the fourth ball. Two leg-byes off the fifth ball as it flicks off Taylor’s hip to fine leg. Wide off the sixth ball which went right over the blue line. Kumar being a bit harsh. Guided down to third man for a single off the last ball. Seven off it – 141 for 3.

13:18 – Not sure this will be enthralling the nation. Mark Wood replacing Adil Rashid, to bowl his fifth over. First ball he nails Taylor in front, and with no review he has to go. Is that New Zealand’s last chance to post a big total? Erasmus is fireproof at the moment. Has he got this right?

WICKET – Ross Taylor LBW Mark Wood 15 – 141 for 4

Our band sings (well I do) this song, and our guitarist plays a damn sight better guitar solo than this. Neesham in. Is the game gonna go his way? LBW was too high, so congratulate Guptill for blowing the earlier review. And let’s see Erasmus get some grief (I don’t mean that, but Kumar got stick for some stuff earlier today on the back of a bad decision on Thursday). No runs from the next four balls. Make that five. A wicket maiden from Mark Wood – 141 for 4 from 34.

13:24 – “Funny How the Missus Always Looks The Bleedin’ Same” – How am I ever going to get that lyric into a blog post title? Stokes on again. One from the first, full bunger not dealt with for the second. Two left-handers in now. Stokes strays on to leg stump and Neesham clips it through mid-wicket for a rare boundary. First in 15 and a half overs according to Bishop. Follows up with a wide. Neesham clobbers the short ball through wide mid-on for another four from the fifth ball. A driven single makes it 11 off the over and the score with 15 overs to go at 152 for 4. Are we seriously expected to pay £20 extra to watch Dillian Whyte?

13:28 – Wood gets smacked first ball by Neesham but no run. Blocks the second, with Wood registering 92 mph on the speed gun. Evades a short ball third up, but connects with the fourth – Woakes dives to save three runs on the boundary. Jimmy giving it big lash early on. Play and miss on the fifth. Blocks the sixth, with just one run from Wood’s sixth over. 153 for 4.

13:33 – Stokes removed, and Liam Plunkett back on. First ball to Neesham who hit straight to backward point first up. Drop and run on the second ball. The Barmy Army trumpeter plays, whether you like it or not. Dot ball. Michael Clarke doesn’t remember much about the 2015 Final. Just like I don’t recall the early days of this blog. Plunkett goes short, and Latham goes for a pull, for four. Bounced before the “rope”. Quick single next ball. Dot ball off the sixth ball. Six from the over. 159 for 4 from 37.

13:37 – Latham times a ball through the covers for four from Wood’s first ball, but follows up with a play and miss to a pitched up delivery. Lovely to see the ICC dignitaries enjoying the cricket. Latham to third man for a single. Let’s see those ICC characters again. The public demands it. Dot ball to Neesham off ball four. Nothing from the fifth, a short ball Neesham ducks under. A squirted dab into the offside gets Neesham a single. 6 runs from the over, 7 from Wood’s last three, and it’s 165 for 4 with 12 overs left.

13:41 – Wasted. That’s a tune for the MCC members. Might be about the 2005 legacy, eh? Dot ball first up from Liam, just missing off stump. This is Plunkett’s ninth over. Dab down to third man for Neesham. Ah the Women’s world cup winners. What a legacy they’ve built since, aided and abetted by the ECB. Single to Latham, then two for Neesham. Not fireworks by any means. Neesham hits the next ball for four, an offdrive off the back foot that Woakes couldn’t reach. Then Liam gets his revenge, fooling Neesham who lofts it straight to mid-on and it is caught by Joe Root.

WICKET – Jimmy Neesham Caught Joe Root Bowled Liam Plunkett 19 – 173 for 5

A key wicket for England as in comes the Big Man. I’ll call him CdG for the purposes of this live blog. It is easier.

13:47 – Wood gives up a single to Latham first ball, and CdG now faces. He takes two to wide third man to get his score going as those lags, the Barmy Army, sing Livin’ On A Prayer. No more comment offered. Nothing doing from a misjudged shot third ball for CdG. A full ball on leg stump is beautifully timed, but Bairstow dives and the ball goes in clean and is returned rapidly. Still two runs, but great fielding. Dot ball from another 92 mph delivery. Wood is rapid at the moment, so no way he stays fit this summer! Single from CdG – 179 for 5, with six from the over. 10 to go. dum de dum dum dum dum.

13:51 – Lovely to see the full ICC box again. Half expect to see that Infantino chap turn up. Last over from Liam – two dot balls to start the 41st. What the public wants is more ICC freeloaders on screen. Single to deep midwicket for CdG off the third ball. Short ball clopped to deep midwicket for a single by Latham, who is onto 25. Oh, it’s our PM. For at least another week. Play and miss off the penultimate ball, so Liam has one more. 3 for 42 at the moment. It’s how he finished, a dot ball. 181 for 5. Here’s Ray Winstone. I miss him “having a bang on that”.

13:56 – Archer back on, and a single for Latham to start. Archer has 5 to bowl. Play and miss to the 85mph second ball. A total miscue from a short ball for CdG gets a single as it balloons off his helmet over backward point. I now get a two minute break. Latham strokes a single from the fourth. Sharp single from the big man, which would have been tight if hit. Wide from the sixth ball. Bouncer off the last ball. 186 for 5. 8 overs remaining.

14:01 – Single off the first full pitched delivery from Wood, as it goes down to fine leg from CdG. Single off the second. A run a ball gets New Zealand just around 230. 4 leg byes as the ball flicks CdG, a nice and nasty bonus. Two runs for CdG as he takes on Adil’s weak arm and gets home. Chopped down to third man for a single off the fifth ball of the over. Latham miscues a short one for a single. 10 off the over, and it is 196 for 5. I see Naylor has cheesed off some of the parish. Ah yes. One of my early blogging inspirations. And another of my regrets.

14:06 – Single from the first ball of Archer’s over. Another leg bye off the second. No, Simon, it hasn’t gripped the country. Stop telling nonsense. Short ball flapped for a single by Latham. Wide given for the next bouncer. 200 up. Miscue doesn’t carry to cover from CdG. Had a few of these through the innings. They’ll get ’em in leg byes as CdG is through early and it ricochets for a single. Wide off the supposed last ball of the over. Still six off the over so far. Wide again. Short and wide of leg stump. Single off the last, pictures of MCC eccentrics and 8 from the over. Pip Pip. 204 for 5 with six to go.

14:11 – Wood’s final over. No run from the first ball. Swing and a miss from the second. Lovely shot for six over mid-wicket by Latham as he picks up a straight full delivery from Wood. Wood hits Latham a midships the next ball. Top edge falls short of Archer who pings in a return to prevent a second. Buttler gathers and slings the stumps down, it is being reviewed and CdG is just in. A lot closer than it looked. One run. Bouncer, not given wide off the last. Wood done. 1 for 49. 7 from the over. 211 for 5. Five overs left.

14:16 – We are the army, the barmy army, we are mental and we are mad. Single for Latham from the first ball. Single for CdG from the second. Slower ball dabbed for one by Latham again. Wood clutching his rib at the end of his spell. Three weeks from the Ashes. CdG gets tied up with another short ball. Dot. Slower full ball means CdG mis-times. No run. Slow ball bouncer (78) and CdG waves what looks like a stick at it. 3 from the over. 214 for 5. 24 balls remaining.

14:19 – We interrupt the generic pap music to say Woakes is coming back. Wood wanders off. Hurry up and bowl Chris, that tune is dreadful. Latham pushes a single first ball. Slower ball is tucked behind square for 2 off the second. Single from the third ball. Latham cross bats a single. Slower ball is chipped in the air by CdG and he loops it to mid-off.

WICKET – Colin de Grandhomme Caught Sub (James Vince) Bowled Chris Woakes 16 – 219 for 6

James Vince gets his name on a World Cup Final scorecard. More than KP and Sir Al ever did! In comes Mitchell Santner, but Latham is on strike. Stroked to midwicket for a single. 220 for 6. 6 runs from the over. 3 overs remain.

14:26 – Archer to Latham. Single down to deep backward square. Single to Santner for the first run of his innings. Dot ball from a short ball third up. Driven single for Latham on the fourth ball. Single to Santner. Single to Latham. Dull. 5 from the third last over, and barely a chance taken. 225 for 6.

14:29 – Appeal, Woakes for LBW against Latham. Review. Missed run out. Need the lav. Ted’s asleep. Doesn’t look out, although he did wander. Pitched outside leg. A run taken. Santner clumps one to midwicket. Single. Lazy cricket gives New Zealand five runs. Short ball bouncer, wide, boundary. Muppets. Wide full toss, slow ball, chipped up, and Woakes gets another wicket. Horrid cricket.

WICKET – Tom Latham Caught Sub (James Vince) Bowled Chris Woakes 47 – 232 for 7.

Vince becoming a legend here. The catchmaster. Wonder if Vaughan can leverage that into an Ashes place. Someone shoot the guitarist. Woakes bowls a beamer to Santner, no ball and a free hit, which Santner misses (a slower ball telegraphed by second class post). Quick single again, a direct hit is missed, but probably safe. Vince not quite the legend. Woakes last ball to Henry is slower, and Matt massacres it over cow corner for a one bounce four. 238 for 7. 13 from the over. Last six…

14:37 – First ball, Santner move across, ball goes over leg stump. Dot. Another quick single second ball. Throw misses. One run to Santner. Bouncer third ball is adjudged as a wide. McCullum ranting on about 240. Full and straight next, and it smacks into off on the full.

WICKET – Matt Henry Bowled Jofra Archer 4 – 240 for 8

Next man in is Sweet Child Of Mine (not so sweet with this clown on the guitar) Trent Boult. Three balls left. Slow yorker. Dot ball. Boult drives the penultimate ball for a single, and scampers down the other end. Last ball to Santner who has five from eight balls at the tail end of the innings. It’s a bouncer and Santner ducks!!!!! A dot ball without a shot being played. Curious and even more curious. Innings over 241. Just 242 to win. New Zealand going to need early wickets. I think this is England’s to lose. It’s not a great wicket, but it isn’t 241 in 50 overs. England never took their feet off New Zealand’s throat.

We have a half hour break.

15:09 – Sean on the decks for the upcoming passage of play. How is everyone’s nerves? The Sky commentators seem to be confident of an England victory, i’m not so sure mind!

15:12 – This new ball is going to be crucial in the outcome of the final. If England can see off Boult and Henry and be 40-0 off 10, then they become overwhelming favourites

15:14 – Roy is a lucky boy. Boult raps him on the pads and NZ review, umpires call saves England from the worst possible start. Must admit that looked dead in real time. Just the single from the over.

