Cricket World Cup perfect final?

England win the World Cup against New Zealand in Super Over

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Cricket World Cup final: Super Over a terrible way to decide a tournament

Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan should have jointly lifted the Cricket World Cup after a drama-packed Sunday evening at Lord's.

Certainly neither England nor New Zealand deserved to lose such an incredible, seesawing final when they couldn't be split after 50 overs each.

Using a Super Over to decide it was farcical and the International Cricket Council needs to give itself an uppercut for even entertaining it as a tiebreaker.

To then just copy and paste the playing conditions from Twenty20 and use the highest number of boundaries to determine who wins in the event of a tied Super Over is not at all necessary.

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England v New Zealand: was the Cricket World Cup final the perfect end to the tournament?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

After four years of planning, seven weeks of cricket, and eight hours of a thrilling final, England were crowned world champions of cricket.

It all came down to the dramatic last hour. As the 50 overs neared their end, it appeared that England would not reach the 241 runs achieved by New Zealand.

A burst at the end resulted in a tie, and a Super Over. And the Super Over resulted in another tie - crowning England as the Cricket World Cup winners after hitting the most boundaries.

Some call it the greatest World Cup final ever played, saying it will be watched time and time again.

However, others complain that the Super Over was a bad end to the tournament.

The Claim

According to Geoff Lemon, reporting from the Lord's, the Cricket World Cup final was "the greatest one-day cricket match ever played".

In an article for the Australian news website, ABC News, he says that it beats Australia and South Africa in the semi-final of 1999, or their 800 collective runs in Johannesburg in 2006.

He writes: "This line of work can lend itself to hyberbole, but an hour later, sitting in the Thomas Lord suite at the ground where the ICC staff and media and volunteers are collectively coming to terms with what we've just seen, the proposition seems fair. This was the best. We've just seen it."

He says that the final was not just about the tie or the result. Lemon argues: "It was about the manic runnings, the fumbles, the fear, the elation, the pathos, the unfairness.

"It was about seeing every possible permutation of ways that a team can score a six, in a match where sixes were at a premium."

He adds that we will be seeing this match again in 50 years.

The Counterclaim

However, Mike Hesson from the New Zealand website, Stuff, argues that the Super Over was "a terrible way to decide a tournament".

He says that the New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and England captain Eoin Morgan should have jointly lifted the Cricket World Cup on Sunday.

Hesson argues: "Using a Super Over to decide it was farcical and the International Cricket Council needs to give itself an uppercut for ever entertaining it as a tie-breaker.

"To then just copy and paste the playing conditions from Twenty20 and use the highest number of boundaries to determine who wins in the event of a tied Super Over is not at all necessary."

He adds: "When you're playing a final of a World Cup after seven weeks' hard toil, to decide it by some obscure means that is made for T20 cricket is ridiculous."

The Facts

Although both sides slogged and slogged over eight hours, producing one of the finest games in cricket history, it was the final hour that will be remembered the most.

New Zealand had completed their 50 overs with a score of 241 runs. It was a difficult target to reach for England, especially with the fine bowling and fielding from the Black Caps.

With just one over left and two wickets remaining, England needed 15 runs to win the World Cup. Ben Stokes was on strike, but the first two deliveries from Trent Boult produced nothing.

It was third time lucky as Stokes hit the next ball over midwicket for six. Three balls left, and England needed nine runs.

This is where a miracle for England happened - and a nightmare for New Zealand. As Stokes chased his second run after hitting it to midwicket again, Guptill sent it to the wicketkeeper's end. As he dived for ground to stay in, the ball struck his bat and redirected towards the pavilion, hitting the boundary.

The umpires signalled that six runs had been scored - the two runs, plus the four overthrows after hitting the boundary. Three runs needed with two balls to go. England got one run, but Adil Rashid was run out seeking a second.

With one ball left, they needed one run to secure a tie - and two to win. They got one run, but Mark Wood was run out trying to get the second. The game would go to a Super Over: one over each for the sides.

As the BBC's Tom Fordyce puts it: "A match that ended in a tie to produce a tie-breaker that also ended in a tie. A final over that contained a six that was a six and also contained a six that wasn't a six at all but actually a two and a four, which meant the final over wasn't the final over any more either."

Quite.

England mustered 15 runs in the Super Over. New Zealand needed 16 to win. Novice Jofra Archer was chosen to bowl for England. His first ball was a wide, followed by a six from Jimmy Neesham. There was a misfield from England, and it looked like the Black Caps were able to catch up.

New Zealand needed three runs from two balls, and they narrowed it down to two from the last one. If the match was tied once again, England would be crowned winners after hitting more boundaries in the match.

Martin Guptill hit the ball to mid-wicket, achieving a single run, and Jason Roy closed in on the ball. He threw it to Buttler who gathered it and broke the stumps, with Guptill short of his ground as he attempted to get the second - and winning - run.

The 50 overs ended 241-241, the Super Over ended 15-15, and England ended as world champions.

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