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Who will be crowned champs: NZ or England?

Who will be crowned champs: NZ or England?

By
On
Jul 14, 2019 - 11:36

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): As their expectations have hit a fever pitch, hosts England and New Zealand are all poised to clash in the final of the ICC Worldinfo-icon Cup at Lord’s on Sunday (today).

None of the two sides has won the cup so far and each will be doing all they can to replicate their sensational performances in the semi-finals.

New Zealand sent favourites India home defeating the Virat Kohli-led squad by 18 runs in a thriller which lasted two days due to rain interruption.

England secured a massive seven-wicket victory against current champions Australia. A new name will be etched on the World Cup trophy at the home of cricket after the West Indies (two times), Australia (five), India (two), Pakistaninfo-icon (one) and Sri Lanka (one).

That it is New Zealand and England vying for the trophy is perhaps validation of the approach both countries have taken to the one-day game in recent years.

English captain Eoin Morgan has openly acknowledged his team copied the New Zealand model in this format, playing with fun and a smile on face.

“Express yourself,” Morgan told his players in a simple message. In their fourth final, the first since 1992 when they lost to Pakistan in Melbourne, England are the overwhelming favourites, with potential match-winners.

There are the openers, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, brimming with self-belief and stroke-play. They are on a run of four straight century partnerships and if they provide another such platform, England will be hard to stop.

There is the middle order, blessed with dependability (Joe Root), experience (Morgan), exuberance (Jos Buttler) and a mix of all those qualities (Ben Stokes).

New Zealand remain the unassuming underdogs. With openers Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls and Colin Munro enduring a dismal World Cup, captain Kane Williamson has taken on most of the batting burden and stood up to the task.

Understated, determined and simply brilliant, Williamson is averaging a tournament-high 91.33 and challenges Virat Kohli as probably the best batsman in the world, though Australia’s Steve Smith and Root run them close.

Taylor, in at No. 4, is New Zealand’s other key batsman but it is the team’s bowling attack that will strike most fear into the hearts of England fans who will dominate Lord’s on Sunday.

nh/mud

 

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