“By the barest of margins,” roared Ian Smith as Jos Buttler whipped off the bails to run out Martin Guptill and win the Cricket World Cup.
England Men’s cricket team made history when they won their first major One Day International (ODI) tournament this summer in one of the greatest sporting events ever witnessed.
Beating New Zealand on the bizarre ‘boundary countback’ rule, the tie, the super over, the tie again. It had everything.
The teams meet again tonight in the first Test in Mount Maunganui, we take a look at some of the memorable moments between the two sides.
Strauss’ Agony – May 2004
Having flirted with the England squad, when Michael Vaughan twisted his knee in the nets before the Lords Test against New Zealand in 2004, Andrew Strauss was given his debut.
After a confident 112 in the first innings, he was well on his way to another hundred in the second. Chasing an imposing 282, Strauss led England’s charge and moved onto 83, batting in partnership with captain Nasser Hussain until Hussain called for a single that never was and ran him out.
Cruelly, Strauss would have become the first Englishman to score centuries in both innings of his Test debut, a feat still yet to be achieved.
Hussain retired immediately after the game, while Strauss went on to feature in 100 Tests and develop into one of England’s most successful captains.
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Wondrous Wally – March 1933
Wally Hammond, one of the all-time great batsmen, often mentioned in the same breath as W.G. Grace and Don Bradman, accumulated an astounding 7249 runs at an average of 58.45 and one particular innings against New Zealand ranks above them all.
Hammond scored an unbeaten 336 in Auckland in 1933, the world-record score in Test cricket at the time.
This swashbuckling innings was amassed over a mere five hours and included 34 fours and 10 sixes in an era long before clearing the ropes was the norm.
His triple century helped England stockpile 548 with the next highest score from his teammates just 60.
England’s Reboot – June 2015
Following a disastrous exit from the 2015 World Cup at the hands of Bangladesh, with victories against only Afghanistan and Scotland, serious change was needed for England’s ODI side.
With just four members from the start of their woeful World Cup campaign, the reinvention at Edgbaston in an ODI against New Zealand in 2015 couldn’t have started any worse, with Jason Roy dismissed first ball of the match.
Nonetheless, England thrilled. In their record ODI score of 408-9 they passed 400 for the first time, and included Buttler and Joe Root scoring the second and third fastest ODI hundreds for England at the time.
Buttler and the then recalled Adil Rashid compiled a world-record partnership for the seventh wicket of 177.
In response, New Zealand were dismissed for 198 to secure England’s biggest victory in ODIs. It proved a turning point, providing the blueprint for England’s World Cup glory four years later.
Collingwood Controversy – June 2008
During the fourth ODI at The Oval in 2008 in a low-scoring affair, New Zealand, chasing 246, required 26 runs from six overs.
Grant Elliot pushed for a quick single but collided with England bowler Ryan Sidebottom, with both floored and Elliot was run out by Ian Bell.
England skipper Paul Collingwood refused to withdraw his appeal and a seething Elliot departed to the disgust of many in the outraged crowd. Needing two to win off the final ball, in a generation before super overs, Mark Gillespie hit the ball into the offside.
England went for the run out but all three fielders backing up missed the ball and New Zealand scampered through for a second run to win the game, sparking jubilant scenes amongst the Kiwi players.
Scintillating Stokes – May 2015
Following an impressive breakthrough at Test level, Ben Stokes’ England career needed rejuvenating, having missed out on selection for England’s 2015 World Cup campaign and enduring a barren spell in Test matches.
He had failed to score a run in his three previous Test innings in England before the New Zealand Test at Lords in 2015 and Durham teammate Collingwood had criticised the way England had deployed him, likening batting him at number eight “is like telling Cristiano Ronaldo to play at right-back”.
In a new role at number six, he came to the crease at 30-4 on the first day and smashed 92 off 94 balls.
England were 144 in deficit from the first innings and Stokes hit the fastest ever hundred at Lords in Test history, off just 85 balls, before he took three key wickets to secure an improbable victory.
Malan’s Magic – November 2019
England’s recent Twenty20 series against New Zealand provided an opportunity for more inexperienced players at international level to impress.
In Napier, new Yorkshire recruit Dawid Malan did just that as he scored the fastest ever T20I century for England from just 48 balls, bashing six sixes and nine fours.
He was ably supported by Eoin Morgan who hit the quickest T20I half century for England from just 21 balls on his way to an incredible 91 off 41 balls.
England’s 241-3 was their record score in T20I, and Morgan and Malan compiled 182 in 74 balls for the third wicket as England won by 76 runs.
Champagne Super Over – July 2019
For England fans, the most memorable game of them all, and for New Zealand fans a demonstration of how cruel sport can be.
On a turgid Lords’ pitch New Zealand posted 241-8 and managed to peg back England until a 100-run partnership between Stokes and Buttler kept the game in the balance.
However, when the hosts lost three quick wickets, they needed 21 from nine balls, and it seemed as if England would lose their fourth World Cup final.
Cue the most breath-taking half an hour of cricket; and Stokes establishing himself as a national treasure.
England tied the game but not without drama. Stokes’ was caught by Trent Boult on the boundary but the fielder stepped on the rope (giving up six runs), while Stokes scampered back for two in the final over only for Guptill’s throw to deflect off his bat and go to the boundary, six more to the total.
Three wickets also fell in an absurd last seven balls as the two sides could not be separated.
England scored 15 in their super over and New Zealand, needing two off the last ball, were thwarted when Jason’s Roy’s throw was collected, and the bails removed by Buttler to also tie the super over.
The score may have technically been level, but England won the game by scoring more boundaries in the match; 26 to New Zealand’s 17.
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