By: Chinmay Vaidya
The most thrilling match in the history of one-day cricket came down to a tiebreaker; the most number of boundaries hit in the innings. And with that tiebreaker, England has started a potentially historic "Golden Generation" with a World Cup title.
The hosts and New Zealand couldn't be separated after 50 brilliant overs from each team. They couldn't be separated after a "Super Over" each, meaning the final tiebreaker had to be utilized. Should both teams have kept playing "super overs"? Probably. The ICC will have to look at the rules again. Regardless of the final decision, the 2019 World Cup final will be the greatest match in cricket history for a long, long time.
The Blackcaps set up a score of 241, potentially 20-25 runs under par at the start of the day. England got off to a decent start before Matt Henry picked up Jason Roy's crucial wicket. After Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan perished at crucial stages in the contest, England relied on its two middle-order stars to take the chase deep.
Ben Stokes, the most reliable player for England in the tournament, and Jos Buttler gave the hosts a fighting chance at the end of the innings when wickets continued to fall. New Zealand had some bad luck as well despite some stunning catches and excellent ground fielding.
Trent Boult had the chance to flip a ball caught near the rope to a teammate to end Stokes, but he put his foot on the boundary rope. On the next play, a throw in from the outfield ricocheted off Stokes and went to the boundary, resulting in four overthrows and gave England a chance to win with 3 runs from 2 balls. New Zealand then got two run outs to force a "super over". England got 15 in its one over. New Zealand also finished with 15, with a run-out on the final ball needing 2 from 1 resulting in a tie and England winning the tiebreaker.
At the end of the day, both teams had great chances to win at multiple stages of the game. The tiebreaker is ultimately the rule, but additional "super overs" could've cemented this contest as an all-timer. England now gets to start on its "Golden Generation" with a one-day World Cup. Four years of transformation and work have paid off and England is ready to reap the benefits. The team will be favored in the 2020 and 2021 T20 World Cups and should be a contender in 2023 with the majority of this championship squad back in place. It's potentially four years of dominance after four years of rebuilding for the English. They wouldn't have it any other way.