15:21 – The ball is doing all sorts at the start of the innings, i’m glad i don’t have to face Boult and Henry on this. Roy connects with one sweetly down the ground. England’s first boundary.

15:27 – Steady from England here with Roy keeping hold of the strike. The Kiwi bowlers still looking dangerous mind, they need a wicket in the few overs though.

15:32 – Bairstow joins the party with 2 boundaries off Trent Boult. Are the Black Caps getting a little desperate now?

15:36 – OUT: Well they’re not getting desperate anymore, Henry gets Roy with an out swinger that is caught by Latham. Root comes to the crease and England will need something big from the Test captain.

15:43 – This has been a fascinating passage of play and kind of resembles the morning of Day 1 at a Test with a good old fashioned battle between bat and ball. ODI cricket is so much better to watch when there is something there for the bowlers as well as the batsmen.

15:50 – Bairstow playing Boult very sensibly here, leaving the one that goes across him and then a lovely pull for 4. Oh look, Tom Harrison is in the crowd, desperate to jump on any successful bandwagon no doubt. I hope Bairstow hooks one into his mush.

15:53 – Henry bowls a maiden over, he has bowled a very fine spell here, much fuller than the England bowlers. The Big Man is loosening up and coming on to bowl, the conditions could certainly suit De Grandhomme’s type of bowling.

15:56 – Many people commenting how flat the atmosphere is at the Final. It’s pretty much like every Lords international i’ve been too.

15:57 – CHANCE – The Big Man drops a relatively straight forward catch of his own bowling from Bairstow. How costly will that drop prove to be??

16:06 – Tense. The squeeze is on here from the New Zealand, England have to be a careful not to get bogged down here. 2 boundaries from Bairstow, the first a nice push of his legs and then nearly chops on next ball relieves a bit of pressure. Meanwhile:

16:12 – New Zealand bring on Ferguson for his first bowl of the game. England didn’t face him during the group game, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against him and that tremendous moustache.

16:16 – Root is getting bogged down here, not his fluent self by any means. An ambition LBW shout from De Grandhomme and then an ugly swipe from Root.

16:17 – OUT! A horrible innings from Root comes to an end with another ugly swipe and a tickle behind to Latham. New Zealand are most definitely still in this.

16:19 – Drinks and a good time to handover the reigns to the ice cold TLG. I’m going to hide behind the sofa meanwhile

16:20 – well now, TLG here and this is interesting. Tight and nervy all round. You’d say objectively that England ought to win from here, but there’s that nagging doubt and the pressure is on.

16:26 – A quick switch across to the laptop, as this blog has now got so long the WordPress app is struggling to load it properly.  I mentioned the tension with this game, and the cynical old sods writing this are all a bit tense.  Which is strange, considering it’s a feeling that’s been absent from all of us for quite a few years now.  Which just goes to show that once this ridiculous game has wormed its way in, there’s no stopping it.  Oh it’s 65-2.

16:31 – A gorgeous cover drive from Jonny Bairstow, but which is then followed by WICKET! As he chops on to his stumps from Lockie Ferguson.  It’s been coming too, he’s cut a few past his own stumps, with his bottom hand being overly dominant today.  England are in a bit of strife.  72-3

16:37 – Anyone wishing Moeen Ali was in the batting order today yet?

16:39 – Just two off that over.  Funny thing with England, if they go after the bowling, you back them to pull off a run chase, but the moment they get hesitant and cautious, you can almost see the nerves.  That’s not to say they should be having a slog at it, they’re probably approaching it the right way.  But it doesn’t half look as if they’re worried.

16:44 – 82-3.  You know, it’s almost like England on free to air tv hasn’t gone away, I’m pretty sure we left it in 2005 with England in a tense tight sitution.

16:47 – You’re thinking you don’t mind really if New Zealand win the World Cup, aren’t you?  Decent bunch of chaps, not Australian, underdogs, punching above their weight, a victory for cricket and all that.

16:49 – Checking our stats page, it seems we had a visitor to the blog who searched for “cricket for posh people”.  You what?

16:50 – WICKET! Oh drama.  Is Morgan caught?  Yes he is.  Pretty poor shot, and a fine catch from Lockie Ferguson.  England are in trouble here.  86-4 is not a promising position, and Ben Stokes is going to have to try and pull the fat out of the fire once again this tournament.

16:56 – 24 overs gone, 89-4.  Two new batsmen at the crease, both destructive, and with a target that’s modest enough it can be whittled away quickly.  But England have little room for manouevre now, the batting quality remaining is good, but we’re very much into the all rounders.

17:00 – How are the fingernails?

17:03 – Extremely unimpressed with Arron in the comments for drawing the England/Jimmy White parallel just as I was thinking about it and before I could write it.

17:04 – 98-4.  It’s interesting seeing people think the pitch is not up to scratch.  There’s something in that, given it’s not rewarded stroke play.  On the other hand, if this goes to the wire, then irrespective of anything else, the viewing figures are going to soar, and the chewing of fingers is going to reach cannibalistic levels.  For that’s the point, it can be certainly stated that fours and sixes might drag in the uninitiates (T20 suggests exactly that), but drama is what really does it, whether high scoring or low scoring.

17:09 – Stokes eases the pressure a bit with a crunching straight drive to bring England’s hundred up.  The required run rate is just starting to climb a bit, up to 6.22.  Manageable certainly, a problem if a wicket or two falls.  And just to expand that earlier point, I’m not convinced that this is a poor spectacle right now.  Earlier in the day that could be said, but you don’t have to be a county member or a club player of 20 years standing to understand this is very tight.

17:15 Nelson up!  111-4.  These two are starting to look more at ease now.  You know what’s going to come next…

17:21 – A few singles here and there.  Nothing is happening but everything is happening.  Cricket is so good.

17:26 – Buttler cuts just out of reach of Guptill, and it races away for four.  Naturally, it gives the commentators the chance to talk about what would have been the catch of the tournament for the thousandth time.

Expect much, much more of this kind of thing if New Zealand win.

17:31 – 136-4.  Starting to tick over nicely.  And up comes the 50 partnership, that to channel my in Ronay is as welcome as a Green and Black’s ice cream on a hot day ooh aren’t I a clever one.

17:34 – time for a Powerade Hydration Break*.

*Just fuck off.

A masterclass in “I don’t know what the hell to say because I’m nervous, so I’ll state the bleeding obvious”.  We’ve all been there.

17:40 – 35 overs gone, 141-4.  A healthier looking scorecard, but still on a bit of a knifedge.  Those dull middle overs eh?

17:43 – Big lbw appeal against Buttler, Dharmasena says no, and we go to a review…looks to be heading down the legside though.  Yep, missing leg completely according to Hawkeye, so that’s New Zealand’s bowling review gone.  And since he’s had such a kicking from so many people, a good decision from Dharmasena, albeit not the hardest he’ll have had to make.

17:47 – Don’t bowl there.  Short and wide to Buttler who crashes it past point for four.  Stokes is the more conservative of his pair, with Buttler looking to be the aggressor.  Runs required is now under 100.

17:50 – The pressure is beginning to switch around.  New Zealand are now starting to badly need a wicket.  Required rate 7.24 though, and rising.

17:53 – Gorgeous straight drive for four from Buttler off Neesham.  Seven off the over, just what England need from here.

17:55 – Stokes in on the act, hooking Ferguson in front of square for four.

17:59 – 5-5 in the final set in the tennis by the way.

18:01 – Of course, if England do win this, they will be the only country to have won cricket, football and rugby World Cups.  It doesn’t matter much, except that it’ll cause an outbreak of fury amongst Australians and comments about it being a United Nations team.  It’s worth it for that alone.  166-4.

18:02 – Ah the Buttler ramp shot.  How good is he at that?

18:03 – Into the last ten overs, 72 needed, six wickets in hand.  You’d say England really ought to do it from here, or at least you would in a normal JAMODI.  In the World Cup final?  Feels a bit more fraught than that.

18:05 – Three balls gone this Ferguson over.  Three dots.  Pressure…And a wide follows.  But a fine over with just three off it.  Required rate edges up to 7.66

18:09 – New Zealand are putting the squeeze on here.   Just four runs off that over.   177-4, eight overs to go.

18:13 England probably need that one big over.  But they’re struggling to score at the moment.  Lots of singles, not many boundaries.  Creative from Buttler, almost scooping it, changing his mind and running it down to fine leg.  But only for a couple.  Six off that over.  OK, but no more than that.  8.42 an over needed.

18:17 Trent Boult returns.  Buttler crashes it over extra cover for four and goes to 50.  And Stokes joins him with a single down the ground.

18:23 – 53 runs needed from 36 balls.  Fantastic shot from Buttler, again over deep extra cover.  48 from 34.  Followed by a, well, a hoick, that heads down to third man.  Fine piece of fielding on the boundary saves a couple of runs.

18:26 – WICKET!  That’s huge.  Buttler skews it off the outside edge out to deep point, and the sub fielder Tim Southee runs in and takes another fine catch.  The game takes another twist as Woakes comes to the crease.  196-5.

The ECB have all the luck.  They do everything in their power to hide the game away from as many people as possible, and then when they fluke a game being shown on Free to Air, they get a thriller to remind everyone what is missing.

18:29 – Woakes gets off strike at the second time of asking.  England need a boundary or two, and it’s all on Ben Stokes.  The pendulum has swung dramatically with that wicket, and New Zealand might well be favourites here.  Four!!  Stokes somehow pings it through midwicket off the back foot, lacking any kind of finesse whatever.  But it’s unlikely anyone cares at this stage.

18:34 – WICKET!  Woakes has a massive heave at Ferguson, and it goes straight up in the air.  Latham makes an awful meal of it, but clings on, just.  And at this stage, no runs off a ball is a nice bonus.  All of which means it’s Plunkett time.  203-6

Plunkett can’t get his first couple of balls away, which is hardly surprising given the situation.  But it all adds to the ever spiralling required run rate and the pressure.  But wait, he then responds by belting it through midwicket for four.  But that’s it for the over, and again England are short of what they needed.  They have a chance, but it’s getting harder and harder.

Hussain is on commentary talking about the pitch dying and what a clever and brave decision it was to bat first.  Not so sure that was said by too many at the time.

18:40 – Right, 34 needed from three overs.

Four!!  Again over midwicket from Stokes.  30 from 17 balls.

Next ball through square leg for one.  Five off the first couple of balls is just what was needed.

Lads – get me a drink will you?

Plunkett too goes towards cow corner, and picks up a couple of runs.  Good over so far for England.

Dot ball.

Down the ground this time, the pair scamper for two.  217-6

And a single to finish the over.  24 runs needed from 12 balls.

18:44 – We’re all perfectly relaxed aren’t we?  Indifferent.  Calm.  Utterly chilled, right? Neesham to bowl the penultimate over, and England really need it to be a big one.

