England will bid to bring 'cricket home' at Lord's on Sunday when they face New Zealand in the World Cup final.

The home of cricket will host a clash between two countries seeking their first ever World Cup triumph.

Eoin Morgan's England crushed Australia by eight wickets in the second semi-final, after Kane Williamson's Black Caps stunned India at Old Trafford in their last-four encounter.

Here we take a look at the Opta numbers behind Sunday's showpiece.

 

6 - Whichever team lifts the trophy at the weekend will become the sixth nation to win the World Cup - after West Indies, India, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

2 - England have met New Zealand in two previous ODIs at Lord's, the Black Caps winning on both occasions - by five wickets in 2013 and 51 runs in 2008.

548 - No New Zealander has scored more runs at a World Cup than Williamson has managed in this edition.

4 out of 5 - The team that has won the toss has lost four of the previous five World Cup finals. Australia's victory over Sri Lanka in 2007 is the exception.

275 - The highest successful chase in a World Cup final came in 2011 when India (277-4) beat Sri Lanka.

359 - Only one team has managed to score more than 300 in a World Cup final when batting first, Australia posting 359-2 against India 16 years ago.

1,029 - England (2,942) have scored 1,029 more runs than New Zealand (1,913) at the tournament, though they played an extra group game as the Black Caps' fixture with India was washed out.

100 - Morgan's men have been explosive in obtaining those runs too, scoring 100 more fours and 53 more maximums than their upcoming opponents.

3 - Jason Roy's return to the side has coincided with three consecutive century stands alongside Jonny Bairstow. There have been never been four successive opening partnerships worth three figures in England's ODI history.

338 - No bowler has produced more dot balls than England paceman Jofra Archer's 338. New Zealand seamer Trent Boult (320) is third on the list behind Australia's Pat Cummins (323).

The Cricket World Cup final will be played at the historic Lord's on Sunday as tournament hosts England take on New Zealand.

It promises to be a spectacular sporting spectacle, but perhaps not one that is top of everybody's list of things to watch.

With the men's Wimbledon final and the British Grand Prix taking place on the same day, England's showdown with the Black Caps has some stiff competition.

But here are five reasons why you should tune in to the cricket this weekend.

 

IT'S A WORLD CUP FINAL!

Okay, so we'll start with the obvious one, because the magnitude of this occasion should not be overlooked. It's a World Cup final at the home of cricket, contested by the hosts and a New Zealand side who were runners-up four years ago.

In fact, neither nation has ever won this coveted title, with England having lost in three finals. There are no happy mediums in such matches; it will be unbridled joy for the winners and utter dejection for the losers. That is what makes any sporting contest so captivating.

 

STAR-STUDDED CAST READY FOR THE BIGGEST STAGE

England are on the brink of justifying their status as pre-tournament favourites, a tag that was thrust upon them largely because of their stellar batting line-up, which runs deep. If you want to see a side that likes to get on the front foot and make big scores, England are the team for you.

Eoin Morgan, the England captain, has 22 sixes to his name and Joe Root's tally of 549 runs is the fourth highest in this year's competition, while Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler can rack up huge scores in a hurry.

But it's not all about the home side, because Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson has proven inspirational for his team, scoring just one run shy of Root's fine total.

Then there are the bowlers - fast ones, too. England have Jofra Archer and Mark Wood to provide the pace and while Trent Boult may be the ace in the Kiwi attack, Lockie Ferguson is the speedster in their squad.

 

A FAN-TASTIC ATMOSPHERE

I'll level with you – an England-India final would have been ripe for a better atmosphere than the one you'll witness on Sunday, but that's because supporters of Virat Kohli's side are unrivalled in world cricket. Putting aside the disappointment of them not being there, you can rest assured that England and New Zealand fans will bring the noise.

England are, after all, on home soil and the Kiwi following will be keen to enjoy themselves, having seen their side overcome underdog status against India in the semi-finals. The stands will be a riot of noise and colour. How can that fail to lift the spirits?

