But what a game of cricket did we witness with New Zealand putting up a gallant fight only to fall short of the finishing line by the barest of margins.
For the first time in its history a World Cup witnessed a tied match that forced it to go into a Super Over that also ended in a tie! However England was declared the winners in the one-over eliminator as they had hit more boundaries in their innings and in the Super Over.
No one can say that New Zealand lost the World Cup final for they were as good as England in all aspects of the game. It was cruel fate that denied them the most coveted prize in cricket for the second successive occasion. In 2015 they lost the World Cup final to Australia at Melbourne.
England captain Eoin Morgan kisses the World Cup after they had beaten New Zealand in the one-over eliminator in the final played at Lord’s, London on Sunday. – AFP
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first New Zealand ground their way to 241-8 and England in reply were dismissed for 241 off the final ball of the 50th over.
In the Super Over England who opened with Ben Stokes and Joss Buttler hit 15 runs off Trent Boult inclusive of three fours.
New Zealand required to make 16 to win the World Cup, but they could make only 15 (with one six) as Martin Guptill was run out going for the crucial second run with Jimmy Neesham. Jofra Archer bowled the all important over for England.
On a slow pitch that made running scoring a difficult task New Zealand did well to score 241-8 largely through opener Henry Nicholls who top score with 55 off 77 balls and Tom Latham contributing a useful 47 off 56 balls down the order as Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett pinned the batsmen down with some accurate bowling and fielding.
England in reply also struggled for runs against some high class bowling from Boult and Matt Henry and were reduced to 86-4 in the 24th over.
But Man of the Match Ben Stokes (84 not out off 98 balls, 5 fours, 2 sixes) and Joss Buttler brought England back into the game with a 110-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
But never say die New Zealand fought back to dismiss Buttler for 50 off 60 balls (6 fours) and Lockie Ferguson picked up three wickets including that of Buttler to put England under pressure again.
England required 15 runs off the final over with Stokes the main figure if they were to win.
Stokes started off well hitting Boult for a six off the third ball but an overthrow for four may have cost New Zealand the match. Stokes hit the ball to mid wicket and set off for two, but Guptill’s throw from midwicket richocheted off Stokes’ bat as he tried to avoid getting run out and sped to the boundary for four, giving England a bonus of six runs.
However with three required off two balls Adil Rashid was run out off the penultimate delivery and Mark Wood off the last to tie the scores at 241 to force a rare tied result in a World Cup final. As if that was not enough even the Super Over ended in a tie!
What scenes at Lord’s bathed in glorious sunshine at 19.35 (GMT) bringing back memories of the inaugural World Cup final played here in 1975 – 45 years ago.
England may have run out winners and New Zealand worthy runner-up but eventually it was the game of cricket that won.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was named Player of the Tournament.