I suspect there are lots of stories like this one, from Ben Lingard. “I have never gone through such emotion watching sport,” he writes. “I started the day sat on the sofa at my parents house with my dad, not long after the loss of [England’s] third wicket I had to leave to catch a train home. I get on the train , boot up the Sky Go app, Buttler and Stokes at the crease. I am hitting every ball with them, screaming at every boundary and wincing at every near miss and my heart stopping every time . A fellow fan across the carriage spots me and takes out his headphones as we both see Buttler slice in the hands of the NZ sub fielder. “It’s over,’ he says.
“Next a train change at Lancaster. I run phone in hand to make the Virgin train, I dart into the nearest door and commence viewing, there is a man there receiving updates over the phone from his wife. I invite him to watch with me on my phone, a few minutes later there are 5 of us huddled around my phone, cheering, jeering, hoping our hearts don’t pack up! What a rollercoaster, myself and four complete strangers in absolute delirium as Buttler takes the bails off to break New Zealand hearts!”
The gates are open at the Oval and the England team and their new trophy are about 15 minutes away. There are 1,000 local schoolchildren there, but grown-ups are allowed too.
In New Zealand, there are some complaints that the title was eventually decided on a fairly arbitrary metric (the number of boundaries hit in the final), rather than on wickets taken, or dot balls bowled, or just letting the teams share the trophy. This is what the former New Zealand all-rounder Dion Nash told stuff.co.nz:
It’s ridiculous… really absurd. It’s about as random as tossing a coin. But you also have to look at it from the [view of the] people setting the rules. I mean who thinks it’s going to be a draw, and then you draw in the Super Over? What are the chances? You can’t complain, it was done at the start of the tournament. [But] I think that’s probably indicative of where the game’s mindset’s at. Why not credit the guys who took the most wickets? The real measure that was used for generations was least amount of wickets lost. So why have we changed that?
Meanwhile the former Kiwi wicket-keeper Peter McGlashan said this:
I think it’s a shame, that we’ve played a tournament which has gone for 48 games, and yet it’s decided by someone getting out a piece of paper and a pen and picking apart the bones, New Zealand’s strength throughout this tournament has been about rotating the strike, our strength hasn’t been boundaries, so it seems a bit of a shame to be judged by that all of a sudden.
A Super Over works for T20s, but I think 50-over cricket needs to have something that reflects the amount of work and energy that’s gone into the game. The Super Over just seems the wrong way to decide it. It’s a little bit like deciding a marathon with a 100-metre sprint at the end of it – it’s not the appropriate way to judge the performance of the athletes on show.
Another choice clip from yesterday, as Moeen and Rashid make a last-minute dash from the imminent Champagne deluge.
Ashraf Garda (@AshrafGarda)
Overnight viewing figures suggest that a peak of 4.5 million people watched on Channel 4, with an average of 2.4 million. Sky also showed it on three channels, which had a combined average viewership of 1,474,000 people, and a peak of a shade under three million. In the Sunday sporting spectacular it was well beaten by the tennis (peak 9.6 million, average 6 million), but thrashed the GP (peak 2.5 million, average 1.8 million).
This bit wasn’t in the highlights packages, for some reason:
Chris Haines (@chrisafhaines)
This was my particular highlight…. pic.twitter.com/5euAr6Hd8g
Here’s a report on celebrations on the streets of England (my favourite bit of this photo, by the way, is the random shoe flying through the top-left corner):
England fans celebrate in the Trafalgar Square fountains after watching England win the Cricket World Cup. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA
And here’s a report on the rather different reaction on the streets of New Zealand:
Fans watch the World Cup final at the Four Kings bar in Wellington, New Zealand. Photograph: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images
The cricket is of course on all British front pages today. Here’s the Guardian:
Allie Hodgkins-Brown (@AllieHBNews)
Though I do think the Times’ wraparound front wins today’s front-page title by a knockout:
The Times Pictures (@TimesPictures)
The Times wrap around cover 15/07/2019.
England win after super over in exhilarating final.