Single for Plunkett.  23 off 11.

Single to Stokes.  22 from 10.  A super over has been mentioned – I think England would take that right now.

18:47 WICKET!!  Plunkett goes down the ground, but doesn’t get the distance.  England are falling short here.  The one positive is that Stokes is back on strike, but this is now needing something spectacular.  22 from 9 as Archer comes in.

Six!!  Wow, that’s extraordinary.  Stokes goes big over deep midwicket, and Boult catches him, but his foot treads on the boundary rope.  Guptill is quick to signal it was six as well.  16 from 8.

Single from Stokes.  Archer has the last ball of the over to face.  WICKET!!  Archer has a slog, misses and is bowled.  England are 8 down, and it’s going to be entirely down to Stokes to pull off a miracle.  15 needed from the final over, or 14 to take us to a Super Over.  Which would be fun, wouldn’t it?

18:52 – Right, the final over, to be bowled by Trent Boult, who has been excellent as ever.

Stokes declines the single.  15 from 5 balls.

And again.  15 from 4.

Six!!  Bloody hell.  Stokes absolutely smashes a slog sweep for six over midwicket.  9 from 3.

Well that is accidental, but probably controversial.  It counts as six runs, as Stokes hits a couple, and as the throw comes in it deflects off him for an additional four overthrows.  Completely accidental, but this puts England right in the box seat.  Never seen anything quite like that.

I need a drink.  So do the umpires it seems, as they have a chat, but it went for four overthrows, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.  Sheer good or bad luck.

3 from 2

WICKET!! More mayhem.  England go for 2 runs to try and get Stokes back on strike.  Rashid is run out by a mile, but Stokes is back on strike.  2 needed off the last ball, but 1 for a super over.  What drama.

Here we go:

WICKET!! It’s a tie!!  Surely!  England go for two, but Wood is run out, and we have a super over.  Jesus Christ.  That was the most extraordinary final over I’ve ever seen – the six caught on the boundary, the accidental four overthrows, the two run outs.  What a finish.  What an incredible finish.

Fantastic innings from Stokes.  What a magnificent bowling and fielding performance from New Zealand.  Who the hell do the teams pick for a super over?  How big is Channel 4’s audience right now?  Where the hell is that drink?


Stokes and Buttler come out to bat for England.

Outside edge from Stokes, over third man, and they sprint three runs.  Buttler on strike…

A single.

Four runs!  Another slog sweep from Stokes, that goes flat through midwicket and beats the diving fielder.  8 runs off the first three balls and it’s a fine start from England.

Single.  9-0 off 4 balls.  Buttler back on strike.  A six would be nice…instead it’s a fine yorker, that Buttler screws out to deep extra cover.  Nicholls doesn’t pick the ball up and they get two.

Four!  Buttler goes over midwicket!  That’s a big total in one over, and New Zealand need 16 to win.

It’ll be Archer to bowl for England.  If the scores are level, it comes down to who hit the most boundaries, and that’s England.  So New Zealand do indeed need 16, if they get 15 then England will win.  Which is kind of a pity, because I was thinking we might have super overs for the rest of eternity, in a glorious, never ending arm wrestle for the title.

Guptill and Neesham come out to bat.  This can’t be easy, it’s been seemingly years since they batted today, and to have to come out, fresh and tee off for one over is a bit of a challenge to say the least.  England have the advantage already, even without having scored 15 runs off theirs.

Archer bowling from the other end to that he’s been bowling from.  Interesting call.

Starts with a wide.  15 from 6 now.

Fine yorker second ball, but it’s drilled down the ground by Neesham for two.  3 off the first ball effectively.

Six!  Huge over midwicket from Neesham.  And suddenly New Zealand are almost there.

Two runs.  A misfield from Roy allows a second run.  5 from 3 needed.

Two again.  3 from 2.  England really need a wicket.

A single.

And here we go, two runs needed from the last ball.  Not only did it go to the last ball of the normal game, not only did it go to a super over, it’s gone to the last ball of the super over.  What a game.

England have won the World Cup!  And even at the last, it was extraordinary, a run out going for the second run.

Collecting thoughts from that finish is going to take a little while.  Sport is just the most incredible thing, and that was the most extraordinary possible finish.  Undoubtedly this will be shown again and again over the years to come, and please God the TV audience on Channel 4 was enormous.  I’m sure it would have been, because word would have gone around about the utterly incredible conclusion.

England finally get their hands on the World Cup, New Zealand, have the consolation which is no consolation at all of being the unluckiest runners up they could possibly have been.  It can’t be said England deserved the win, because it can’t be said that New Zealand deserved to lose.  But someone has to win, and someone doesn’t.  The deflection off a diving Stokes to go for four overthrows was probably the margin between the sides at the end, and that probably says it all.

After such events, the “Greatest of All Time” comments come out of course, and usually cause eye rolling, but in white ball cricket, that might be hard to argue against.  This one really might well have been.

England have been gracious in their interviews, New Zealand are understandably crushed.  At this point, I’ll call time on the live blog, and go and get something to drink.  Thanks for the company, and of course the comments are still open.  TLG.





257 thoughts on “World Cup Final: England vs New Zealand – Live Blog

  1. thebogfather Jul 14, 2019 / 7:14 am

    Empty suit has already been on the radio spouting the usual scripted corporate bollockspeak about engaging and the 1 million kids etc etc and given the usual, in fact softer than usual easy ride with not a single challenge to a word he said.


  2. jomesy Jul 14, 2019 / 7:57 am

    It’s nine am …. BOC continues to be ahead of everyone else! 😁


    • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 8:21 am

      Anyone who watches cricket on their phone today, if they are at home, is a complete pillock.

      The funniest thing is this could turn out to be a great day for English cricket. With a good sized audience, particularly later in the day if the game is close or if England are heading for victory, and the governing body will have played no part in it whatsoever.

      Quite extraordinary! As Ritchie might have said, many moons ago….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rpoultz Jul 14, 2019 / 8:09 am

    The deification of Strauss has begun already.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 8:30 am

      Got the sense he has a knighthood riding on this. He was quite modest about things on Thursday, but he’s keeping that more inside now.

      Also C4 HD appears to be a few seconds behind Sky.


      • rpoultz Jul 14, 2019 / 8:59 am

        Possibly. They just seem to be pinning everything that’s happened on Strauss rather than actually picking the best players for the job. Idk.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 9:44 am

        Of course he can be modest. First, he hasn’t done anything. And second his pycohants will do all the propaganda for him

        He will get his knighthood whatever happens today. That’s how the system works.


        • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 10:29 am

          It is ridiculous that Charlotte Edwards and Jimmy Anderson haven’t been knighted yet. One because she’s the wrong gender and one because he’s too common. Both far more worthy than Cook by any objective measure. That Strauss might also get knighted before either of them is a travesty.


  4. metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 8:33 am

    My god, the guitar piece marks a new low in buildup segments – and there’s a lot of competition for that slot over the years…


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 9:30 am


      Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Jul 14, 2019 / 9:35 am

        Poor Selfey, not even invited to be there today, even as President of Middlesex, hey-ho, no ECB friends anymore either… nevermind, enjoy your quiet corner of the coffee shop or pub


      • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 9:37 am

        It would have be good if you had promoted cricket, and tried to grow the brilliant game for twenty five years beyond just sitting there broadcasting it.


      • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 9:50 am

        Strauss on KP springs to mind here. Fully warranted epithet in this case.


      • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 9:55 am

        I don’t even understand his point. Are we not seeing exactly the same feed and comms? Is there even *scope* to promote Sky? Even if there was, why would an FTA channel use a World Cup final day just to behave like Uriah Heep?

        Good grief though, even I might have underestimated how far gone he is.


      • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 10:34 am


        TV channels usually have years to plan the promotion of a major sports event. Channel 4 had three days.


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 11:14 am

          Meanwhile, in Toppers Land…

          We’re blinkered. Of course we are. And these ex-pros / high profile people are open minded and have zero skin in the Sky money game.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 12:16 pm

            No, what grates you is we don’t agree with you, and maybe it is you who doesn’t want to be educated.

            Ex players are not good judges of what fans want. Most players of pro sport have no clue what being a fan is about.

            There will always be a suspicion that they want a gravey train to live off for another thirty years after they retire.


      • Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 12:38 pm

        Unbelievable what a twat this guy is.
        He is a servant of the establishment, and nothing will change that, even if he no longer has a part in it.
        He must be furious no one has given him a platform since the guardian. Except twitter, but that’s not hard.

        Liked by 1 person

        • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 12:44 pm

          All you need do is compare the way Vic Marks writes. They have very similar backgrounds and careers. Probably very similar contacts in the game. But Marks questions plenty about the ECB, just as he did when this business started with KP in 2012.

          We don’t really expect much. It’s a bit like the FTA debate; it’s not all or nothing and we never expected the writing of a firebrand every day. But he questioned fuck all.


        • Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 2:37 pm

          It’s just so tediously predictable. Any development that doesn’t support the position of the ECB is automatically suspect. Going FTA, just for one single day, can’t be allowed to pass without criticism, however contrived or petty. They’ve chosen to exceptionally push it through FTA on this the biggest of days, and all he can do is gripe they didn’t promote Sky enough? It ignores logic, it’s just orthodoxy. It’s like a religion, blind belief. Can’t he just be happy lots more people will get the chance to watch today? Sad man.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 9:33 am

    Kerry O’keefe just claimed that the English players will pocket over $500000 dollars each if they win this. Is that true?


    • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 10:35 am

      I’m not aware of win bonuses being a thing in the England central contracts, and the figure seems pretty high. I couldn’t rule it out though.


  6. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 10:02 am

    Kumar strikes! Only for Nicholls to review.


    • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 11:33 am

      Kumar strikes again, only for England to get Williamson on review.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 11:37 am

        Harsh for that one, it was a thin nick. I wouldn’t want to be hung on my decision for that.


        • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 3:01 pm

          This is no ordinary match. This is the biggest game (certainly rights wise) in 4 years of international cricket. Everything ought to be done to make certain that decisions are top notch.

          I do have sympathy with the umpires. With DRS and all the gadgets that are available to the TV audiences they are set up to fail. The powers that be could easily up the computing power for DRS, Snicko and all the other gadgets so that the information is available sooner, if not real time (if people can run a rig with 216 processors to play games of chess or calculate pi, I don’t see why that would be impossible).

          Maybe it is harsh, but you don’t claim to be a good umpire. You don’t make a living umpiring. And you certainly won’t have the tools at your disposal that these Elite Umpires have. In terms of DRS, in terms of television footage, third umpire etc.

