Captain Kane Williamson humbly accepted the peculiar circumstances of Sunday’s defeat by England in the World Cup final at Lord’s in London.
Chasing a 242-run target, England were bowled out for 241. With the match tied, a Super Over was required. That, too, was tied. Tournament rules, therefore, declared England the winners on the back of a superior boundary count.
New Zealand also had to accept the six gathered by all-rounder Ben Stokes during regulation play. A throw from the deep saw the ball ricochet off Stokes’ bat to the boundary – and two runs became six.
‘Both the teams showed a lot of fight. It had to go down to the last ball – and then the last ball of the next little match, but a great match all round,’ said Williamson.
‘A lot of positives for us as well. It was a shame that the ball hit Stokes’ bat, but I just hope it doesn’t happen in moments like that. Unfortunately, that sort of thing happens from time to time. It’s a part of the game that we play. I don’t wish to nitpick, but I just hope it never happens in such moments ever again.’
Williamson described his decision, after winning the toss, to bat in damp conditions that were arguably conducive to batting first.
‘We were thinking about the overhead conditions. The pitch was on the drier side. We thought runs on the board would be a good option. But in a World Cup final this was a competitive total. The bowlers really put the batsmen under pressure on a tough surface,’ he added.
New Zealand also lost the 2015 World Cup final to Australia. This is England’s first World Cup title, after final defeats by the West Indies, Australia and Pakistan in 1979, 1987 and 1992, respectively.
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