“You’ve hit the nail on the head there, I think,” says Simon McMahon. “What made yesterday’s events at Lord’s so memorable was not just the incredible skill allied to heart-stopping drama, but the sheer likeability of both sets of players, and the honouring of crickets greatest traditions. I for one will forever associate England’s eventual triumph, after a remarkable four year journey, with the unbelievable class and dignity shown by the New Zealand players. *Cliche alert* (but it needs saying, because it’s true) – cricket really was the winner.”
Some advice from New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham:
Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh)
Kids, don’t take up sport. Take up baking or something. Die at 60 really fat and happy.
One of the big talking-points remains the six runs awarded to England when the ball deflected off Ben Stokes’ bat and to the boundary, turning two runs for England into six. Here’s a visual reminder:
Ben Stokes dives to make his ground but the ball deflects off his bat for four overthrows. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Here’s the relevant law:
19.8 Overthrow or wilful act of fielder
If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be
- any runs for penalties awarded to either side and
- the allowance for the boundary and
- the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.
The issue being that the batsmen had not crossed for the second run when Martin Guptill released the ball. Thus England should have been awarded five runs, rather than six.
The umpire Simon Taufel, centre, speaks to England’s Andrew Strauss during a Test match against India in 2007. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters
There was a judgement error on the overthrow. The judgement error was the timing of when the fielder threw the ball. The act of the overthrow starts when the fielder releases the ball. That’s the act. It becomes an overthrow from the instant of the throw.
In this particular case, the umpires have got a lot on their plate, because like every ball, they’ve had to watch the batsmen complete the first run, they’ve had to watch the ball being fielded, to understand how it’s in play, whether the fielder’s done the right thing. Then they’ve got to look to see when the ball is released, in case there is an overthrow. And that happens every delivery of the game. And then they’ve got to back to see where the two batsmen are.
They’ve then got to follow on and see what happens after that, whether there is a run out, whether there’s an ‘obstructing the field’, whether the ball is taken fairly. There’s multitudes of decisions to be taken off the one delivery. What’s unfortunate is that people think that umpiring is just about outs and not outs. They forget we make 1000s of decisions every match.
So it’s unfortunate that there was a judgement error on the timing of the release of the ball and where the batsmen were. They did not cross on their second run, at the instant of the throw. So given that scenario, five runs should have been the correct allocation of runs, and Ben Stokes should have been at the non-striker’s end for the next delivery.
We’re not perfect. You’ve got the best two umpires in the elite panel doing the final. They’re doing their best like the other two teams are. This is just part of the game.
I think it’s unfair to say that the World Cup was decided by that one event. There’s a lot of ‘what ifs’ and ‘what should bes’ and ‘what could bes’ that happen off those 600-plus deliveries. That’s the nature of sport.
Let’s just start with this moment. It’s 220-7, England need 22 from nine balls, and Trent Boult catches Ben Stokes just inside the rope, before tossing the ball to Martin Guptill. If he treads on the boundary rope before throwing the ball, it’s six. If he doesn’t, it’s out, and New Zealand effectively win the World Cup. Just think of all the sportspeople in all the sports who would and indeed do do absolutely anything to give their sides victory: punch the ball off the line in the dying moments of World Cup quarter-final; arrange state-sponsored doping factories; sneak sandpaper onto the field in their underpants. And then consider what Guptill’s instinct was at this moment: to instantly award England the six. Sure, the TV umpire would have done it anyway, but I thought that moment of honesty summed up the Kiwis’ class.
New Zealand’s Trent Boult jumps to unsuccessfully take a catch at the boundary line off a shot from England’s Ben Stokes during the Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s. Photograph: Aijaz Rahi/AP
So far this morning I’ve watched the Channel 4 highlights, and then Sky’s highlights. For what it’s worth, Sky’s were much better. Anyway, I can confirm that it actually happened, and the entire business was absolutely ludicrous in the most fantastic way: drama, skill, luck, mistakes from players and umpires, emotion, more drama, the use of rules that few would have expected anyone would even read let alone put into action, and also the most phenomenal sportsmanship, astonishingly impressive in the circumstances. Let’s see what the world has to say about it, shall we?