3.15 pm: New Zealand’s opening pair has averaged just 25 runs — the second lowest in the tournament. It’s a massive day for Martin Guptill especially, who has been woefully short of runs. Can he step up? He is facing Chris Woakes to get us underway.
Here. We. Go!
3.11 pm: How important is this man today for England? What a story it will be if Jofra Archer becomes the architect of England men’s first ever World Cup win.
3.09 pm: Time for the national anthems. New Zealand first… followed by England’s.
3.08 pm: The teams make their way down the stairs… into the famous Long Room… and out on to the field at Lord’s!
Both teams are unchanged from their previous game.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, L Plunkett, A Rashid, J Archer, M Wood
New Zealand: M Guptill, H Nicholls, K Williamson, R Taylor, T Latham, J Neesham, C de Grandhomme, M Santner, M Henry, T Boult, L Ferguson
2:53 pm: For all the England fans – after the first nine editions proved to be a tough hunting ground for hosts, the last two editions have been won by one of the country co-hosting it. England have the chance to complete a hat-trick on Sunday at Lord’s.
2:52 pm: Some more titbits for all you stats aficionados: Only once has the side batting first in an World Cup final scored more than 300 runs (Australia 359/2 v India, 2003), the highest successful chase in a final was India’s 277/4 v Sri Lanka in the 2011 final (victory target of 275).
“It’s always a 50-50 call here at Lord’s. Want to be more relaxed today and back our brand our cricket. I am really proud of the boys,” says Morgan. We are in for a cracker.
TOSS: NEW ZEALAND WIN TOSS and opt to to bat first. “Great to get across the line against India. Always back Martin Guptill with the bat,” Williamson says. “Expect some runs from him. Different opposition, different venue and a different day [from the previous World Cup]. It is about playing some good cricket.”
2:40 pm: Sourav Ganguly at the pitch report said that there will be movement for the pacers early on. Kevin Pietersen also says that he is not sure if he will bat first on this wicket. There is some green on the wicket and we are not sure if the rain will have a role to play.
2:34 pm: Kane Williamson has scored more runs (548) in this World Cup than any other player has managed in an edition for New Zealand, Joe Root has set the same record for England (549 runs). Both players are in with a chance to overhaul Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 673 runs in one edition (2003). They need a century to overhaul Rohit Sharma’s tally of 649 runs in this edition.
2:24 pm: Believe it or not, New Zealand have the edge. England and New Zealand have met twice before in men’s ODIs at Lord’s, the Black Caps winning both previous encounters, a 5-wicket victory in 2013 and a 51-run triumph in 2008.
2:21 pm: Kumar Dharmasena (despite the Jason Roy outburst in the semi-final) and Marais Erasmus are the main officials for the big day at Lord’s.
2.17 pm: Looking for good omen New Zealand fans?
- England and New Zealand have met twice before in men’s ODIs at Lord’s, the Black Caps winning both previous encounters, a 5-wicket victory in 2013 and a 51-run triumph in 2008.
2.12 pm: Form and history provide mixed signals…
- England have won seven of their last nine men’s ODIs against New Zealand, including a 119-run victory at The Riverside (Durham) in the group stage of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. But before England’s triumph over New Zealand earlier in this tournament they hadn’t beaten the Black Caps in the Men’s Cricket World Cup since 1983, suffering a string of five consecutive defeats against them in the competition in that time.
- England are playing in their first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final since 1992 whilst New Zealand have now reached this stage in back-to-back editions (also 2015) having never made it to the final before.
- England are trying to emulate the England women’s ODI side who lifted the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2017 with a dramatic 9-run victory over India at the same venue (Lord’s).
1.58 pm: First things first. There was some rain at Lord’s earlier but now it seems to be clearing up. We might be in for a delayed start but forecast is fine.
1.55 pm: Hello all! It’s World Cup final day! The biggest day in cricket… once in four years, an occasion that cricket fans around the world wait with excitement for (even if their favourite team is not part of it).
Two years after the women’s team stunned India at Lord’s, England’s men’s team look to create history of their own. Four years after New Zealand fell short at the final hurdle, Kane Williamson and Co stand at the cusp of glory again.
Eoin Morgan’s England face New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday desperate to win the World Cup for the first time after four years of hard graft. When England exited the 2015 tournament after an embarrassing defeat by Bangladesh, few tipped them as potential champions four years later.
As captain Morgan put it: “If you had offered us the position to play in a final the day after we were knocked out of the 2015 World Cup, I would have laughed at you.”
The challenge for the host nation, as they seek a first title in the 44-year history of the World Cup, is to embrace Sunday’s occasion at Lord’s without it inhibiting their “fearless” brand of cricket.
“It’s the culmination of four years of hard work and dedication, a lot of planning and it presents a huge opportunity to go on and try and win a World Cup,” said Morgan.
New Zealand, who have also never won the World Cup, helped shock England into a change of approach by humiliating them in Wellington four years ago and cannot be underestimated after seeing off Virat Kohli’s India in the semi-finals.
The 2015 losing finalists boast a well-balanced attack led by left-arm quick Trent Boult but their batting has been hugely reliant on captain Kane Williamson, who has scored 548 runs in the tournament at an outstanding average of 91.33, and Ross Taylor.
Williamson said his side were happy to embrace their underdog status, acknowledging that England deserved to be favourites.
“But whatever dog we are, it’s just important that we focus on the cricket that we want to play,” he said. “And we have seen over the years that anybody can beat anybody – regardless of breed of dog.”
(With AFP inputs)
(Screenshots in this blog courtesy Hotstar)