Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has insisted England deserved to win the World Cup, but New Zealand were the better team in the final.
Sunday’s final at Lord’s in London was tied after regulation play and the Super Over also ended in a deadlock. England were ultimately awarded the title on the back of a superior boundary count.
‘England have been the best side through this tournament, I believe, but I think New Zealand were the best team in the final,’ Warne told Sky Sports.
‘They got a score and defended that score to a tie; without a deflection off Ben Stokes’ bat for four, they would have won the game.’
Warne praised New Zealand captain Kane Williamson’s decision to bat first in heavy overhead conditions, after the start of play was delayed by rain.
‘The rub of the green went to England. Just think about it for a second: everyone said it was overcast, bowl first, but Kane Williamson had the courage to bat first and trust his gameplan,’ added Warne.
‘I also thought Williamson was brilliant with the way he manoeuvred his bowlers. He went for it early and then he brought Trent Boult back early, when he could have waited a few extra overs.
‘It’s very tough to take for New Zealand. But I’m happy for England, because I think they’ve been the best side over the last four years and the best side in this tournament, so they deserve to win.’
Sunday’s victory marked England’s first World Cup title, after final defeats by the West Indies, Australia and Pakistan in 1979, 1987 and 1992, respectively. New Zealand, meanwhile, remain without a title. They had lost the 2015 final to Australia, too.
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