The daily tournament preview charges down the wicket with Cricket World Cup tips for what shapes as an epic final between England and New Zealand.
19:30 (AEST), Sun 14th Jul @ Lord’s, London
History: Played 90: New Zealand 43 V England 41 (2 Ties, 4 No Results)
Last meeting: July 3, 2019: England d New Zealand by 119 runs at Riverside Ground
Final Thoughts: The 2019 Cricket World Cup will see a first-time winner crowned after New Zealand and hosts England won through to the final. The Kiwis went down to Australia in the 2015 final – their first appearance in a CWC decider. England, who lost three of the first five finals, feature for the first time since 1992.
Under pressure earlier in the tournament, England stormed into the knockouts with three clutch wins over Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand.
The pre-World Cup favourites then produced a master-class in their first semi-final in 27 years. A blistering start by pace spearheads Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer ultimately gave their batsman a target of just 224. Jason Roy (85 off 65) then dominated an opening stand of 124, before Joe Root (49* off 46) and Eoin Morgan (45* off 39) finished it off with almost 18 overs left.
Out-of-form New Zealand produced one of the all-time great ODI upsets against India in their semi. Backs-to-the-wall knocks from Kane Williamson (67 off 95) and Ross Taylor (74 off 90) allowed the Kiwis to grind through to 8/239. Brilliant opening spells from Matt Henry and Trent Boult put India under immediate pressure, while Mitchell Santner also bowled magnificently as the heavyweights came up 18 runs short.
England crushed New Zealand by 119 runs last week. Jonny Bairstow (106 off 99) and Jason Roy (60 off 61) saw England through to 8/305, while Tom Latham (57 off 65) was NZ’s only batsman to make more than 28. The result clinched England’s spot in the semis, while New Zealand still scraped through on net run-rate despite suffering their third straight loss.
England snatch rivalry advantage
The Chester-le-Street win also snapped a five-match losing streak against the Kiwis in Cricket World Cup matches.
England have won eight of the 12 50-over clashes since their humiliating World Cup loss in Wellington in 2015. That period has included a 4-2 home series win in 2017 and a 3-2 series success in New Zealand. The Black Caps are unbeaten in two completed ODI matches at Lord’s, however.
The team chasing has won four of the last six Cricket World Cup finals.
England, with better form on the board and a heaving home crowd at Lord’s behind them, are hot $1.32 favourites.
They appear to have a major advantage in the batting stakes, with openers Roy and Jonny Bairstow in outstanding touch. NZ counterparts Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill are struggling big-time, though the latter’s already-famous run-out against India could spark his match-winning potential again.
With Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Woakes at 5, 6 and 7, England also hold an advantage in the middle-order.
Bowling-wise, there’s not too much between the teams. The express pace of Lockie Ferguson at first change may give the Kiwis a slight edge.
Since his 73 not out in the tournament opener against Sri Lanka, Guptill has scored 35 or less in eight innings. Five times he has been out for single figures. But the scene is set for him to play the hero – and NZ desperately need him to.
It’s a fascinating decider – and New Zealand are tantalising value as $3.42 outsiders given the sense of expectation around perennial underachievers England.