(Information regarding the World cup Final is here.)
On the 14th of July 2019, New Zealand and England faced off in the glorious Lord's in England for a fight to the death. No matter the outcome, there would be a first-time winner today and a whole country would be happy.
What a fantastic World Cup Final it turned out to be! Regardless of everything that happened this tournament, with the numerous matches rained-out, controversy over "flat pitches", and everything in between, this final was retribution for it all. This final was the saving grace the tournament needed and brought back the roller coaster of emotion that makes cricket so appealing to many.
I'm sure any cricket fan would tell you that this final was better than anyone could have asked for and predicted. Even Sambit Bal, Editor in Chief at ESPNCricinfo said, "If cricket were to end tomorrow, at least we'll have this game". I completely agree with his opinion and would watch this game over and over if I had to. It truly was a masterpiece of cricket in its purest form.
The final was so tightly contested that even after regulation, the score was tied, leading to the first ever Super Over (tiebreak) in Cricket World Cup history. Even after this tiebreak, the match was still tied, forcing the title to be awarded to England on a boundary count. And if the boundary count was tied, who knows what would have happened. No one ever saw this coming, which added that extra bit of magic to the day.
Luck certainly seemed to favor the British against their former colonial counterpart; an unfortunate turn of events in a heart-wrenching last over created this result. An unlucky miscue at the boundary gave England six runs and an unfortunate deflection off a throw to the stumps went for a boundary and netted six more runs. A deflection off a batter will usually result in the batting team not running out of respect, but because the ball went for a boundary, the umpires had to count it. And because of the rare nature of the event, the umpires rewarded an extra run by mistake! Would the result be different if the right call was made? That is a question we will never know the answer to.
Nonetheless, what happened could not be changed. The unorthodox six runs left England needing just three runs of the final two balls. England on the penultimate ball tried to stretch one run in two, ending in a dramatic run out and leaving two runs for the final delivery. The last ball manifested itself in a similar fashion. England needed one run for the tie, two runs for the win. In the most unlikely of outcomes, they were able to get the one run, but yet again run out for the second, keeping the dreams of New Zealand alive.
At the highest level of cricket, 8 hours of tough play could not separate two teams that played with the utmost passion. The most intense level of cricket played between two teams that were so tightly contested and desperate for a trophy yielded a match for the ages. Cricket World Cup 2019 could not have had a more perfect finish.