Kane Williamson revealed why he had sent James Neesham and Martin Guptill during that high-octane super over of the 2019 World Cup final that was played at the 'Mecca of Cricket' Lord's on July 14, 2019. Chasing a target of 16 to win their maiden World Cup, the duo had scored 14 off five deliveries. With two runs needed, Guptill was on strike, but an attempted yorker from Jofra Archer meant that he failed to time the ball well and had no choice but to take two runs. However, he could not complete the second run as he was run-out at the strikers' end by Jos Buttler as England lifted the coveted trophy for the very first time due to the boundary count rule.
“I had a very brief discussion with the coach Gary Stead, I had a few guys in my mind who could go out to bat as we were going to bat second in the Super Over, the decision to send out batsmen was dependent on how much we were chasing and who the bowler is probably going to be,” said Williamson while interacting with veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on his official Youtube channel `DRS with Ash’.
“It was about giving yourself with the best possible opportunity, Neesham was hitting the ball very well throughout the World Cup and we all know how capable Guptill really is of hitting the ball out of the park, there was a short boundary on one side of the ground. They are both quicks between the 22 yards so this helped too,” the Black Caps skipper added.
“I was padded up to come in at three, it was a different experience to be a part of, both Neesham and Guptill did a good job, Jofra Archer is a remarkable bowler, emotions were so high after the final, it was a long tournament when the time comes and it finishes, it’s like of a draining feeling as all of it finishes. The guys were filled with emotion after what really transpired,” the elegant batsman further added.
Chasing a modest target of 242, the hosts were reduced to 86/4 and just when they were in trouble their middle-order batsmen Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler added 110 runs for the fifth wicket stand after which New Zealand started pulling things back.
Just when they appeared to be in the driver's seat, an overthrow from Martin Guptill deflected off Stokes' bat and went for a boundary even before the batsmen had completed running two. However, the on-field umpire Kumar Dharmasena signalled it as six runs, and eventually, the match was tied and a super over was needed to determine the winner. Much to everyone's surprise, even the super over ended in a tie after Martin Guptill was run out while attempting a non-existent second run. Thus, England were declared winners due to the boundary count rule as they had scored more boundaries compared to New Zealand.
''This is the moment. It's Archer to Guptill. Two to win. Guptill's gonna push for two. They have got to go. It's gonna go to the keeper's end. He has got it. England have won the World Cup by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins. Absolute ecstasy for England. Agony, agony for New Zealand," shouted Ian Smith from the commentary box.
(Image Courtesy: AP)