 

YOU MIGHT LEARN A THING OR TWO

If you're planning on making this the first cricket match you've ever properly watched, bank on the fact there will be numerous times when it's all a bit confusing. The abundance of stats, the strange terminology, the occasional spells of apparent inactivity when nobody seems to be doing much of anything... it can all be a bit baffling to the casual observer.

But watch closely and you will definitely learn a thing or two. A whole new world will open up to you as you get to grips with wicket maidens, yorkers and ducks of varying colours.

 

THERE'S NOT ANOTHER ONE UNTIL 2023...

International cricket does not begin and end with the World Cup, but it is unquestionably a big deal. After Sunday, this event will be put to one side for another four years.

If for some unfathomable reason you have thus far missed out on all the fun, this is your last chance to get involved.

England against New Zealand is scheduled to start at 1030 BST (0930 GMT). Just watch it.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes looms as the match-winner in Sunday's Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand, according to former Australia spinner Brad Hogg.

Hogg helped Australia to World Cup glory in 2003 and 2007 and is expecting tournament hosts England to lift one-day international cricket's biggest prize for the first time.

Stokes has hit 381 runs at 54.42 during the World Cup and has also chipped in with seven wickets for an England side who booked their place in the Lord's decider with an eight-wicket thrashing of Australia on Thursday.

"I favour England right now," Hogg told Omnisport.

"They've been dominating international cricket in the one-day scene over the past two years, but the way they handled that pressure situation against Australia - that was a huge moment for them. I thought they were going to buckle under pressure.

"For England, the middle order, I still think is vulnerable. But they've got Ben Stokes down there. With the bat and ball, he handles the pressure situations and he is the key for England for me."

Hogg is insistent the decider will be close - and decided by the impact all-rounders can have with the bat.

That is despite the fact England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have posted four 100-plus partnerships for the first wicket in seven attempts at the tournament.

"I don't think the English openers are going to have that success again in the final," he added.

"The game will be won by the all-rounders, so [Jimmy] Neesham, [Colin] de Grandhomme versus Ben Stokes and [England wicket-keeper Jos] Buttler."

Hogg also warned against complacency for England. Eoin Morgan's side enter the final on the back of successive wins against India, New Zealand and Australia, form that has them big favourites to win the World Cup.

"New Zealand aren't the Easybeats," he said. "They stand up, they fight. I think the key player for NZ is [Matt] Henry. Can he continue the momentum that he had against the Indians in the semi-final with a beautiful opening spell?

"They had Tim Southee there as opening bowler for a long time but he hasn't been in form. Henry's taken that spot and he's holding the fort at the moment. He is the key for NZ to continue handling that pressure."

Jamaica Reggae Girlz patron Cedella Marley recently expressed strong disapproval of how the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) handles funding.

Forty-six days after kicking off the World Cup against South Africa, England takes on New Zealand in the decider.


With both teams yet to taste World Cup glory, Sunday’s final will see just the sixth ever nation ever crowned men’s World Cup champions.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board has announced 20-year-old spinner Rashid Khan will become the nation's new captain across all three formats of the game.

Rashid has played 108 international fixtures for his country in a blossoming career that has also included headline-making stints in the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League.

He has a big job on his hands, though, with a host of leadership changes having already happened in a difficult 2019 for Afghanistan that peaked with a winless run at the Cricket World Cup.

Rashid, who was already the nation's Twenty20 captain, will replace Rahmat Shah as Test skipper and will take over ODI duties from Gulbadin Naib.

"There are no issues in the team. We all play as one team and play only for the country," Rashid said in a statement.

"Whatever I am today, is because of this country and this team."

Asghar Afghan will serve as Rashid's vice-captain, the former controversially dumped from his role as ODI captain in April.

Rashid spoke out at the time, posting on Twitter that the decision to replace Afghan with Gulbadin was "irresponsible".

