London, Jul 13(BAN/CD): The stage is set for the finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup between favourites England and New Zealand to be played on Sunday a t Lords.
England are in the finals after 1992 when they lost to Pakistan then. England are yet to win the World Cup just like their rivals New Zealand. New Zealand were in the finals of the 2015 World Cup but lost to Australia. This is a great chance where one of the two teams will win the World Cup for the first time ever.
In the first semi final played between India and New Zealand in Manchester earlier New Zealand shocked a strong Indian side to win by 18 runs. Despite a poor total of 239 runs in 50 overs, the kiwis outbowled the Indians to move into the finals for the second consecutive time. Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson (67 runs) and Ross Taylor (74 runs) were the main contributors.
With grit and determination they choked the front line batsmen including Rohit Sharma (1 run), K.L.Rahul (1 run) and skipper Virat Kohli (1 run) and then held on to bowl out India for 221 runs despite some rearguard action by Jadeja (77 runs), Pandya (32 runs), Pant (32 runs) and Dhoni (50 runs) to inflict an unexpected defeat on India. Chief destroyer was Man of the Match Matt Henry who picked 3 wickets in 10 overs off 37 runs.
As expected, England under Eoin Morgan took their appointed place beating Australia convincingly by 8 wickets in a powerful display in the second semi final played in Edgbaston. Despite 3 losses in the league phase earlier, England recovered admirably to storm into the finals by winning their last two matches and qualify for the semi finals. Australia’s top batsmen like Warner and captain Finch fell quickly within 10 runs and they never came back.
Smart bowling by Man of the match Woakes (3 wickets in 8 overs off 20 runs) and Archer (2 wickets in 10 overs off 32 runs) kept Australia on the backfoot from where they never recovered. Varying their pace and length in an impeccable manner, they forced the Aussie batsmen to mistime their shots and offer easy catches. Only former skipper Steve Smith (85 runs) batted stubbornly for his side. Maxwell (22 runs) was looking dangerous before offering a simple catch to Morgan while Stoinis was a total failure with the bat when a lot was expected from him.
After a hectic action involving 10 teams hosted from 30 May to 14 July 2019, all roads will now lead to Lords for one final action. For England coach Trevor Bayliss who has been instrumental in building a strong England team it will be a just reward for all his hard work. In their league match earlier England smashed New Zealand winning by 119 runs at the Riverside Ground. However, at Lords in the finals the Black Caps will go out of their way to stop England. They also have top class players like Williamson, Taylor, Guptill, Neesham who can score heavily. Their bowlers like Boult, Henry, Ferguson and Santner can prove to be dangerous and match winners.
Come this Sunday, the Lords Cricket Ground known as the Mecca of cricket will be filled to the brim with at least 30,000 cricket lovers. Of course, this a far cry from the capacity at grounds like the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Eden Gardens (Kolkatta, India) and other big venues. The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are the owners of the ground which hosts all the top cricket matches in England against visiting teams from other nations.
In the year 2014, the Lords Cricket Ground celebrated its two hundredth anniversary with a festival match between an MCC XI captained by Sachin Tendulkar and a Rest of the World XI with Australia’s Shane Warne as captaiin in a 50 overs match. The most impressive structure at Lords is the modern Media Centre which can accommodate at least journalists on one floor and the top tier has radio and television commentary boxes. The most beautiful structure was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture in 1999. This apart, there are numerous other facilities including meeting rooms, bars and every other requirement. England played the opening match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup on 30th May beating South Africa winning by 104 runs in an impressive manner to show their cup winning intentions. Skipper Eoin Morgan of England will do everything in his capacity to ensure that he lifts the elusive World Cup defeating New Zealand in front of his massive supporters on sunday. Nevertheless, one expects a great battle between bat and ball with the best team lifting the Cup.