Cricket World Cup final: Ben Stokes leads England to pulsating super-over victory at Lord's as New Zealand left heartbroken



England are world champions after a super-over victory against New Zealand.

Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett bowled England to a good position by limiting New Zealand to 241.

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And it required a sensational 110-run partnership between Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes to get them back into the match after collapsing to 86-4.

And Stokes, born in New Zealand, somehow managed to hammer 14 from the final four balls to level and take the game to a super over.

It was Stokes and Buttler who opened the deciding over, smashing 15 off Trent Boult.

And the Black Caps matched England’s over but needed to top it, as England registered their first ever Cricket World Cup.

Martin Guptill - searching for a first big score since his unbeaten 73 in their opening World Cup match against Sri Lanka - looked determined to correct his horror run of form.

Perhaps catalysed by England’s appeals for caught behind in the second over - correctly turned down - the 32-year-old sought to put bowlers off their established lengths, uppercutting Jofra Archer for six.

In a frenetic opening spell, England again thought they had a wicket when Woakes trapped Henry Nicholls in front - only for a review to show the ball missing the stumps.

But it was Guptill, perhaps inevitably given his form, who fell first as Woakes eventually got his wicket - with the opener caught on his crease.

That brought talisman Kane Williamson to the crease and although the start was slow - the powerplay producing just 33 runs - his partnership with Nicholls saw 84 runs put on before the skipper edged behind.

Plunkett was left gobsmacked by the umpire’s non-decision, but an immediate review saw a healthy edge on the ball as England claimed a massive scalp.

Guptill temporarily rediscovered the better side of his game(Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Guptill temporarily rediscovered the better side of his game(Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Chris Woakes celebrates taking Guptill's wicket (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Chris Woakes celebrates taking Guptill's wicket (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
England celebrate as they make inroads into the New Zealand team (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
England celebrate as they make inroads into the New Zealand team (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The experienced seamer shortly had a double when he removed Henry Nicholls at the other end - the only man who managed at least 50 for the Black Caps.

His rapid-fire strikes helped the hosts tighten their grip on the innings, and they were bolstered further when Ross Taylor was given out LBW - despite replays showing the ball missing the stumps.

Williamson’s men tried and failed to repeat that second-wicket partnership, and Jimmy Neesham looked extremely culpable when he chipped straight to Joe Root straight after a drive to the boundary.

The 2015 finalists, inspired by their semi-final upset against India, would have been hoping for a score in excess of 250 to defend.

And when they scored nine from the 44th over, they would have backed their chances of getting there.

But fine death bowling from Woakes and Archer left the tail in a spin - with Colin de Grandhomme never quite recovering from a blow to the helmet delivered by the latter.

His departure saw Tom Latham - who put on 47 - dismissed in a similar fashion before Matt Henry was then castled by Archer as the Black Caps crawled their way to 241.

As India discovered last week, though, a low score is certainly defendable with Trent Boult and Henry leading the counter-attack.

The duo decimated a great India attack on that occasion and when Roy was struck on the pads first ball, he must’ve been fearing the worst.

Indeed, Boult reviewed the call - a marginal umpire’s call saving England’s opener.

His troubles did not end there though, when Henry almost bowled him through the gate before narrowly avoiding an edge behind the following ball.

Roy specialises in destruction and seen enough, as he starting taking the game to the Black Caps with three boundaries.

But his good fortune came to an end when he edged Henry’s off-cutter behind on 17.

His fellow opener Jonny Bairstow was perhaps fortunate to avoid following him back minutes later when he drove at a fierce, swinging Henry delivery - only to miss.

It was a theme of the innings to come, with batsmen struggling to cleanly hit the ball off the pitch.

And the Yorkshireman was dropped when he hit De Grandhomme straight back at him, only for the catch to be put down.

But Bairstow’s temperament helped England to 51-1, finding the boundary after three consecutive maidens from the underdogs ramped up the pressure.

He was helpless at the non-striker’s end, though, when Root struggled to face three consecutive deliveries from De Grandhomme - the third saw him get out slashing at a wide ball.

A New Zealand fan celebrates a boundary. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
A New Zealand fan celebrates a boundary. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
New Zealand's Matt Henry celebrates the breakthrough against Jason Roy (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
New Zealand's Matt Henry celebrates the breakthrough against Jason Roy (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
Colin de Grandhomme removes Joe Root (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Colin de Grandhomme removes Joe Root (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)


Bairstow entered the clash with three consecutive tons against England’s opponents but when Lockie Ferguson ramped up the pressure, he could only chop on to his own stumps for just 36.

Eoin Morgan’s short-ball weakness had been exposed on a couple of occasions in the tournament, and it proved again his undoing when Ferguson took a stunning catch under pressure to dismiss the home skipper.

That flutter of wickets left the majority of the task up to Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler. But the wicketkeeper’s heart was in his mouth when Guptill - already with two of the best fielding moments of the tournament - almost pulled off a screamer to dismiss him.

Buttler then survived an LBW review by Henry as New Zealand wasted their DRS call. And Buttler proved their biggest threat; he drove Boult to the rope to bring up his 50

In the same over, Stokes brought up his 50 as the pair put on 110 runs for the fifth-wicket partnership.

But Buttler eventually holed out when he tried to hit Ferguson to the rope, only for substitute fielder Tim Southee to catch him.

It left England requiring 46 runs from 31 runs and when Woakes holed out for just two runs off four balls, the task began to look increasingly bleak - even with Stokes at the crease.

The Durham man tried his best to lead the England chase, but with Plunkett at the other end it proved more difficult - especially when the latter holed out, although he registered a run-a-ball 10.

Stokes was handed a reprieve when Boult caught him out at cow corner - only to step onto the boundary and gift the hosts a six.

But Archer was bowled by Neesham next ball - leaving England requiring 15 off the final over.

And Stokes somehow, breathtakingly, stole a super over at the death. Two dots preceded two sixes - the latter of which was a redirected throw back.

It was Stokes and Buttler who came out for the super over - and the pair laid down the challenge by putting on 15 runs.

Archer was the man chosen to defend the over, and started with a wide - though despite matching the hosts’ score, England were the victors.

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