In the annals of cricket history, the 2019 ODI World Cup final between England and New Zealand at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground remains a match that continues to confound England’s star batsman, Joe Root.
Reflecting on the extraordinary turn of events that led to England’s triumph, Root admitted that he and his team were left perplexed by the outcome, given the precarious situation they found themselves in.
What elevated the sweetness of their victory was the undeniable truth that, by all accounts, they had no justifiable claim to emerge as champions on that unforgettable day. England’s triumph by the count of boundaries, a rule that came into play after both the match and the subsequent Super Over concluded in thrilling ties.
New Zealand, having won the toss, set a target of 241 runs in their allotted 50 overs, propelled by Henry Nicholls’ gritty half-century. England’s pursuit of this target, however, encountered a daunting hurdle as they found themselves reeling at 86/4 early in their innings.
Joe Root exclusively said: “It is a pinch-yourself thing when you sit down and think about it. We had no right to win it but that makes it a bit sweeter. I just had a shocker of a day with the bat“
“It was one of the most frustrating innings I have played as an England player on one of the days when you really want to stand up and be counted, but there are so many times when individually you fail, but are part of something bigger than yourself and your mates pull you through.”
It was at this critical juncture that the duo of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes stepped onto the field, forging an extraordinary partnership of 110 runs that reignited the hopes of the home crowd.
Ben Stokes’ Serendipitous Moment: A Turning Point in the 2019 World Cup Final
Stokes, who would go on to remain unbeaten until the very end, experienced a moment of serendipity that would later become emblematic of the match. A throw from the deep deflected off his bat, inexplicably racing to the boundary for four crucial runs in the closing stages of the innings.
Fortune smiled upon him again when he was caught on the boundary by Trent Boult, but the elation was short-lived for New Zealand as it became evident that Boult had inadvertently crossed the boundary while attempting the catch.
In hindsight, Joe Root, ever the modest and introspective cricketer, reflected on the improbable nature of their triumph. Root couldn’t help but acknowledge his own subpar performance on that fateful day, acknowledging that he “just had a shocker of a day with the bat.”
His innings, in which he managed only seven runs from 30 balls before being dismissed by Colin de Grandhomme, left him deeply frustrated. Despite his personal disappointment, Root found solace in the larger narrative of the team’s success.
He emphasized the essence of being part of something greater than oneself in cricket, where individual failures are often eclipsed by collective resilience. Root’s overall performance throughout the tournament had been stellar, with 556 runs to his name in 11 matches at an impressive average of 61.33.
He had notched up two centuries and three fifties, securing his position as England’s highest run-scorer in the competition. The 2019 World Cup final remains etched in cricketing folklore, a tale of improbable triumph for England and a vivid reminder that in the realm of sports, destiny often unfolds in the most bewildering and exhilarating ways.