Gulbadin endured a difficult World Cup at the helm for Afghanistan, with the nation failing to win any of their nine matches at the tournament.

Afghanistan's best chance to win a match at the tournament came in a tense fixture against Pakistan in Leeds that went to the final over.

But Pakistan chased down a victory target of 228 with two balls to spare as Gulbadin – who finished with figures of 0-73 – was criticised for bringing himself back into the attack on multiple occasions.

Both Afghanistan bowler Aftab Alam and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad were sent home from the World Cup, too.

Alam was later hit with a one-year suspension from domestic and international cricket for falling foul of the team's code of conduct.

Shahzad's expulsion from the camp was, according to the Afghanistan Cricket Board, due to fitness, a suggestion denied by the player.

Brad Hogg believes Australia "need to find answers" after middle-order failures led to them bowing out of the Cricket World Cup.

Two-time World Cup winner Hogg is urging selectors to develop a long-term vision for the team, with a view to them being trophy contenders at the 2023 tournament in India.

And if long-standing members of the side such as David Warner, Steve Smith and Aaron Finch, all men in their thirties, are unlikely to be playing ODI cricket by that stage, Hogg has questioned whether they should hang around.

“What needs to change? Not much needs to change," Hogg told Omnisport.

"We just need to work out whether Warner and Smith, as well as Finch, are going to be around in four years’ time.

"Mitchell Starc – is his body going to hold up? We’ve got to make sure we get depth in our bowling department.

"But that middle order – we’ve got to find answers there. We’ve got to get a decent all-rounder, and we’ve got to have a number five that can handle the pressure."

Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis endured poor World Cup campaigns with the bat, neither making a half-century, and they were the glaring examples of middle-order underachievers.

"We can’t just rely on one batsman like [Alex] Carey to work through those tough situations at the end," Hogg said. "That’s probably the only holes I see that we need to fill."

Australia finished second in the group stage at the World Cup but an eight-wicket semi-final defeat at the hands of England was a painful way to wave trophy hopes goodbye.

Hogg, 48, was a limited-overs specialist, a tricky left-arm wrist spinner who would often add useful runs down the order.

He has noticed a pick-up in Australia's ODI performances, with series victories over India and Pakistan preceding their World Cup run.

They were thrashed 5-0 by England last summer, not long after the ball-tampering scandal that led to suspensions for Warner, Smith and Cameron Bancroft.

And Hogg feels Australia are now a far stronger unit.

He said the team appear "rejuvenated", adding: "You can turn things around in a couple of months. 

"Yes, we’ve had a tough time of it over the last couple of years but the attitude of this Australian team, I’ve been so impressed.

"They prepared well, they left no stone unturned, and where they were two months ago I wouldn't have given them a chance in this World Cup. These guys can hold their heads up high and Australians [can] be proud of these performances."

Jofra Archer is putting all Ashes talk on hold until after England's Cricket World Cup final showdown with New Zealand on Sunday.

The fiery fast bowler was born in Barbados and only became eligible to play for England this year, yet already he looks like a player who could make a lasting impact across all formats.

With James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the twilight of their international careers, the prospect of another prolific wicket-taking paceman coming into the Test side holds obvious appeal.

England's selectors will consider options for the Ashes in the coming weeks, with the opener against Australia beginning on August 1 at Edgbaston.

Asked about his Ashes chances, Archer said: "After Sunday I can probably answer that, but now I'm just focusing on trying to win the final."

He has 19 wickets at the World Cup already, emerging as the team's number one strike bowler, but is taking the achievements and the focus on him in his stride.

"I'm just glad the team's doing well," Archer said. "I could be doing terribly but as long as the team's winning I'm all right."

England have found prime form at the right time, getting out of group-stage trouble with victories over India and New Zealand before throttling Australia by eight wickets in Thursday's semi-final at Edgbaston.

Archer has vowed to keep unleashing bouncers at batsmen after one sparky delivery banged Australia's Alex Carey on the helmet, causing a chin injury that required six stitches.