          And if the umpire honestly does not know (and that can happen), why do we still stick with the binary of out / not out for umpiring decisions, even as DRS turns every ‘umpire’s call’ to “out” or “not out” depending on the decision the umpire made.

          Yes, mistakes will be made by officials. Just as in football, tennis etc. But they should not be match defining. And in cricket, due to the nature of the game, such errors often end up being match defining (a referee in football can get a penalty wrong, but also something as innocuous as whose throw in it is).

          For showcase events such as these, the ICC should do the utmost to make certain that the correct decisions are made in a timely manner. If that means, they will have to invest a bit to get the umpires empowered and access the information that they need to make the right decisions, so be it.


  7. metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 10:03 am

    Guptill getting going – NZ going to set a very testing score for England I think.
    Actually, come to think of it, if they do, NZ will win.
    Oh. Bugger.


  8. Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 10:04 am

    What has the weather been like in London the last few days then? This pitch looks like a green seamer in early May. Its bright blue skies and hot further west of London.

    This has the potential to be 100/6 and all over before Federer walks on court this afternoon. As I say that a six and a four have just be scored but even so……

    I see the Aussie contigent have decided to turn up wearing their full yellow kit. You could have made an effort guys.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 10:07 am

      Put it this way. I have to water my wife’s allotment while she is away. I can only skip it if we get rain. Been up there every day this week.


      • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 10:14 am

        Right, the tennis has been played in bright sunshine so I find the green pitch a bit odd.

        And that is plumb LBW. Nipped back. Maybe NZ should have put England in……


        • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 10:22 am

          May have been a good toss to loose.


        • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 10:23 am

          Thankfully they didn’t. Boult and Southee wouldn’t be pitching it halfway up the pitch and having the ball go over the bails every ball. The successful LBW might be the only ball going to hit the stumps so far this innings.


          • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 10:37 am

            Stokes might get some swing in these conditions


    • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 10:26 am

      All the better to hide some sandpaper. We should have worked it out before…


  9. metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 10:22 am

    Good bit of jinxing there, Guptill out.
    Archer is bowling some great balls at the moment, but Williamson is still there.


    • riverman21 Jul 14, 2019 / 10:31 am

      Be interesting to know what the atmosphere is like at the ground. Sounds a bit sterile and nothing coming through like the excitement of 1975. Or even the semifinal.


  10. metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 10:29 am

    Couldn’t we have had Sanga instead of Clarke on commentary?


  11. Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 10:31 am

    Your point about reviews and eating them is right on the money.

    Bowlers reviews have to be put through a committee of captain, wicketkeeper, slips vice captain etc etc. Batsman sometimes don’t even consult their partner. The review signal goes straight up,

    It’s a batsman’s game……..


  12. Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 10:44 am

    I like Smithy as a commentator too. Very underrated. I suspect he has a hinterland in his life. Good company to be with

    Memo to cricket broadcasters……A personality is important. Just because someone played the game at the highest level doesn’t make them a good broadcaster. Cook/Strauss…. Cough cough….

    Atherton and Nasser are pretty good as well. They were before England decided to have a policy of personality removal of captains.

    Smith would not get a gig as a commentator in England because he didn’t score enough runs.


  13. metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 10:50 am

    Plunkett leaking runs like a sieve… got to make a change.


    • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 10:53 am

      The alternative is Rashid, which isn’t necessarily a more economical option. Or Root, perhaps?


      • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 11:24 am

        True. Rashid not getting much joy out of this pitch.


        • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 11:26 am

          I forgot about Stokes, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been tried yet.


          • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 11:27 am

            Agree, things are not going so great, give it a whirl, break up the batsmen’s rhythm.


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 11:30 am

            There’s a thought from the commentary that Stokes might have a calf injury.


          • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 11:34 am

            Pre-existing or picked up whilst fielding?


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 11:36 am

            Doull said so when he dived for one on the boundary. Isa said he had cramp after the last game.


          • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 11:37 am

            It’d be saying something about Vince if England would pick an injured Stokes as a batsman over him…


          • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 11:31 am

            Plunkett with a jaffa.
            And an excellent review decision from Morgan.


          • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 11:34 am

            Yep, although seeing as it was at Dharmasena’s end it wasn’t huge leap of faith.


          • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 11:40 am

            Probably pre-existing, but the claim will undoubtedly be due to the fielding.

            Seriously, the substitutions in games are farcical.


          • Marek Jul 14, 2019 / 12:38 pm

            I’d pick a 70% fit Stokes over Vince as a batsman any day!


  14. Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 10:53 am

    I realise they can’t do anything about the cloud cover, but I’m sorry this is a poor pitch for a ODI World Cup final. Williamson who is a good player is 4 off 22.

    I have never like Lords much. Think it’s over rated . If I was a professional England player I would have much preferred to play at The Oval or Birmingham.

    As President of Middx perhaps Selvey should see if he can’t do something about the pitches here rather than berate the broadcasters.


    • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 10:56 am

      Do Middlesex have any control over the ground? They’re just renters, after all.


      • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 11:30 am

        Yes Danny , I doubt they have any say at all, but it’s a good excuse to blame Lord Selvey who is always smugly telling us he knows things that we don’t know….

        I think NZ have no choice than to target 250/270 because they spent the first 10-15 overs just trying to survive. Ok for the first morning of a test match but not for a World Cup final.

        England may have missed a trick here by once again tending to bowl too short at Lords on a green pitch with the new ball.


    • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 11:25 am

      It’s a world cup of crap pitches.
      NZZ doing better now..


  15. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 11:16 am

    New Zealand doing OK here. I’d rather like a wicket


    • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 11:26 am

      Yep. NZ looking very comfortable.


      • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 11:31 am

        Yes! I’d quite like Plunkett to be the hero today


  16. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 11:27 am

    I’m enjoying this. Still find the 50 over format far more interesting than T20: sorry if that puts me out of step.

    Can you imagine England winning the World Cup though? What an opportunity. A wise governing body would of course see it as a strategic triumph and capitalise by downgrading 50-over cricket and not playing it domestically thereafter. How fortunate we are to have the ECB.


    • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 11:32 am

      If I was a neutral, I think I’d be calling it “an absorbing contest” – as it is, lot of teeth gritting going on here.


      • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 11:40 am

        I think I am more neutral than most England fans, partly because NZ would also be a first time winner. But also because I don’t want the ECB revelling in glory. Mind you, seeing as they’re the ECB, they would still look like the fools they are for the reasons already given.

        Scyld Berry has called their attitude to 50-over cricket “brainless” in the Telegraph today (paywall). They’re like the worst imaginable villains: incompetent, venal yet almost entirely unaccountable.


    • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 11:35 am

      Be a bit like The FA announcing after The 1966 World Cup final they would in future be reducing football matches to 20 minutes per half in a brand new format called 20/20 to encourage mothers and kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Sherwick Jul 14, 2019 / 11:47 am

    Plunkett has now got both Kohli and Williamson in this World Cup, both at critical stages just before each had really got going – the two keyest of key wickets!


    • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 11:52 am

      I was worried that the tournament had come a year too late for Plunkett but he’s doing really well.


  18. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 12:08 pm

    I recommend the email from the 29th over of the Guardian OBO. Mark especially will love it. Here’s an excerpt:

    “Anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s should thank Sky for everything they do for the cricket fan.” Also accuses C4 and plebs like me of “shameless cherry picking”.

    (It’s not from Selvey)


    • riverman21 Jul 14, 2019 / 12:25 pm

      Sounds suspiciously like Selvey… Anonymous account?


      • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 12:29 pm

        No it is a well known BTL contributor and freelance writer. He has also written a very similar tweet this morning. Responding to Vaughan making the modest claim on TMS that some children might “stumble across” the match today, he saw fit to say they might have done in 1975 but that’s not what kids do in 2019.

        Schism, as a wise man once said.


    • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 12:57 pm

      Naylor has always been bizarrely pro-Sky.
      It’s mildly amusing that he says “how’s that working for tennis” given the relative rise of both men and women’s tennis. You can exclude Andy Murray as a one off if you like, but both Davis and Fed Cup teams have slowly risen in the rankings…


      • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 1:01 pm

        Of course he avoids direct comparison with the other big team sports, because that would leave him without a leg to stand on. “Cherry picking” doesn’t come into it because certain matches and tournaments are protected. Nothing in cricket is protected. Nothing. I thought that was the whole point of the debate.


    • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 1:14 pm

      It’s not that he likes Sky, it’s that he takes an unhealthy delight in the fact that many people can’t see live cricket that staggers me. If he thinks that is going to grow the game he is a moron.

      There is something very odd about a particular type of Guardian reader that seems more pleased that so many people are not watching cricket. Who would have thought that so many Guardian loyalists are such snobs?

      It really pisses them off that this final is free to air. Seems to have made them unhinged.


      • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 1:35 pm

        We have people benefiting from FTA who begrudge having to change channel due to F1, and people so pro-Sky they appear to begrudge C4 having one match unless they pay suitable homage.

        As I think C-3PO said, sometimes I just don’t understand human behaviour.


  19. Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 12:08 pm

    NZ will do very well to get 250 from here.

    I’m still standing by my view this is a poor pitch for a major ODI final. I want England to win,but you want a contest as well.


    • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 12:11 pm

      250 may be a good score.


      • dannycricket Jul 14, 2019 / 12:13 pm

        Only if they get into England very early. England’s lower order can probably managed 5 per over, so if the top order doesn’t fall below that or totally collapse then 250 should be easy.

        Damn. I’ve jinxed them now, haven’t I?


        • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 12:40 pm

          I suspect you may have. I really should have more faith in out batting line up


  20. metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 12:20 pm

    That burned review might really be crucial – Wood gets Taylor LBW, but you wonder about the height…


    • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 12:22 pm

      Yep, confirmed via Hawkeye


    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 12:23 pm

      TBF, live I thought that was a worse decision than Dharmasena not giving Williamson’s edge.


  21. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 12:22 pm

    Seriously, the umpiring this game is poor. That is three howlers inside 35 overs.

    Pathetic. And that is apparently the best the ICC aspires to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 1:20 pm

      I know this won’t be popular, but I don’t like the one review rule. I think it makes a mockery of the whole thing. Umpires go from having no pressure on them when the review is still intact to huge pressure once it’s gone.

      I know the ICC don’t want to have more reviews for time issues, but if the umpires are going to keep making mistakes then perhaps more reviews are needed.

      The players don’t help themselves on this because they would review everything if there were unlimited reviews.


  22. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 12:45 pm

    Plunkett you little beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 12:58 pm

    So, NZ clearly heading for a modest total here. The question is will England blow it away like they did to Aus, or will there be complications? I suspect the former, but being cricket, who can say?


    • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 1:11 pm

      Pitch looks like it is slowing up, so that should help NZ.


