England vs New Zealand: “Home is where your story begins” said, Annie Danielson.
The story for England began in 1877, the supposed pioneers of the beautiful game. They played the Aussies in the first ever test, the ODIs began with these two teams having a hit after the first three days of an Ashes test were washed out & all England have to show in their trophy cabinet is the World T20 title they’d won in 2010. It wasn’t a silky progression to the semis for England. And as things stand, the 3rd & the 4th placed team on the points table will play the 2019 World Cup finals.
The English soil has seen champions like Clive Lloyd, Kapil Dev & Steve Waugh savour World Cup wins, but, never has an English skipper been able to flaunt the gorgeous prize. 27 years since they last played a World Cup finals, the Poms now battle it out for the most cherished possession in cricket. It’s coming home has been a common outcry, but is it really?
New Zealand making it to the final four of the World Cup is a given. The mega event is in its 12th edition & the men in black have made it through to the semis a staggering 8 times. The Kiwis have had a roller-coaster of a tournament so far but they’ve displayed strong character. The ebb of a flying start to the 2019 World Cup did create a stir among the New Zealanders but the bathos of not making it to the finals was overpowered by stunning conduct. Three bitter defeats didn’t hamper their spirits & against the Asian giants every ounce of their skill was brought to the fore. Will the trophy make its way to 40.9006° S, 174.8860° E?
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When: 14th July 2019, Sunday
Where: Lord’s, London
Kick-Off Time: 3:00 PM, IST
4 matches have been played at this venue in the 2019 World Cup & all four have been won by the team batting first. England & New Zealand both played Australia at this venue & both teams were humbled. The Kiwis were beaten by 86 runs while the English lads fell short of the target by 64 runs. Pacers have enjoyed their share of assistance from the turf. Mitchell Starc finished with figures of 5/26 while Trent Boult dismissed three Aussies batters in 3 consecutive deliveries. Mustafizur Rahman, Jason Behrendorff & Shaheen Shah Afridi also got on to the honours board for dismissing 5 or more batsmen in an innings. The Pakistani pacer also went on to become the youngest bowler in the history of World Cup cricket to pick a 5-for.
|5-fors at Lord’s in WC 2019|
|Mitchell Starc||5/26||New Zealand|
|Shaheen Shah Afridi||6/35||Bangladesh|
The average 1st innings score on this turf in the last 3 years: 275
COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE CAPTAIN
Cain & Able were the first two sons of Adam & Eve. Cain murdered Able & then god punished him to a life of wandering. Well, the New Zealand skipper, KANE is probably the nicest bloke on the planet & wouldn’t hurt a fly. But when he’s batting in the middle for his country, he becomes a murderer. A murderer of the opposition’s hopes. Runs have been hard to stanch & they’ve come when the team needed them the most.
|Kane’s 2019 WC Campaign|
With the openers having a horrendous run, Williamson has been the go-to man for New Zealand & boy has he bailed them out of trouble. Against Bangladesh(NZ’s 2nd WC game), Williamson walked in at 5.2 overs when the score read 35/1 & stitched partnerships with Colin Munro & Ross Taylor.
Guptill was dismissed off the very first delivery of the game against Afghanistan. 172 was always going to be tricky but Williamson batted with a lot of maturity taking them home with 107 balls to spare. Munro, against the Proteas, was dismissed cheaply & the captain was there yet again. 106* in imperative circumstances & a six to finish the game. Williamson was at his audacious best.
The Windies sent the New Zealand openers packing & Williamson yet again had to repair the damage. The skipper came into bat at 0.1 overs & his marathon innings took his team to a semblance of respectability. His 148 came off 154 deliveries. Although Carlos Brathwaite produced a gem, the Kiwis didn’t succumb to the pressure & won that game by 5 runs.
|NZ When Williamson Came into Bat|
|35/1 in 5.1 overs||248/8||40||Bangladesh||Won|
|0/1 in 0.1 overs||173/3||79*||Afghanistan||Won|
|12/1 in 2.1 overs||245/6||106*||South Africa||Won|
|0/1 in 0.1 overs||291/8||148||West Indies||Won|
|5/1 in 1.1 overs||237/6||41||Pakistan||Lost|
|29/1 in 9.2 overs||157||40||Australia||Lost|
|2/1 in 0.5 overs||186||27||England||Lost|
|1/1 in 3.3 overs||239/8||67||India||Won|
New Zealand lost the next three games but Williamson was summoned to the crease earlier than anticipated. After 1.1 overs against Pakistan, 9.2 against Australia & 0.5 versus England. His scores in these 3 encounters – 41, 40 & 27. Then the big semi-finals arrived. And the story continued. Guptill was caught wanting yet again at 3.3 overs. Williamson then showed stern discipline & immaculate technique. The 67 he scored was well worth a hundred. There’s no scope for idiocy when Kane is out on the 22-yard strip & it all comes down to this. After 47 games, one of the world’s finest batsman will battle it out on the mightiest stages of them all to help his country win their first ever World title. Kane certainly is very very able.
ARCHER & WOOD, THE PACY DUO
Jofra Archer has had a significant impact since his arrival into the English team. There’s no complexity to his run-up & action. A Gazelle-like run-up, an open-chested action & a faultless follow through. Archer okays every checkbox. The power generated through the legs, limb & the upper body helps him deliver the white kookaburra at searing pace.
The delivery to knock Alex Carey’s helmet off & fracture his jaw clocked only 137 kmph but Archer has got this knack to hurry batters up. He’s quick off the turf & that makes him a contender to reckon with. Archer in the league stages against New Zealand bowled a miserly spell of 17/1 in 7 overs. He’s picked 19 wickets so far & will look to further add to his wickets tally.
Jofra clocked 153.6 against India – his fastest delivery in the campaign & on the grandest occasion of them all, he’ll have his tail up. Watch out for the Archer chin music.
While the pacer from Barbados has hogged all the limelight, Mark Wood has slowly affirmed his place in the side. Wood has breached the 150 kmph barrier 17 times & has picked 17 crucial wickets for England. The Northumberland pacer has every delivery in his arsenal & he registered his best bowling figures in the 2019 World Cup against the Kiwis – 3/34.
Archer & Wood have picked up 36 wickets & have conceded 4.61 & 5.20 runs-per-over respectively. The Lord’s turf has seen 4 5-fors in 4 games so far. Will we witness another 5-wicket haul? And, will any of these two cause major damage?
The turf at Lord’s is conducive for pace & both teams are likely to walk-in with full-fledged pace attacks. Jonny Bairstow seemed to have tweaked his groin while batting in the semis but has been declared fit. Henry Nicholls showed his technical prowess against the Indian pace kingpins & he’s likely to retain his spot at the top of the order.
EXPECTED PLAYING XI
Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson
FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR ENGLAND vs NEW ZEALAND
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