The 24-year-old Sussex quick said: "You don't always mean to hit them. You just try to bowl a bouncer because it can be a wicket-taking ball or a dot ball.

"When it hits them you feel a little bit bad for doing it, but it's cricket and I don't think he'll be the last person to get hit."

Archer and England departed Birmingham in high spirits, and with a Lord's appointment booked the tournament hosts will target one last major push.

A niggling side issue should not prevent Archer playing a full part in the showpiece match, although when asked about the problem he admitted it was still causing some discomfort.

"A little bit but I'll keep soldiering on," Archer said. "I've been like this for a few games now. It's not getting any worse so that's a good sign."

Archer took eight wickets for Sussex against Middlesex in a County Championship match at Lord's last year, and facing the same opponents at the same ground he bagged a T20 hat-trick that included the scalp of England skipper Eoin Morgan.

But Archer said memories of the stadium left him with "mixed feelings".

"Sometimes I do OK, sometimes I don't do as well as I would like," Archer said. "Hopefully on Sunday it goes England's way, not just my way but England's way."

Pat Cummins cannot wait to return to Edgbaston and believes Australia will want revenge in the Ashes opener after their Cricket World Cup exit at England's hands.

Australia had to stomach a semi-final defeat to their oldest rivals on Thursday, when rampant England clinched an eight-wicket success with 17.5 overs in hand.

But the teams will return to the Birmingham ground for the first Test of their five-match Ashes series, with the August 1 start giving Australia an immediate focus as they cope with ODI frustration.

After England were roared on to victory by raucous supporters, Cummins said: "We're back here at Birmingham in two or three weeks. I know what to expect, know what to expect from the crowd."

England were beaten 2-1 by West Indies in their last Test series, in the Caribbean at the start of the year, and Cummins suggested Joe Root's five-day side are not the same proven force as Eoin Morgan's limited-overs team.

"They've got a couple of players but it's a pretty new team, their red-ball side," Cummins said, before returning to his theme of wanting to do better next time at Edgbaston.

"I don't need too much extra fuel, but it gives us a little more."

Cummins said Australia's disappointment would be tempered by their improvement as an ODI side in the past year.

"It's annoying and I'm peeved off at the moment," he said, before stressing he was "pretty proud of where we've come from".

"Last 12 months, if you told us we were going to be in a semi-final and come second in the group stage we'd have been really happy. In the knockout stages it happens, you get beaten by the better team on the day.

"I think we were always chasing that perfect game, but it just didn't come. We probably needed it out there [on Thursday].

"We managed to win games without playing the perfect game the whole way through."

Asked which team will win the World Cup, with New Zealand awaiting Morgan's men in Sunday's final at Lord's, Cummins said: "Probably England."

West Indies director of cricket Jimmy Adams does not believe the Windies talent matched-up to their 9th-place finish at the ICC World Cup but was quick to admit that ‘potential’ has never been enough to win tournaments.

After being picked by some pundits and fans as potential darkhorses, with the talent to shock the bigger teams at the tournament, the Windies had a dismal campaign. 

Things began brightly enough with a big win over Pakistan but went quickly downhill after losses to Australia, England, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and India, before a win over Afghanistan.

“I don’t think ninth was a reflection of our potential, but potential does not win tournaments,” Adams said in an exclusive interview with SportsMax Zone.

The Windies had, however, missed out on automatic qualification to the tournament by not being seeded in the top eight teams in 2017.  The team was only able to secure its spot at the tournament via qualification in the 2018 ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers.

With the regional team experiencing yet another disappointing campaign, however,

“I think consistency is learned behaviour, not just in sports but in life.  We need to turn the spotlight on how we develop our players.  Is there a chink in how we develop players that affects them in the future?

“This is not the first cycle that we are having this issue, which is consistency, it has dogged our cricket for quite some time,” he added.

