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England become first-time World Champions after winning all-time classic final

London: England lifted their maiden ICC World Cup trophy, beating a battle-hardened New Zealand in a nerve-wracking final that was decided via a dramatic Super Over here Sunday.

Opting to bat, New Zealand once again put up a modest batting performance under overcast conditions to post 241 for eight against a quality England pace attack that kept on asking probing questions.

In reply, appearing in their fourth tournament final, England ended at the same score leading to the one-over eliminator at the Lord’s.

In the Super Over, England batted first and the duo of Ben Stokes, who kept the hosts in the game with a brilliant 84 off 98 balls, and Jos Buttler made 15, and New Zealand also ended at the same score but for the loss of one wicket, paving the way for an English victory on boundary count.

In the 50-over contest, England hit 24 boundaries while New Zealand had 16. And, in the Super Over, the home team blasted two fours, and Kane Williamson’s team hit a six.

This was after Colin de Grandhomme produced the most economical 10-over spell in a World Cup final since Derek Pringle’s 3/22 in 1992, finishing with figures of 1/21, while the Lockie Ferguson and Jimmy Neesham chipped in with three wickets each.

Earlier, Henry Nicholls (55 off 77 balls) and skipper Kane Williamson (30 off 53) added 74 runs for the second wicket after a fabulous first spell from Chris Woakes (3/37 in 9 overs) and Jofra Archer (1/42 in 10 overs) on a helpful Lord’s track.

During his stay in the middle, Williamson also became the captain with most number of runs in a single World Cup, breaking the 12-year-old record of former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene who had amassed 548 runs in the 2007 edition.

While Woakes had the best figures statistically, it was the tall Liam Plunkett (3/42 in 10 overs), who used the cross-seam variations effectively to stop the Black Caps on their tracks

In their chase, England lost Jason Roy for a 17 and then saw Joe Root (7) and Jonny Bairstow (36) getting dismissed to leave the hosts reeling at 71 for three in the 20th over. It became worse when Lockie Ferguson took a brilliant diving catch running in from the deep to send back skipper Eoin Morgan (9) as England slipped to 86 for four in the 24th over.

Once Buttler was snuffed out by Ferguson and Williamson had to use one of his all-rounders, Stokes targeted Neesham to bring down the equation to 39 off 24 balls.

However, it was Ferguson, who again got one to climb big on Chris Woakes off his last over and Latham held his nerve to pouch the aerial ball to leave England at 203 for 6.

Having bowled the short ball, Ferguson used the slow cutters well to finish his spell with 3 for 50 off 10 overs.

With not many runs to defend, Williamson carefully bowled Colin de Grandhomme (1/25 from 10 overs) at one go while using others in short bursts.

Jason Roy survived a touch and go leg before appeal off Trent Boult before Matt Henry saw him off with a peach of fuller length delivery which was snapped up Tom Latham behind the stumps.

Joe Root (7 off 30 balls) struggled all through before flashing at de Grandhomme delivery for Latham behind the stumps.

Jonny Bairstow (36) grafted on before Ferguson’s extra pace and the bounce saw him drag one back.

When Eoin Morgan (9 off 22 balls) looked intimidated by Ferguson’s pace and was moving towards leg-stump and finally flashed one off Jimmy Neesham to make it 86 for 4 before Buttler and Stokes joined forces.

Batting first, New Zealand once again put up a modest batting performance under overcast conditions to post 241 for eight as the England pace unit kept on asking probing questions.

Henry Nicholls (55 off 77 balls) and skipper Kane Williamson (30, 53 balls) added 74 runs for the second wicket after a fabulous first spell from Chris Woakes (3/37 in 9 overs) and Jofra Archer (1/42 in 10 overs) on a helpful Lord’s track.

While Woakes had the best figures statistically, it was the tall Liam Plunkett (3/42 in 10 overs), who used the cross-seam variations effectively to stop the Black Caps on their tracks.

They would now be hoping that their pace bowlers use the conditions as well as the England bowlers did in the first half.

Only Tom Latham (47 off 56 balls) contributed in the middle overs in another mediocre effort from the New Zealanders on another big day.

Martin Guptill (19 off 18 balls) had started on a positive note but after surviving a caught behind appeal off Archer, he wasn’t lucky the second time when Woakes got one to slightly shape in and he was caught plumb in-front.

Williamson and Nicholls, just like the India game, were trying to preserve their wicket with occasional boundaries. They were steady during their 16.2 over stand without being spectacular.

It was Plunkett, who got the all important wicket of Williamson when the New Zealand skipper tried to play away from his body and the nick was snapped by Buttler.

Plunkett then removed another set batsman Nicholls with a cross seam delivery that had the left-hander playing on while shaping up for a big shot.

SCORE BOARD

NEW ZEALAND: M Guptill lbw b Woakes 19, H Nicholls b Plunkett 55, K Williamson c Buttler b Plunkett 30, R Taylor lbw b Wood 15, T Latham c sub b Woakes 47, J Neesham c Root b Plunkett 19, C de Grandhomme c sub b Woakes 16, M Santner not out 5, M Henry b Archer 4, T Boult not out 1. EXTRAS: 30 (lb 12, nb 1, w 17); TOTAL: 241/8 (in 50 overs). FALL OF WICKETS: 1-29, 2-103, 3-118, 4-141, 5-173, 6-219, 7-232, 8-240. BOWLING: C Woakes 9-0-37-3, J Archer 10-0-42-1, L Plunkett 10-0-42-3, M Wood 10-1-49-1, A Rashid 8-0-39-0, B Stokes 3-0-20-0.

ENGLAND: J Roy c Latham b Henry 17, J Bairstow b Ferguson 36, J Root c Latham b de Grandhomme 7, E Morgan c Ferguson b Neesham 9, B Stokes not out 84, J Buttler c sub b Ferguson 59, C Woakes c Latham b Ferguson 2, L Plunkett c Boult b Neesham 10, J Archer b Neesham 0, A Rashid run out 0, M Wood run out 0. EXTRAS: 17 (b 2, lb 3, w 12); TOTAL: 241 all out (in 50 overs). FALL OF WICKETS: 1-28, 2-59, 3-71, 4-86, 5-196, 6-203, 7-220, 8-227, 9-240, 10-241. BOWLING: T Boult 10-0-67-0, M Henry 10-2-40-1, C de Grandhomme 10-2-25-1-2, L Ferguson 10-0-50-3, J Neesham 7-0-43-3, M Santner 3-0-11-0.

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