A contender for the greatest ODI of all time has ended in a tied super over, with England winning the Cricket World Cup on a boundary countback.
In a match that ebbed and flowed all day long, scores would ultimately be tied on 241 with a pair of precise run outs during Trent Boult’s final over stopping man-of-the-match Ben Stokes from getting the job done in regulation time by reaching the desired 242.
England would have the right to bat first in the super over, and with Stokes scoring another 8 off 3, alongside Jos Buttler, who made 7 off 3, it was always going to be a hard-fought chase for New Zealand as they took on the might of Jofra Archer.
However, Archer got it ever so slightly wrong allowing James Neesham to paste him over the fence, as well as get a wide.
In the end though, despite Neesham and Guptill running hard, they couldn’t dig out the yorkers to the right spots on the ground and the game ended in a tie.
With the hosts having hit more boundaries during the game than the Black Caps, they came away with the victory on a boundary countback in stunning circumstances, with the final total reading 26 to 17.
Earlier, New Zealand had won the delayed toss under overcast skies and elected to bat first on what was clearly going to be a tough wicket.
With the exception of losing Guptill early, it was Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson who steadied the ship for the Black Caps as they fought off the opening spell of Chris Woakes and Archer, then had to continue playing against the moving ball as Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett came into the attack.
Things became a little more docile and the visitors made their way past 100, but when Kane Williamson fell in the 23rd over with the score on 2 for 103, things went pear-shaped.
England rediscovered their bowling class, with Plunkett having a big say as regular wickets hampered their progress.
New Zealand were undoubtedly hurt by a shocking LBW decision on Ross Taylor where he couldn’t use the review, but they were then also hurt in a horrendous last ten overs batting-wise by the brilliant bowling of Archer.
England’s chase of 242 almost got off to the worst possible start, with a ball trapping Jason Roy on the crease first ball. Trent Boult’s inswinger, however, was deemed to be down the leg side, and on review, the umpire’s call saved Roy.
He would go on to make a scratchy 17, and it was a word used to describe the entire English top four, with Joe Root and Eoin Morgan both going cheaply playing silly shots, while Jonny Bairstow was able to make 36 against excellent bowling from Boult, Colin de Grandhomme and Matt Henry early on.
However, it was Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler who got to the crease at 4 for 86 who put England back into the game, with the duo putting on 110.
When Buttler got out, the game hung in the balance and England left themselves a lot to do.
Heading into the final over of the game, England still needed 15. Boult nailed his first two deliveries at Stokes, but then was hit for a six.
The fourth ball of the over will haunt the dreams of Kiwi cricket fans forever and a day, as a throw to cut off a second run hit a diving Stokes’ bat and ran away to the fence.
It changed the equation from seven off two to three off two, and England were able to get it to a tie despite a pair of run outs on the last two balls.
Stokes ended with 84 not out during the innings, keeping England together in a time of need, and they were able to hold their nerve in the super over to lift the trophy for the first time.
New Zealand 8/241 (50) (Henry Nicholls 55, Tom Latham 47, Chris Woakes 3/37, Liam Plunkett 3/42) tied with England 10/241 (50) (Ben Stokes 84 not out, Jos Buttler 59, Jimmy Neesham 3/43, Lockie Ferguson 3/50)
England 0/15 (1) (Ben Stokes 8 off 3, Jos Buttler 7 off 3, Trent Boult 0/15) tied with New Zealand 1/15 (1) (Jimmy Neesham 13 off 5, Martin Guptill 1 off 1, Jofra Archer 0/15)
England won by 26 boundaries to 17.