Sports Cricket 14 Jul 2019 England's Plunkett s ...

England's Plunkett strikes twice to rock New Zealand in World Cup final

AFP
Published Jul 14, 2019, 5:51 pm IST
Updated Jul 14, 2019, 5:58 pm IST
Before this match, Williamson had scored nearly 30 per cent of his side's runs at this tournament -- 548 at a huge average of 91.33.
At the 25-over halfway point of their innings, New Zealand were 109 for two in a match where both sides were looking to win the World Cup for the first time. (Photo: AFP)
 At the 25-over halfway point of their innings, New Zealand were 109 for two in a match where both sides were looking to win the World Cup for the first time. (Photo: AFP)

London: Liam Plunkett struck twice to put England on top in the World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord's on Sunday, taking the prized wicket of Kane Williamson before bowling Henry Nicholls.

Before this match, Williamson had scored nearly 30 per cent of his side's runs at this tournament -- 548 at a huge average of 91.33.

 

But after helping the Black Caps recover from the early loss of Martin Guptill, star batsman Williamson fell for just 30 when he was caught behind off fast bowler Liam Plunkett.

At the 25-over halfway point of their innings, New Zealand were 109 for two in a match where both sides were looking to win the World Cup for the first time.

Henry Nicholls was 49 not out, the left-handed opener's highest score of the tournament, with Ross Taylor three not out.

Williamson, just as he had done in his side's shock semi-final victory over India, batted first after winning the toss in overcast conditions.

A green-tinged pitch also promised to give England's pacemen some early assistance.

"It's a tough decision -- it's a bat-first surface but if you look above, it adds confusion," Williamson said at the toss.

Nicholls was still on nought when given out lbw to Chris Woakes, who had started the match with a wide.

Nicholls reviewed Kumar Dharmasena's decision and was reprieved when replays indicated the ball would have gone over the top of the stumps.

Fellow opener Guptill, the leading run-scorer at the 2015 World Cup, when New Zealand finished runners-up to Australia, then hit fast bowler Jofra Archer for two boundaries in three balls -- an uppercut six over the third man followed by a straight drive back over the paceman's head.

Guptill has struggled at this tournament, however, and on 19 he was lbw to Woakes, who had struck two early blows in England's eight-wicket semi-final thrashing of reigning champions Australia.

Guptill reviewed but was walking back to the pavilion even before replays confirmed the ball would have smashed into his middle stump, with the Black Caps 29-1 in the seventh over.

It left number three Williamson having to mount yet another rescue mission this World Cup.

And he was starting to do that with Nicholls, the pair putting on 74 for the second wicket.

But their stand ended when Plunkett produced a rising cross-seam delivery that Williamson edged to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Dharmasena initially said not out but an England review confirmed the end of Williamson's 53-ball innings, which featured just two fours.

Both of his lowest scores this tournament have come against England -- with Williamson out for 27 in a crushing 119-run group-stage defeat.

Early morning showers meant the start of play was pushed back until 10:45 am (09:45 GMT).

England have been in the final three times while New Zealand were beaten finalists in 2015.

When England exited the 2015 tournament after an embarrassing defeat by Bangladesh, few tipped them as potential champions four years later but a revolution in their one-day game took them to the top of the world rankings.

Back-to-back group-stage defeats by Sri Lanka and Australia effectively saw England playing knockout cricket before the semi-finals but they got their campaign back on track with impressive victories against India and New Zealand.

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