  24. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 1:13 pm

    I’m glad you called out that “gripped the country” nonsense.


  25. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 1:16 pm

    Why is Woakes not being given his full 10 overs AGAIN?


  26. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 1:33 pm

    And why are the umpires allowing specialist fielders (hard to call Vince a batsman) while there is no injury?


    • mdpayne87 Jul 14, 2019 / 1:36 pm

      Wood is injured, isn’t he? Said it was a side strain on comms.


      • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 1:44 pm

        Yep, he was obviously in pain as he walked off.


      • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 1:45 pm

        He bowled out his full quota of overs with a side strain picked up? While there were presumable non-injured alternatives (Rashid, Stokes, Woakes)? Yeah, I am really buying that.


        • metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 1:54 pm

          I guess you weren’t watching when he tweaked it, it was fielding after he’d bowled.
          Sometimes you can just see the pain on a player’s face.


          • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 2:06 pm

            I certainly was not watching. There are other sports on, as people in the UK are well aware. And I did not see who was substituted since it was not mentioned in any of the score-providing options.

            But honestly, I am sick and tired of substitute fielders.

            No bowler or batsman should get a replacement while fielding, unless they have broken a leg, suffered a concussion, or suffered other debilitating injuries, and will not take any further part (batting, bowling or fielding) for the remainder of the game. It is supposed to be 11 against 11 not 11 + subs vs. 11 + subs.


  27. metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 1:45 pm

    If you’d told the team at the beginning of the tournament “chase down 242 to win the WC” I think they’d take it.

    That said the pitch is looking as crap as most through the tournament, so chasing is going to be tough.


    • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 2:00 pm

      I think once NZ lost Williamson the plan seemed to be to try and get to 250, and then put everything on the first 20 overs with the new ball.

      It might work if they can bowl well and knock over the top four or five for 80-100.

      Thing is, NZ won the toss so could have put England in this morning, so no sympathy for them if this pitch flattens out this afternoon.

      But I don’t think it’s a good pitch. If England struggle we could get a tight finish, and everybody will say how great a wicket it was to create an exciting match.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 2:25 pm

    I’ll just say I’m amazed the same man can give Taylor and not give Roy in real time and leave it there.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 2:39 pm

      Ian Smith calls it “missing leg” in real time. Which is what Erasmus decided. Then he gets a bit uppity when it goes against New Zealand. I’m not buying his outrage.

      If you called it in time, you get to be mad.

      What you did get a preview of is Roy opening in the Ashes. Hold this thought against me if he’s picked and he succeeds, but he’s as alike to a test match opener as Ian Botham would have been.


      • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 2:45 pm

        It’s an indication of how bare the cupboard is that he probably will open. If the pitches are good he could have some success, but it could be ugly.


    • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 2:41 pm

      Umpires call is becoming a real issue I think. I get the point of it, but the inconsistencies are becoming stark.


      • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 2:46 pm

        Yeah, even more ridiculous that Roy would have been saved on umpire’s call, yet the howler from Erasmus could not be challenged.

        I mean, as much as we may expect the players to be competent and on their best behaviour and all that, surely the players ought not to be punished for the incompetence of the officialdom either?

        Seriously, buy a bit of computing power and you can have real time DRS.


  29. LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    I have no idea what Joe Root was up to there. A major temperamental flaw there. England are getting away from what got them to this position. I know there’s a balance to be struck, but it is as if they can’t accelerate and have persuaded themselves that this is a minefield. It is reminding me of the 1983 Final.

    England are, for the first time today, telling me that they won’t win.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 3:29 pm

    Simon Doull is talking bollocks. We didn’t say England didn’t have to turn up, just hand it over. He obviously doesn’t know English sport. The scribes might get over confident but the fans, the true fans haven’t. England has the better players, overall. But to pretend England gave New Zealand no chance, and Isa is putting them right, makes them muppets. Ganguly is stirring, I expect better from Simon Doull.


  31. LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 3:32 pm

    I never liked 50 over cricket anyway.

    Oh, well done Sourav. Rubbing it in with Isa Guha. You are a fucking charmer.


    • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 3:43 pm

      I’m going to rename Sean after the legend that was CMJ. He was sometimes teased because he often didn’t call out the score. People in cars for twenty minutes would be screaming at the radio……”what is the frigging score…..

      Sean managed not to call the score once on his stint of live blogging.,.Excellent!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 3:33 pm

    I’ve just confirmed for myself (via that wicket) that More 4 is about 15-20 seconds ahead of TMS. Always thought that radio was ahead.


  33. Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 3:45 pm

    It’s on. The kiwi squeeze. Cunning buggers, punch above their weight, more than the sum of their parts, all the cliches, etc etc, but it’s true.


    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 3:51 pm

      You won’t hear much of it on these shores (certainly not from Derek Pringle), but there’s a very strong argument that NZ were more unlucky than England in the 1992 World Cup. 7 wins out of 8 and then done in the semi by an innings that would be a bit of a freak in an ODI even today.

      I’ve always felt that the only World Cup we really should have won was the one where Gatting f***ed it against your lot.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 3:58 pm

      I can’t help but feel that England have got it in their heads that this is a shitheap. They need a partnership.

      But I have no faith in this team’s bottle under chasing pressure. New Zealand are bowling brilliantly.


      • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 4:08 pm

        I will swiftly correct myself as we actually lost the CT *semi* to Pak in 2017. Also I’m an accountant who can’t count, as defeat today would still make it six defeats to five different countries regardless of that error.


    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 4:02 pm

      I might add that (having been too young for 1979) I’ve seen England play in six ICC finals before today, losing five of them to four different countries (today would make it six defeats to five different countries if the worst happens):

      2 World Cups Aus, Pak
      3 CTs WI, Ind, Pak
      1 World T20 WI

      There’s something of the White about us as a cricketing nation.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 4:05 pm

        Minor correction. Lost to Pakistan in the Champions semi. Lost to West Indies in a World T20 Final.


        • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 4:10 pm

          You will see I corrected myself on the first point in the meantime!

          The second I’ve already included, haven’t I? (We lost a CT final to them as well in 2004)


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 4:13 pm

            I’m not thinking straight. I just remember the name.

            I always think on wickets like this 100 off the last 15 is the most you want to chase. Which means another 32 in the next 7 overs.

            CdG is bringing back horror Gavin Larsen flashbacks.


  34. mdpayne87 Jul 14, 2019 / 4:00 pm

    Should have picked Darren Stevens on this pitch.


  35. LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    Stokes is getting Joe’d here. Bogged down. Getting jittery. Something is going to give.


    • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 4:17 pm

      Yea, and that was at shitty Lords as well. I loath the place.

      I’m going to explode with a rant about Lords soon. The only thing stopping me is I’m quite relaxed about the result as so much goodwill to the England team has been stolen from me by the ECB.

      If it was 2005 I would be spitting feathers.


    • Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 4:24 pm

      The English are loaded with baggage, and not just in cricket. That’s why you invented Monty Python, because of the absurdity of it all.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 4:37 pm

        He ain’t lying. It’s why that all-conquering rugby team of the early 2000s knackered itself so much it fell apart in a heartbeat.

        See also 2005 Ashes winners.

        See also 2013 Ashes winners.


      • Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 5:10 pm

        Oh, not saying England can’t win, they have done throughout history, sometimes in cricket. They just seem to get themselves in an unnecessary tangle sometimes. If you question that, I would point to the fact that Johnson is likely to be your next PM, for some reason that escapes me.
        Anyway, back to the cricket


  36. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 4:18 pm

    It is just one partnership needed for England. Certainly not out of reach.


    • OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 4:29 pm

      They just need to keep ticking over until 10 remain. Even if it’s 10 an over a well set Buttler and Stokes should be able to make that.


  37. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 4:19 pm

    @TLG 17:03

    If it’s any consolation, I nearly posted that Jimmy White link an hour ago (when Root was out) but thought I’d leave it for a more opportune moment!


      • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 4:25 pm

        Helps that he’s always the first thing I think of when sporting heartbreak comes up. 1994 in particular hurt more than every England football semi-final. I honestly think only losing the Edgbaston Test of 2005 could have felt worse.


  38. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 4:57 pm

    Really appreciated seeing Prince Andrew there, and the silence of the commentators.


  39. Sherwick Jul 14, 2019 / 5:00 pm

    It’s the hope thst kills you.


  40. LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 5:06 pm

    Frankly, I’ve had my fill of Sourav Ganguly’s commentary today.

    Also, has someone kidnapped Nasser Hussain? Or did I imagine him commentating earlier?


  41. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 5:25 pm

    Needs a massive choke now for New Zealand to win this.


    • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 5:28 pm

      Next ball Southee (substitute) takes a blinder. Great for the contest (was getting too easy for England), but not happy that it is 11 + subs vs 11 + subs.


  42. LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 5:29 pm

    One of the best ODI players in the world couldn’t score at the required rate. We now ask England’s lower order to do what he couldn’t.

    I make New Zealand favourites here.


    • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 5:33 pm

      I reckon we’re fucked (and then Stokes hits a four. Seriously, I can’t take much more of this)


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 5:36 pm

        Sadly, add this to Bradshaw/Browne and the meltdown at Edgbaston, but at a bigger occasion.

        They left themselves too much to do.


        • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 5:40 pm

          Given his last over in that 20/20 final, it would be awesome if Stokes hit the winning run


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 5:48 pm

            England have not hit a six the entire innings? They need at least two now.


  43. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 5:35 pm

    Dobell pointing out that England gave away 30 extra’s – that’s huge on this pitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 5:44 pm

    Looks like FTA is not helped by a Wimbledon epic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 5:53 pm

      Yeah, 2 saved CPs and 11-11 deuce isn’t really fair on the poor ECB… 😉


    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 5:55 pm

      See above with HUGE KNOBS on. 38 years I have NEVER SEEN THAT. NEVER.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 5:51 pm

    If as looks likely the Kiwis win this, I have to admire Guptil for immediately signalling 6 when Boult hit the rope. They are such a likeable side.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 5:54 pm

    So fucking close……………..


  47. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 5:55 pm

    England will win this.

    9 from 3 needed.


  48. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 5:55 pm

    Oh that is so cruel


    • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 5:58 pm

      Bit rich that you can be out obstructing the field, but you can also win the World Cup obstructing the field with the bat.

      Liked by 1 person

  49. OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 6:00 pm

    Is it wrong to say I would love a super over (without really knowing what the rules are)


    • OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 6:01 pm

      Obviously I still want England to win.


  50. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 6:02 pm

    Super over. Did not expect that. Honestly, just share the damn trophy.


    • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:05 pm

      Sounds good to me – especially after that “6”


  51. Sherwick Jul 14, 2019 / 6:03 pm

    who to bat for England? Stokes and Buttler? Buttler and Roy?? Roy and Stokes???