“I think the answer lies partly in how we develop our players…and until we crack that particular issue the cricket will continue to frustrate us.”

 

 

 

 

 

England star Jason Roy has been fined after reacting badly to his controversial dismissal in the Cricket World Cup semi-final win over Australia.

The opener's stunning knock was ended on 85 when he was given out caught behind despite replays showing he made no contact with a Pat Cummins delivery.

Roy initially refused to walk, but England had no reviews left so he had no choice but to leave the field.

He did so in evident disgust at umpire Kumar Dharmasena's decision, with his reaction constituting dissent and a breach of Article 2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel.

The 28-year-old, who admitted the offence and sanction, has been fined 30 per cent of his match fee and awarded two demerit points, but will be available for Sunday's final against New Zealand.

Eoin Morgan's side won by eight wickets at Edgbaston, having reduced Australia to 223 all out before completing their chase in 32.1 overs. 

Eoin Morgan lauded England's remarkable ODI revival after his side reached the Cricket World Cup final four years after a humiliating group-stage exit.

An eight-wicket thrashing of Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday underlined England's quality, which is a long way removed from the abysmal displays they produced at the 2015 tournament.

Back then they missed out on the knockout phase after losing to Bangladesh, marking a low point for English cricket in the one-day game.

But on Sunday they will contest a Lord's final with New Zealand, which Morgan could not have foreseen after their miserable outing in Australia and New Zealand last time out.

"If you told me after the last World Cup that we'd reach the final I wouldn't have believed you," the captain told the BBC's Test Match Special.

"It sums up how far we have come in the last four years. Everyone should take a huge amount of credit.

"Today was close to a perfect performance, right from the two bowlers up front. Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer bowled a hell of a spell.

"They put pressure on with early wickets and allowed us to stay on the front foot."

Speaking on the field, Morgan also praised the fans who roared England on to victory, marking their third triumph in a row after consecutive wins over India and the Black Caps pulled the hosts back from the brink of another early exit.

"I would like to thank the fans – we've had unbelievable support and Edgbaston has always been very kind to us," he said.

"Having beaten India in the group stages here we would've come here with similar confidence. The way we have taken momentum from the last two group games into the semi-finals is very important.

"We set the tone early and when we got on top we made Australia pay."

Aaron Finch conceded Australia had been "totally outplayed" by England as the hosts stormed into the Cricket World Cup final on Thursday.

England secured an eight-wicket win at Edgbaston after bowling Australia out for 223, with Jason Roy's explosive 85 doing much of the damage in a chase that was completed in 32.1 overs.

Australia, who won what was considered a potentially pivotal toss, were on the back foot almost immediately and Finch was among the early wickets to fall after failing to score.

"We were totally outplayed," said the captain after Australia's first World Cup semi-final loss. "The way they set the tone with the ball in those first 10 overs was a huge part in the game.

"You expect the new ball to seam a bit on any surface but they bowled a great length, hitting the stumps a lot.

"There are still a lot of positives to take out of the campaign and from the last few months – we've come a long way from where we were last year in ODI cricket in this country.

"You always want to win the trophy but there have been a lot of positives. A lot of hard work has gone in from a lot of people. I'm proud of how the group has progressed but this still hurts.

"We tried to change it up as much as we could but Roy and [Jonny] Bairstow are so dynamic when they are on top. We didn't execute as well as we could and got hurt by a very good England team."

It is the first time Australia have lost to England at a 50-over World Cup since 1992, which is also the last time the latter reached the final. 

Much of the talk around England and Australia's Cricket World Cup semi-final focused on one word – pressure.

And, with serial World Cup winners and reigning champions Australia perhaps more intent on Ashes glory later on this tour, the majority of those discussions centred on England.

Would they wilt at the semi-final stage? Could they chase down a total? Would the expectancy of the Edgbaston faithful weigh heavy on their shoulders?

