Former Cricketers Question England’s ‘World Cup Champions’ Title After Draw Final

Bangladesh bowler Rubel Hossain and team mates Soumya Sarker and Taskin Ahmed react after England captain Eoin Morgan was caught out for a duck during their Cricket World Cup match in Adelaide

Bangladesh bowler Rubel Hossain and team mates Soumya Sarker and Taskin Ahmed react after England captain Eoin Morgan was caught out for a duck during their Cricket World Cup match in Adelaide

I can not imagine a better bunch of guys to share it with.

"This has been a four-year journey, we have developed a lot".

Back-to-back defeats by Sri Lanka and Australia in the group stage helped England rediscover the attacking brand of fearless cricket which has been the hallmark of the current team.

And what about Stokes, born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and playing nearly a year after he was cleared by a court of affray following a street brawl on a night out in September 2017. It reduced what looked to be an equation of seven runs needed from two balls - or eight, if Stokes was run out by Martin Guptill's throw - to a much more manageable three from two, in their chase of 242 for victory.

The national side were back on a free-to-air terrestrial platform for the first time since the halcyon days of 2005 and they did not miss their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to match the achievements of their female counterparts, who became world champions at the home of cricket two summers ago.

Henry Nicholls made 55 and Tom Latham 47 without ever really looking comfortable but the score began to look challenging as England slumped to 86-4 before Stokes and Buttler put on 110 to set up the unbelievable finale.

New Zealand, still awaiting their first World Cup title after losing the final for the second straight tournament, were in a decent spot at 103-1 in the 23rd over - Williamson electing to bat, despite rain delaying play by 15 minutes.

England could have been in a bigger hole had de Grandhomme not dropped a waist-high return catch from Bairstow, then on 18. Only Henry Nicholls (55), Tom Latham (47) and the captain himself (30) were able to impress as the hosts restricted the Kiwis to a moderate score of 241/8 in their allotted 50 overs.

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"They (England) should have been awarded five runs, not six", Taufel told Fox Sports.

The next delivery also yielded six runs albeit in an extraordinary manner. Adil Rashid was running to the non-striker's end and was easily run out, but Stokes had the strike and England had an extra run.

Man-of-the-match Stokes was in the thick of it again when a ball thrown into the keeper cannoned off his bat as he stretched to make his ground on a second run - and rushed away to the Lord's boundary. Talking on the same issue, Williamson said: "Yeah, we sort of wanted 250, 260. You can't nitpick, it just wasn't meant to be".

"But regardless of that final outcome I just feel incredibly proud of the Black Caps, and I hope every New Zealander does because they played remarkable cricket". "The guys are shattered. It's devastating. Tough to swallow".

Stokes' batting heroics earned him the player-of-the-match honour and the all-rounder said the sport may never again see anything to match the frantic finish to the contest.

"And Joe Root came up to me and said some inspirational words as well". "The planning, hard work, dedication, commitment and the little bit of luck really did get us over the line".

It will go down as one of the most entertaining, controversial and unbelievable cricket matches of all time.

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