  52. Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 6:04 pm

    Sorry NZ, life is so terribly unfair sometimes.


  53. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 6:07 pm

    I’m not a religious man by any means, but after that finish it is my considered opinion that God supports free to air international cricket in the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. BoredInAustria Jul 14, 2019 / 6:07 pm

    Following on Cricinfo and TMS
    and then this on TMS:
    “It might be the best cricket match of all time.”


    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 6:11 pm

      Oh. They just had to go there, didn’t they? How iconic of them.


      • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:16 pm

        To be fair, it’s up there.


  55. Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 6:08 pm

    England bowled 17 wides to NZ 12.

    If England lose you could argue that is the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:12 pm

    Am I the only one who can’t stop shaking?


  57. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:15 pm

    Good over. This will test Archer’s temperament.


  58. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 6:16 pm

    New Zealand need sixteen. Not going to happen.


    • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:16 pm

      You had to say it, didn’t you


      • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 6:21 pm

        Of course. Because it is not going to happen.

        Liked by 1 person

  59. OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 6:16 pm

    Come on Archer!


    • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:17 pm

      Prior to this game, he had bowled the most dot balls in the tournament


      • Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 6:19 pm

        2 dot balls would be very nice right now. 3 would be gold.


        • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:21 pm

          How nervous must he be? I wouldn’t be able to hit the pitch.


  60. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:20 pm

    Remember all the chat about whether or not England should pick Archer in the squad?


  61. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:30 pm

    That is just so fucking cruel. But my yelling may have woken up the whole street!


  62. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 6:30 pm

    MOM Marais Erasmus. The difference between the two sides.


  63. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 6:30 pm

    The first thing I am going to say is: that is the unluckiest defeat I have ever seen in professional sport and nothing is going to change my mind.

    Liked by 3 people

  64. Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 6:31 pm

    It’s like 2005 never went away……….

    Oh wait….

    Liked by 2 people

  65. Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 6:32 pm

    Bollocks. NZ defeated by an unlucky deflection. Sorry, I’d like to be magnimonious, but that was bollocks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 6:41 pm

      I walked a line for the whole match and I really don’t want to detract from anyone’s celebration. But I don’t feel celebratory at all. I was 50/50 at the end, but naah, still ended up thinking about the whole sport being about to disappear again (until the fucking Hundred) and the injustice of the ECB claiming credit for a win that doesn’t even qualify as “by the skin of their teeth” and thought: nope, I’d rather the nice guys won it.

      It was a golden day, honestly, but it hasn’t changed me at all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 6:55 pm

      Yeah, got to be happy it was a great close game. Not much more I can say about it though. I suppose England hung in there long enough to be in a position to win, and the rules are the rules.

      The triumphalism of English team and the ECB is going to be unbearable now.

      Root says it was great that Stokes had a good game, “after all he’s been through”. You mean when he got arrested by the police after a drunken brawl and putting a guy in hospital, is that what he went through?

      Liked by 2 people

      • OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 7:15 pm

        Yep, tough to miss the last Ashes because some bloke randomly got in front of his fists. Feel weird, very happy to win, but they didn’t just get the rub of the green, they had the luck of the Irish


      • man in a barrel Jul 14, 2019 / 7:15 pm

        It’s a tough life when people ask why someone paid more than £100k is filmed in a bar brawl


      • Quebecer Jul 14, 2019 / 7:27 pm

        BAHHHH-HAH HAH HAH HAHHA!!!!!! No, stop, now isn’t the time for – AHHH HA HA HAH HA HA HA!

        Turns out it is,

        Liked by 1 person

  66. OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 6:34 pm

    Wow, feel for New Zealand. They made enough and put the squeeze on almost perfectly.
    Wow Archer a wide and a 6 in the first 3 deliveries and you held your nerve and won the World Cup for England.
    Happy for this team, glad FTA had a victory for kids to watch, even my 15 year old daughter watched it.


  67. dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 6:44 pm

    The boundaries rule is farcical. It is like awarding a tied Test to whichever side played out more dots.

    Liked by 2 people

    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 6:49 pm

      I mean that’s just it. It’s certainly further from natural justice than the old “number of wickets lost”.

      I do hope, amidst the celebrations and self-satisfaction, someone asks Harrison and Graves why they’re downgrading 50-over cricket from next year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Burly Jul 15, 2019 / 8:15 am

        Wickets lost just screws the chasing team. They’re told to chase a score of x using their 10 wickets. Punishing them for using their 10 wickets to chase that score makes no sense whatsoever.


  68. Mark Jul 14, 2019 / 6:49 pm

    If Sky can’t flog a bunch of subscriptions on the back of this then there is no hopefor cricket. The best piece of advertising they will ever get.. Sometimes you need to offer a loss leader to get people in.

    The players will be household names in a way they have never been for 14 years. SP team of the year?

    Really bad luck to NZ. To be fair, but for a bit of luck with the overthrows and some amazing batting by Stokes, and Butler in the 50 overs, they were winning this comfortably.

    This will hurt big time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 7:08 pm

      SP of the year, on the basis of 4 hours of television? I doubt it will have made that much of an impact. Especially since the next 50 over game in England is months away (assuming that the Ashes do not come with another set of ODIs against Australia, even if it is just about a tradition to have ODIs against Australia in each calendar year).

      Don’t even think that the players will become household names. For that there was too little build up in the public domain towards this day. There might be a slight uptick in participation, but given the paywall, I’d be surprised if it lasts more than one summer.

      That is just the sad reality. And it seems doubtful that one day of (interrupted) entertainment will not cause masses of people to spend 1k a year on watching the game. Most people simply don’t have that kind of disposable income, or the time.

      Congratulations to England and congratulations to India for winning the World Cup 2023.They are a shoe-in, like all the other home sides since 2011.


  69. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 6:54 pm

    I’m waiting for Nasser to say “Redemption for Stokes.”

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Sherwick Jul 14, 2019 / 6:54 pm

    What a throw by Jason Roy! Like a bullet!

    Very well done England, who in their last 4 matchest best NZ, India, Australia and NZ again!


  71. nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 6:56 pm

    It’s times like these you have to swallow very hard and remember parental wisdom. If you can’t say anything nice about the presentation party, don’t say anything at all.

    Good old Sachin. And I guess the guy next to him might be all right. That’ll do.


  72. Marek Jul 14, 2019 / 7:01 pm

    I claim my BTL BIngo prize.

    “Can we stop with the moaning about the world cup not being on “free” television. If you are interested in watching cricket then pay for it. Do you say the same thing when you go watch a match in person, I should be able to get in for free, its not fair I have to pay”.

    (Posted after the end of the match. Hey, fuck celebrating/commiserating/enjoying a magnificent game, let’s just whinge!)


    • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 7:13 pm

      Bit rich that the comment was placed on a FREE platform.


  73. dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 7:01 pm

    Williamson is all class


  74. BoredInAustria Jul 14, 2019 / 7:02 pm

    Fair play to Stokes:
    “Playing against New Zealand is always a good event, they are good lads. I will be apologising to Kane for the rest of my life”


  75. CowCorner Jul 14, 2019 / 7:13 pm

    Can’t remember a game of any sport with so many twists and turns. Compelling watching. Very hard on NZ, a great bunch of guys. Probably the better side on the day too. The rules are the rules I suppose.


  76. Metatone Jul 14, 2019 / 7:14 pm

    Happy for the England players, esp. Archer, you just know he would have been made to wear it for life if they lost.

    Gutted for NZ, 3 pieces of bad luck at least that dug England out of holes – always hideous to lose on penalties.

    On balance, I’m not sure England deserved it, although the pitch was another crappy “win the toss, bat first and you’ll have the advantage” so again, while I hate the ECB I’ll be forever glad for Archer and Rashid and some others.


    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 7:23 pm

      Not sure penalties is the right analogy. As unsatisfying as I find them, at least goals are a primary resource in football. It’s more like a World Cup final being decided on corners instead. Does anyone know why “number of wickets lost” was abandoned in case of ties, given that wickets are clearly the other primary resource in cricket alongside runs?

      BTW I hope Ian Smith won the BOC commentary World Cup. He deserves it for his Super Over performance alone.


      • SYH Jul 14, 2019 / 7:27 pm

        I think the reason that doesn’t work is that there are situations in limited-overs cricket where losing wickets starts not to matter, or may even be tactically advantageous. In any case the super over is just a contrivance to force a result, and is never going to be inherently fair.


        • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 7:33 pm

          Well yes, clearly it would have been equally unfair to punish England for those two run outs while chasing the win in the final over. I’m definitely going with unlucky for NZ not unjust. I was just interested in the rationale for the decision.


          • Burly Jul 15, 2019 / 8:17 am

            Wickets are intentionally a resource for teams to spend when chasing a total, and punishing teams for spending those wickets when reaching that total is very unfair. It’s a huge advantage to the batting team.


      • dlpthomas Jul 14, 2019 / 7:28 pm

        Smith was excellent. Pity he’s not staying for the Ashes.
        It’s 0530 in the morning here, I’m not sure it is worth going to bed.


    • OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 7:25 pm

      I thought NZ were the better team on the day, but England were probably on balance the best team in the world cup. When they had to, they beat India, NZ and absolutely destroyed Australia (watching Roy take Steve Smith apart will live long in the memory, because whilst he’s not a bowler it was indicative as to how lost Australia felt and how desperate they were to take a wicket, and Roy just went ‘f*ck that, put a proper bowler and show me some respect’).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 7:35 pm

        “I thought NZ were the better team on the day, but England were probably on balance the best team in the world cup.”
        Yep, that’s probably fair. Can’t deny England overall, but shit they got lucky today.


        • OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 7:54 pm

          “Casual racism alert!!” – Must be their Irish captain.


  77. Quebecer Jul 14, 2019 / 7:19 pm

    Never really in doubt, was it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 7:39 pm

      What, you mean it was fixed?


      • quebecer Jul 14, 2019 / 8:30 pm

        Most certainly. How else can you explain the Aussie performance in the semis if they weren’t throwing the match? Surely there shouldn’t have been THAT much of a gulf between them and England.


      • quebecer Jul 14, 2019 / 8:34 pm

        Fred, apologies. I promise to be much more magnanimous if we ever win the World Cup again*.

        * We won’t ever win it again.


        • Deep Purple Fred Jul 14, 2019 / 10:14 pm

          England beat Australia fair and square, I have no problem with that, my ego is not invested in my country nor it’s cricket team.
          England beat India in a very mystifying game, which makes me wonder who actually controls the agenda.
          England got the edge on NZ today through an outrageous quirk of fate. I can’t pretend to be happy about it, but that’s sport. At least it was a good close game.
          Apology for that comment accepted, but only because it’s you, and you must be chuffed.


