First the Kookaburra ball was too lifeless, then New Zealand pitches were too flat and now Jofra Archer’s latest gripe is that he was cheated by the Kiwi speed guns.
England finally ended their World Cup drought by defeating New Zealand at Lord’s on the basis of a boundary count.
The final was all drama, with both the teams ending up on the same score in the match and at the end of the super overs, which mandated that boundaries be counted to decide a winner.
Counting the number of boundaries was surely not in the best interests of the game, but it wasn’t the only odd event that took place. The premier cricketing clash had a number of strange events that were tough to swallow for some. Here’s a look at few of them.
‘Kiwi’ Ben Stokes does it for England
New Zealand-born Ben Stokes was trying hard to keep the trophy away from Kiwis. He ran hard between the wickets, hitting boundaries on occasions and doing everything to bring it home.
We’d seen this all before – in 2015 in Auckland, when Grant Elliot, born in South Africa, did his bit to ensure the Kiwis made their first World Cup final.
This time, however, New Zealand were on the opposite side and a player born in Auckland quashed the hopes of his own birth nation.
A six down the ground
Ever heard a six being hit by a throw? You better watch the World Cup final. A straight throw from Martin Guptill in the final over played a major part in England ending on the same score as New Zealand. The ball deflected off the bat of Stokes to run towards the boundary. It may sound farcical, but as per the rules six runs were added to England’s total given Stokes and Adil Rashid had already run two between the wickets. However, they should have been awarded only five runs instead of six in what some have considered an umpiring howler.
Trent Boult hits a six for England
This catch could have been the match for New Zealand, but Boult could not bring himself to a still after grabbing the ball at the boundary rope. On the fourth delivery of 49th over Boult caught Stokes at wide long-on. The best he could have done is to throw the ball back in the playing area, but a slight delay saw his leg touching the boundary ropes with the ball still in his hands. Oh my, Stokes! He was the most fortunate man on the planet on Sunday.
Super over tied, what next?
More than the grounded six of Ben Stokes, the result of the match on the basis of boundaries was farcical. ODI cricket once again seemed to have taken a leaf out of the book of T20. First ODI borrowed the free hit from that format, followed with borrowing the super over decided and now the cringeworthy boundary rule.
After such an end to the final, any captain would have had a mouthful for the ICC, but Kane Williamson, being Kane Williamson, had only smiles. He handled the situation with the utmost responsibility and did not yell at anyone. In the IPL 2019, so-called captain cool MS Dhoni famously stormed into the playing area after an umpiring howler. Is Dhoni still captain cool? Williamson can certainly lay claim to that title after this famous World Cup finish.