The answer to all those questions was a resounding 'no', as Eoin Morgan's men stormed into a Lord's final against New Zealand with an eight-wicket thrashing on Thursday in front of an increasingly raucous crowd that belted out 'Sweet Caroline' with intensifying vigour as the end drew near.

A developing trend at these finals has seen sides win the toss, opt to bat, post a score and subsequently squeeze the opposition on deteriorating pitches.

Coming into this encounter, 17 of the previous 21 matches had been won by the side batting first – a sequence that included England's victories over India and New Zealand to secure their place in the last four.

On both occasions, the hosts went big and comfortably defended their totals, but the two prior outings had seen altogether different outcomes.

England failed to chase 233 against Sri Lanka at Headingley and were well short as Australia cruised to a 64-run win at Lord's.

Before the tournament, Morgan's men were seen as the team that could overhaul any score, thumping Pakistan 4-0 in an ODI series that featured two successful chases in excess of 340.

Those losses to Sri Lanka and Australia changed that perception, at least among pundits and the public, and another P-word – pressure – became a significant factor in the equation.

But that was nowhere to be seen at Edgbaston on Thursday, as Australia were rolled out for 223 before a below-par target was overhauled with 107 balls remaining.

Once again, England owed much to Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, who added 124 for the opening stand inside 18 overs – their fourth successive century partnership.

In Wednesday's media conference, Aaron Finch talked up the importance of the first 10 overs. Whoever started the better would likely go on and win, was the suggestion.

The Australia captain got his first wish in winning the toss and opting to bat, only to fall to Jofra Archer for a golden duck and then watch as David Warner and Peter Handscomb swiftly joined him back in the dressing room. After 10 overs, Australia were 27-3 and had struck only three fours.

England, by contrast, had surpassed that tally inside six overs and had even added a Roy maximum for good measure en route to being 50-0 at the end of the first powerplay.

The chat in the media box during the innings break was that 224 could prove a challenging target – after all, England had failed in similar circumstances against Sri Lanka while there were lessons to be learned from New Zealand's semi-final win over India 24 hours previously, when the Black Caps successfully defended 239.

But Roy and Bairstow strode out as if this was a bilateral series bash-fest, an approach underlined by the former launching Nathan Lyon's first ball for six and reverse sweeping for four later in the same over.

Struggling to stem the flow, Finch turned to the occasional leg-spin of Steve Smith. Roy responded by hammering three straight sixes, the third an absolute monster into the top tier.

The early swing Chris Woakes and Archer had enjoyed was not evident for Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff, while England's openers took full advantage as Roy produced another performance that will only intensify calls for him to be included in the Ashes squad.

Ahead of a World Cup final, that is a discussion for another day, but this display should at least put to bed all the prior talk of pressure and whether it would overwhelm this England team.

Exactly a year on from the men's football team's semi-final heartache, the Edgbaston crowd sang 'Cricket's coming home'. That is yet to be decided but, on this evidence, if England are found wanting at Lord's, it is unlikely to be due to the gravity of the occasion.

Chris Woakes was delighted as England demonstrated their class in an eight-wicket demolition of Australia to reach the Cricket World Cup final.

With figures of 3-20, Woakes' man-of-the-match display epitomised England's dominance of Thursday's clash at Edgbaston, where Australia were bowled out for 223.

Jason Roy (85) starred with the bat as the tournament hosts chased down the target in 32.1 overs, setting up a Lord's showdown with New Zealand on Sunday.

"I'm pretty speechless," said Woakes after England reached the final for the first time since 1992. "It was an incredible performance from the whole team.

"It started with the bowling performance and then the way they [the batsmen] knocked that off was outstanding.

"There were some nerves around this morning but that's natural going into a semi-final. The way we produced the goods just showed how good we are and where we are at as a team.

"It hasn't sunk in that we're in a World Cup final and hopefully we can go all the way.

"We were tipped as favourties so it was important to get to the semi-final in the first place, and then to win this in this fashion against this Australia side on the best ground in the world is amazing."

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