          • quebecer Jul 14, 2019 / 11:14 pm

            Yeah, I kinda am 🙂


    • OscarDaBosca Jul 14, 2019 / 7:35 pm

      dw you’ll hear about this for bloody years!!! 66 and all that


    • Quebecer Jul 14, 2019 / 7:38 pm

      The tennis was excellent and Lewis Hamilton won the Grand Prix.

      Liked by 2 people

  78. Zephirine Jul 14, 2019 / 7:35 pm

    Lots of fabulous stuff going on there. Could have gone either way, a tie/joint winners would have been the fair result IMO. So pleased for Morgan and all the Eng team but really tough for NZ.

    A really good aspect of the super over is that a number of viewers will have turned to C4 for the news and seen the end of the match instead. The downside is that they’ll now expect cricket to be that exciting all the time.

    PS I still think Kane Williamson looks better without the beard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 8:43 pm

      We need a beard to be feared in international cricket. Amla’s beard is not feared anymore. And who else qualifies?


      • Zephirine Jul 14, 2019 / 9:02 pm

        I’m sure Kohli would nominate himself for that role. He suits a beard though, I don’t think it does anything for Kane.

        While I’m being a girly fan, can I just say that it was a treat to see the very wonderful Paul Collingwood there, having himself taken England to a world title in 2010 and now helping the ODI team to win this one.


        • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 9:15 pm

          Kohli had a rather poor World Cup to say the least. Not even a single hundred. Rohit was really the wicket to get in the Indian lineup. Kohli averages 28.83 in all knockout games, with just 2 fifties from 15 innings, both of which came in the semis of the Champions Trophy (2013 against Sri Lanka, 2017 against Bangladesh).

          Kohli’s beard is not feared on the biggest stage. Maybe in 2023.


  79. quebecer Jul 14, 2019 / 8:43 pm

    Brilliant astounding… best game ever played?

    All possible commiserations to the Kiwis. In such a tight affair between so evenly matched teams (and on that wicket!) England did incredibly well to stay in it. With the excellence of the Kiwi bowling, and chasing on a wicket upon which it got more and more difficult to score freely, England played themselves in to a position where it would be a few lucky breaks that decided it – but I think you have to credit England for getting themselves to that position!

    Sport is as brutal as it is brilliant, as heartbreaking as it is euphoric. Luck always matters, and when two teams are so good and playing to their fullest, it’s not altogether surprising that luck is involved in the result.

    Two excellent teams going at it like that in a world final? It simply doesn’t get better than what we saw today. Truly wonderful sport.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. jomesy Jul 14, 2019 / 8:49 pm

    Sorry if these points have been made above, we (as a family) have just finished the game.

    A few thoughts.

    1. Wow – England were lucky but that’s what is takes
    2. Ben Stokes is clearly the man ECB/Sky want to promote
    3. Stokes is a cock – he can’t leave the cameras when Archer is being interviewed, and thinks it’s ok to click his fingers whilst Archer is being interview
    3. Well done Archer – personally I’d have gone with Plunkett
    4. Kane and his team are brilliant…and very easy to like
    5. Ben Stokes is a cock – he played well enough, but he should have finished it before the super over…now I’m going to be told what a great man he is forever
    6. Well done Morgan – he has lead this team superbly.
    7. The prize givers:

    Colin “very tanned/very thick/very redundant/very white teeth” Graves

    Prince Edward: friend to convicted paedophiles…

    Captain corruption.

    Well done England. Next time let’s not play at Lord’s. It’s way too linked to 500 years ago.

    Finally, we’ll done BOC on the OBO.


  81. jomesy Jul 14, 2019 / 8:57 pm

    8. Root was shit today


  82. LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2019 / 9:10 pm

    A million and one things buzzing around my head. But one keeps on keeping on.

    The ECB are blessed. They have just been handed a legacy similar to that which they had in 2005. For excitement this was a four hour slow torture, and then the super over. The finale would also have benefited from lapsed cricket fans who prefer tennis turning over after an epic Wimbledon Men’s Final ended. The audience numbers will be fascinating.

    The ECB have been given a gift from the gods. Imagine this game not on FTA. Imagine it pnly on pay TV. Now imagine the legacy that could be maintained as a result. ECB. It’s in YOUR hands. Don’t blow it.

    An example. My next door neighbour has never ever shown an interest in cricket. She was watching it on a TV feed slightly behind mine. I could hear her going mad when Stokes hit those two fours. She cheered when Jofra Archer bowled the wide because she thought that meant no runs. She might not have a clue about all of the rules, but she knows sport. She works in a primary school and runs some of their sporting activities. She can now tell her pupils all about it, and they might know. It might inspire one young kid to make cricket their game. Free to Air. Access. Visibility.

    We’ve not decided who will do the report tomorrow. But I’m exhausted, and excited, and proud and all that. But I think as Arron said, by the skin of their teeth doesn’t do it justice.

    But sport is sport. And when the stakes are high, stakes that can’t be manufactured, it works like nothing else.

    What a day.


    • nonoxcol Jul 14, 2019 / 9:33 pm

      Surely, unless they tear up their much-publicised domestic one-day strategy for 2020 and beyond, they have already blown it?

      That’s my starting point and why I took limited pleasure in the result.


      • dArthez Jul 14, 2019 / 9:44 pm

        What is more, this result will only be used as justification for that. Which is why it would have been better for English cricket if New Zealand had won.

        It would be absurd to expect many people part with the better part of a thousand pounds a year just to watch cricket. There might be a few people who top up there existing Sky subscriptions, but it will be months before they’ll get another 50 over game. (Also not being helped by limited disposable income for a large part of the population, and the fact that they will have to go to school / work / other commitments when a lot of the games are on).

        It is extremely doubtful that the Ashes will come even close to the drama of today.

        In a few months all the good that today has done for cricket in England will have been squandered.


    • Zephirine Jul 14, 2019 / 10:24 pm

      I thought the fanzone in Trafalgar Square was a really good idea. Surprised to see it on TV as I didn’t know they were having one in such a conspicuous situation. Gave the event more importance somehow.


  83. Nicholas Jul 14, 2019 / 10:51 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a day. I did forget my cynicism and I enjoyed the finale of the match (having watched every ball on C4 right the way thorough until Morgan’s dismissal) the way that all tense cricket matches should be – frantically refreshing the BBC Sport app whilst playing the organ at a church service!

    But, actually, in a way that made it more special. I will never forget where I was whilst all that was going on (in the same way that I still remember every beat of the 2005 series and exactly my whereabouts for all of that).

    I’m not afraid to say that I was quite emotional by the end – it was a nailbiter, one to match the 2005 Ashes, it was live on Channel 4 and it demonstrated what cricket is and can be. Just like in 2005 we now have to endure the sport disappearing behind the paywall again, but for one day I will forget that. It was one day of paradise – absolutely thrilling sport, a match in which England came out the right side of (through no small amount of luck) and one which, I hope, will let the nation know how wonderful our sport is once more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marek Jul 15, 2019 / 10:01 am

      “…frantically refreshing the BBC Sport app whilst playing the organ at a church service!…”



  84. Northern Light Jul 14, 2019 / 11:41 pm

    It’s late and I’ve spent the day carrying boxes and furniture up and down stairs and checking the cricket score now and again when I could. I feel as if I should be feeling it all a bit more. It’s still really hard for me to get that excited about what was, by any objective view, an incredibly tense and exciting game of cricket. I feel like I’m sort of glad England won, just because, but I don’t really think they deserved it on the day and I dislike the rules and the whole super over/number of boundaries thing that finally decided which team got the trophy when both teams scored exactly the same number of runs, though one lost fewer wickets while doing so.

    Maybe in the super over you should have to send out the batsmen who would be due if your innings continued? Then the trophy would have been going south. Much as I dislike football analogies, it’s a bit like allowing a player to take a penalty in a shoot out even though they were sent off during normal time…..

    So, explaining cricket to a newcomer after today. How come both teams scored the same number of runs but one team won? Because of the WAY they scored the runs. Ah, that makes perfect sense then……

    I’m sure it made a lot of people happy. I don’t begrudge success to a lot of the ODI team who mostly seem like a likeable bunch. I really dislike the whole Stokes narrative, but that’s just a personal thing. I’m glad that Rashid could walk up to Mike Selvey and flash him a winners medal while asking if he still thought he bowled too slowly. I’m sad that the ECB will accrue reflected glory and kudos which they have in no way deserved or earned.

    I really don’t think it’ll make much difference to the decline of cricket in the UK, I’m afraid. For all the “new” fans that tuned in for this one day, how many are really going to carry on being interested a year down the line, given the lack of much for them to see without Sky TV in the next 6 months?

    I know, I’m a miserable git. I’d better just go to sleep 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • rpoultz Jul 15, 2019 / 7:03 am

      I’m sort of with you to be honest. I feel like a miserable old git because I haven’t really felt fully engrossed in England’s run to the final and eventual win. I think there is a part of me that has felt that the praise Strauss will get and the ECB in turn just detracts from not just this but any England victory. They will be calling Strauss the architect for turning England into all conquering champions despite realistically the manner of the win of a tied game, in which and extra 4 runs were scored from a ricochet, and then a tied super over. Not to mention that they were beaten 3 times in the tournament itself and finished third in the table. But as I say I am a miserable old git. The game itself was mad and what an advert for the game for anyone who managed to tune in. I don’t think it’s going to translate into the numbers cricket needs to revive itself in this country but that is a massive problem that needs more than one match to fix, and Vaughan is talking out of his arse surprisingly. But for one day cricket was back on the TV in the country and hopefully it wont be just one day.


  85. quebecer Jul 15, 2019 / 1:24 am

    I was just musing a composite team for this World Cup. Interestingly, not many Englishmen would get in, but a fair few Aussies! I’d say you have to start with Warner and Rohit, although a very real case could be made for Jason Roy, as even without the weight of runs, his influence on games is astounding. Then the thing is, there just isn’t room formal three of Root, Williamson, and Virat, so it has to be Shakib at 3 and Smith at 4.

    Stokes at #5 is a no brainer, and then despite not scoring big, it’s hard to think of another player at #6 that any team would want more than Buttler.

    #7? Alex Carey. Well played him.

    As for bowlers, Jasprit has to play, but after that, it’s tough. Starc? I think it has to be, which leaves space for one more quick and the spinner. Both Indian leggies were very good, but as a #8, excellent fielder, and very smart spinner on the variety of pitches we’ve seen, I’d go with Santner, leaving the last bowling spot to his mate Lockie Ferguson.

