• Saturday, Aug 17, 2019
  • Last Update : 11:19 pm

Sparks set to fly as England, NZ bid for maiden title

  • Published at 10:17 pm July 13th, 2019
Trophy
England captain Eoin Morgan and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson pose for photographs alongside the World Cup trophy in London Saturday

It has been great tournament in the United Kingdom for the last one and a half months as there were quite a few exciting games and enterprising battle between bat and ball

The stage is all set for the grand finale of the World Cup 2019 as host England face New Zealand to battle for the ultimate glory at Lord’s in London Sunday.

It has been great tournament in the United Kingdom for the last one and a half months as there were quite a few exciting games and enterprising battle between bat and ball.

Host England, one of the tournament favorites, have played some brilliant cricket throughout the competition and now they are in the final after crushing Australia along the way in the semi-final.

They have the golden chance to lift the trophy in front of their home crowd and end the long wait for a 50-over World Cup title.

England have never won a World Cup in history and the last time they played in the final was in 1992.

England skipper Eoin Morgan and his team have transformed themselves brilliantly over the last four years after getting eliminated from the 2015 World Cup following their defeat against Bangladesh.

But since then, the ECB has worked with a specific plan and a set of players have performed magnificently under the leadership of Morgan in the 50-over format, converting themselves into a formidable ODI side.

Their brand of cricket has been to attack with the bat, and England now boast one of the best batting line-up among all the sides in the last few years.

The England side have smashed quite a few records over the last couple of years.

But it will be a World Cup final today and the opposition, New Zealand, are a world-class side, and the onus will be on the home side to achieve unprecedented glory.

Morgan believes they have to play their best cricket to clinch the trophy and also remained cautious as there will be a lot of pressure riding on their shoulders. 

The Irishman admitted that lifting the World Cup will be great for cricket in England as they have the chance to revive the game after the 2005 Ashes series. 

 “I haven't allowed myself to think about lifting the trophy. Cricket and sport in particular is very fickle. If you ever get ahead, it always seems to bite you in the backside, so for us to win it, I think around the country it would be awesome, great for the game. I think quite iconic in certainly young kids' memory if they are watching it at home and we manage to lift the trophy, it would be awesome,” said Morgan during the pre-final press conference at Lord’s Saturday.

The Kiwis have also played some outstanding cricket and won some close matches with their scintillating effort with the ball, and sharp fielding.

The World Cup was supposed to be a tournament for the batsmen but the Kiwis have proved that even bowlers can win plenty of matches with tight bowling.

Only Afghanistan and the Kiwis have failed to reach 300 in this World Cup but the latter have more than made it up with some world-class bowling displays.

New Zealand defended 240 successfully against India, one of the title contenders, and their pace bowling department is enjoying a tremendous tournament.

Trent Boult (17 wickets), Matt Henry (13 wickets)and Lockie Ferguson (18 wickets) are all having a wonderful time with the ball and it will be an interesting battle between the Kiwi pacers against the attacking English batting line-up.

New Zealand also played the final in the last edition of the World Cup under the captaincy of Brendon McCullum. 

McCullum and his team changed their style of play and played attacking cricket in ODIs and after the McCullum era, Kane Williamson is just continuing the streak with more calmness and composure.

McCullum was there at the practice session at Lord’s when New Zealand were practising at Lord’s Saturday afternoon and expressed grand hope that his country will lift the trophy this time around.

Williamson is well and truly aware of the threat of the powerful England batting line-up, particularly their in-form opening pair of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow.

“England batsmen, particularly their openers, have been fantastic throughout this whole competition, and prior as well. But there is a huge amount of respect for the match-winners that they have within their side, obviously the top of the order and throughout. But the focus for us is very much about the cricket that we want to play and the performance we want to put on the board and if we do that, we have seen throughout this competition that anybody can beat anybody,” Williamson said at Lord’s.

The Lord’s pitch looked greenish where the final will be played. 

Whoever wins, it will be a fascinating contest, and deservedly, two of the best performing teams are fighting for the ultimate glory.  

The match will start at 10:30am local time, and 3:30pm Bangladesh standard time.