    1. Warner
    2. Rohit
    3. Shakib
    4. Smith
    5. Stokes
    6. Buttler
    7. Carey (wk)
    8. Santner
    9. Starc
    10. Ferguson
    11. Bumrah


    • quebecer Jul 15, 2019 / 1:38 am

      Ooops, for “Then the thing is, there just isn’t room formal three of..”, please read “Then the thing is, there just isn’t room for ALL three of..”


    • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2019 / 5:34 am

      Leaving out the player of the tournament winner is…. brave.


      • Quebecer Jul 15, 2019 / 5:16 pm

        Ok, firstly, zeph doesn’t think Williamson’s beard does anything for him, and that’s good enough for me. So sorry, Kane, back off to Hobbiton with you.

        #3 and #4 are interesting positions, and it’s interesting that many of the #4s haven’t been big hitters as such. For balance of the team, I went with Shakib at 3 not only because of the consistency of runs and their rate, but also because he’s the only one that can also give good overs sharing the 5th bowler role. I think it’s a huge asset.

        But then why Smith? Simply because he can do the job that Root and Williamsn do but also clear the ropes.

        However, I think metatone’s point about Roy Nostradamus of Warner is probably right, as much as anything because of the freedom it gives Rohit.

        The bowling for me started with who simply has to play, and of all the quicks on show, it has to be Bumrah. But then Amir, Boult, and Starc… not much to choose between them, is there? I went with starc as his ability to take wickets at any stage has been the quality most sort after in this tournament. As I don’t want two lefties, the other spot for a quick, I actually think Archer is the other best bet with Ferguson. All about balance, I realize.


    • metatone Jul 15, 2019 / 5:50 am

      Not sure about Rohit and Warner, they are too similar.
      I’d rather have Rohit and Roy.


      Rohit Av: 81 SR: 98
      Warner Av: 71 SR: 89
      Roy: Av: 63 SR: 115

      (Side note looking at the strike rates, Dhawan’s injury probably lost India the SF.)

      Smith had an awful WC: Av: 38 SR: 86

      If we’re reluctant to choose any of the Big 3 (Williamson, Root, Kohli), I’d recommend Babar Azam (Av: 68 SR: 88) or Liton Das who looks a real young talent: Av: 46 SR: 110

      For seam bowling craft and big wickets (whereas Ferguson’s figures were spruced with 4/37 in an early game against AFG) I’d take Amir.

      (Side note: looking at the averages, these were terrible pitches for the spinners… even relatively average seamers did better.)

      Santner is a good choice for Econ, but I’d take Chahal as taking more wickets, better SR and better average. Still, that’s a philosophy difference.

      (Final side note: looking at the batting and bowling figures from a couple of matches, it seems on these pitches, India may have been much better off playing Jadeja in more matches… although of course he played (well!) in the SF they lost, so it probably doesn’t change much. I couldn’t pick him for the tournament team because he didn’t play enough to treat his figures as a true picture, but he’s so much of a better batsmen than the other spinners the fact that he looks like he would have bowled pretty much as well makes not picking him for 50 overs cricket a bit odd…)


      • metatone Jul 15, 2019 / 5:56 am

        One extra side note: It’s easy to miss just how good Shakib was in this WC:

        Shakib: AV: 86 SR: 96
        Williamson AV: 82 SR: 75
        Sharma: AV: 81 SR: 98
        Root: AV: 62 SR: 90
        Kohli: AV: 55 SR: 94


        • metatone Jul 15, 2019 / 6:02 am

          And indeed, some might say that given that Shakib was a decent bowler in the tournament too, he has a good case to be Player (as opposed to Player/Captain) of the tournament…


          • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2019 / 6:40 am

            I wouldn’t be replacing Shakib. Can’t see any case for Smith over Williamson unless you want his extra 11 runs per 100 balls.


  86. metatone Jul 15, 2019 / 6:11 am

    Loved this:

    “Eoin, do you think you had the luck of the Irish with you today?”

    [Laughing] “Well, Adil said we had Allah on our side too, so we had that as well. It’s the rub of the green.

    “It’s also reflective of our team; we’re a diverse side & we brought that togethr today.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas Jul 15, 2019 / 8:33 am

      At which point the heads of Piers Morgan and Nigel Farage exploded in the corporate box pictured above. I’d hate to have clean that mess up. (and it wouldn’t be the first time those two left a mess for some-one else to clean up)


  87. Northern Light Jul 15, 2019 / 6:43 am

    I know alternative history is a bit of a blind alley sometimes, but can anyone imagine the crisis in World Cricket right now if India had lost in those circumstances yesterday?

    Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas Jul 15, 2019 / 8:34 am

      Very few teams would have been as gracious in defeat as the Kiwi’s after that game. I really want to be a New Zealander when I grow up.


  88. nonoxcol Jul 15, 2019 / 7:02 am

    Liked by 1 person

  89. nonoxcol Jul 15, 2019 / 7:59 am

    Well, d’Arthez in particular will be interested in this.

    Looks like those umpires may have stuffed up again.


    • Deep Purple Fred Jul 15, 2019 / 8:11 am

      Huh. I wonder if that means the win should not be considered legitimate?


      • Burly Jul 15, 2019 / 8:21 am

        Only if we revisit some crap decisions involving wides being given / not given…


      • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2019 / 8:22 am

        People are still debating what the “act” means in the actual wording of the law (i.e. whether it’s the throw or the deflection), but it’s pretty clear how both the MCC and Taufel interepret it. Interestingly however, no-one on commentary or afterwards on Sky appears to have done so, and it seems to be accepted convention to interpret it in the way Dharmasena did. I certainly would have thought the deflection was key, not the instance of the throw.


        • Marek Jul 15, 2019 / 1:59 pm

          The wording in the laws is “wilful act” I think–which definitely doesn’t cover an accidental deflection.


    • Leningrad Cowboy Jul 15, 2019 / 8:23 am

      Bloody hell.


    • Mark Jul 15, 2019 / 9:26 am

      The number of people who want a perfect system intrigues me. You will never achieve a utopia.

      A system of games leading up to the final will never be exactly even and balanced. Some days it will rain, some want a rest day. What if it rains on the rest day? Can every ground produce they same type of pitch and the same size? No.

      For the record, I stand by my view that it was a lousy pitch, and a very slow outfield. Not suitable for a final. And yet I have to conceded that it produced the most extraordinary final we will ever see; A tie and a super over going to the last ball with a run out.

      If the pitch had been flat, with the ball coming onto the bat I believe England would have won comfortabley since they had hit form in the last group games and semi final. We will never know of course but that is my belief. When I saw the wicket yesterday morning I couldn’t believe how lucky NZ had got, and I thought it odd they didn’t put England in.

      I repeat, you will never create a perfect system. If, if, if, If the fielder had thrown to the other end the ball would not have gone anywhere near the boundary. Luck and mistakes are part and parcel of the game.

      Why should the fielder be given a free throw at the stumps knowing there is no penalty if it goes wrong? Archer could have thrown at the stumps on the fifth ball of the super over but he intelligently held onto the hall, not risking overthrows.

      I remember Steve Waugh wanting to abolish leg byes a few years ago. Why? He mumbled on about some excuse, but I believe it was Because he had a great bowling attack, and it would only make it even more difficult to score off McGrath and Warne. How many finals have we seen in the last thirty years when tailemders are trying to score the runs and a leg bye has gone flying down to the boundary? Do you want to abolish that?

      Be careful what you wish for. You will make sport so antiseptic, and so cold that only persists will watch. Is it perfect? No, it never will be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2019 / 10:15 am

        For my part, I’m not arguing for a change in the result, or an asterisk to be placed next to it in Wisden, or the umpires to be savaged. Some people BTL are, with their usual good grace and generosity of spirit.

        I am however trying to take inspiration from the forbearance of the New Zealanders, because I’ve seen little to match it in nearly 40 years watching professional sport.


        • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2019 / 10:17 am

          Including an Aussie I came across whose argument is that his team wins World Cups properly, without the assistance of arbitrary rules in case of ties.

          (cough 1999 semi-final, cough)


        • Mark Jul 15, 2019 / 11:37 am

          Believe me when I say I have a deep sympathy for the NZ players. When the camera focused in on the NZ balcony at the losing moment you could see every drop of life being sucked out of them. You just knew how much it was hurting.

          But it should hurt. If it doesmt hurt the whole thing becomes meaningless. Too much of sport is meaningless, and over hyped by a silly media, but the real drama comes when it means something. All those ashen faces were because it hurts so badly to come so close and lose,

          It has to be like that or sport just becomes like pap. It has to mean something.


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2019 / 11:45 am

            I’m mindful of Sandy Lyle, back in the 1980s, when he won the Players Championship. It had the biggest purse, the best field, and the US authorities wanted to make it the 5th Major. That lobby is still going on. Sandy Lyle wins it in a play-off and is asked afterwards in an interview.

            Paraphrased “Well Sandy, you won the 1985 British Open. What’s the difference between winning that and the Players?)

            Answer “About 120 years of history”.

            No response necessary.

            Sport has meaning when it isn’t contrived. The World Cup Final takes place every four years. It has been around for 44 years. It grows and shrinks. But it means everything. When sport stops trying to manufacture impersonators, and realises less can mean more, then it will capture its ethos back.


          • Mark Jul 15, 2019 / 12:08 pm


            When top players play majors it always makes me laugh when non sport followers talk about the cheque they are going to win. Do you think Federer cares about the cheque yesterday?


    • dArthez Jul 15, 2019 / 10:26 am

      England still could have won, although they would have needed a run more, and with Stokes off-strike. Possible of course. But less likely that England win with 4 needed from 2 with Rashid on strike, than needing 3 of 2 with Stokes on strike.

      That the layperson does not know the law is no excuse for the Elite Umpires not to know the law.
      It is strange that the two standing umpires in the final are not aware of the laws. Obviously they can get an lbw wrong, or miss a nick. Frustrating, yes. Humans, just like technology are fallible. And it is frustrating that the ICC does nothing to improve the quality of the decisions made in such important games (whether by humans or technological means). Actually they do less than nothing, since apparently picking Elite Umpires who do not know the laws of the game is okay.

      I’ll stand by MOM Marais Erasmus and Dharmasena. Truly, in the game where the sides were equal to each other, as evidenced by the outcomes of the 50 over game, and the super over, the umpiring made the difference.

      Of course you want a perfect system for the most important game of cricket in 4 years. Players’ careers and lives depend on it. Imagine if this is the only Stokes will ever win, as opposed to having lost two World Cups in the final over. Makes a huge difference.


  90. Zephirine Jul 15, 2019 / 10:35 am

    “Yes, that was a bit of a shame.”

    The NZ players are so stoical and just damn mature, they’re like Brits used to want to be before we discovered reality TV.

    Trent Boult’s face towards the end of the match – barely a flicker.


    Liked by 1 person

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