Road to WC Glory: How Eoin Morgan’s Men Were Crowned Champions
England came into the World Cup as outright favourites to win the title and they didn’t disappoint as they overcame New Zealand on Sunday at Lord’s to taste their maiden World Cup glory.
In the years after their 2015 World Cup debacle, England's approach to ODI cricket went through a complete overhaul. Their all or nothing batting style helped them notch up four 400-plus totals and at the World Cup, their bowlers have also stepped up but they have faced some difficulty in reaching the knockout stage.
Here’s a look at the hosts journey in this edition of the World Cup and the eventual dream finish:
Match 1: England beat South Africa by 104 Runs (May 30)
The tournament opener was also one in which England sent a clear signal to the rest of the teams. They got partnerships all the way down the order after electing to bat first with Ben Stokes top scoring with 89.
Stokes also took two wickets and a blinder of a catch on the ropes to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo. England had made 311/8 and in response, South Africa were all out for 207.
Match 2: England Lost to Pakistan by 14 Runs (3 June)
What was expected to a stroll in the park ended up being a sensational defeat.
Pakistan batted first and got strong partnerships from their top five. They set up a total of 349. England got centuries from Joe Root and Jos Buttler but the rest hardly scored as they were eventually restricted to 334/9.
Match 3: England beat Bangladesh by 106 Runs (June 8)
Jason Roy smashed 153 off 121 balls to help England reach 386/6 in their 50 overs. It did look like they would make well over 400 when Roy was going big guns in the middle overs. Shakib Al Hasan scored 121 but Bangladesh managed to reach only 280, thus sealing the win for England.
Match 4: England beat West Indies by 8 Wickets (June 14)
What was expected to be a run-fest turned out to be a bit of a farce. Joffra Archer and Mark Wood took three wickets apiece as West Indies were blown away for 213. However, Roy was injured while fielding which affected England later on. Joe Root opened with Jonny Bairstow and scored an unbeaten hundred as England wrapped up the chase in 33 overs.
Match 5: England beat Afghanistan by 150 Runs (June 25)
Captain Eoin Morgan smashed a record 17 sixes as he raced to 148 off just 71 balls. Rashid Khan ended with 110/0 in 9 overs, the most expensive figures for a bowler in ODI history. The chase was a farcical one that ended with Afghanistan labouring to 247/8 in 50 overs.
Match 6: England Lost to Sri Lanka by 20 Runs (June 21)
This match sparked life into the group stages and is one of the main reasons why it didn't end with a series of dead rubbers. Sri Lanka batted first and Angelo Mathews' 85 helped them reach 232/9. The mighty England batsmen were bamboozled by Lasith Malinga, who first got the wickets of Bairstow, James Vince and Morgan before snaffling Buttler later in the chase. Sri Lanka managed to defend the total quite comfortably in the end, dismissing England for 212. Suddenly the hosts' chances of making the knockouts was in jeopardy.
Match 7: England Lost to Australia by 64 Runs
Jason Roy was not available for the second match in succession and England's need for an opener of his calibre was seen once again. Australia, on the other hand, got a strong opening partnership with David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch putting up 123 runs. Finch went on to score 100 as Australia scored 285/7. Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc then blew away the England top order within the first 14 overs. England were kept in the game by the tenacious Ben Stokes and it took a yorker that is a good contender for ball of the tournament from Starc to dismiss him. Starc took four wickets while Behrendorff scalped five.
Match 8: England beat India by 31 Runs
vs India (June 30) Result: England won by 31 runs Jason Roy returned and England went back to winning ways. Roy and Bairstow put up an opening stand of 160 runs as the latter scored 111. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler then pummelled the Indian bowlers towards the end of the innings as England posted 337/7. England then saw out a century by Rohit Sharma and restricted India to 306/5.
Match 9: England beat New Zealand by 119 Runs
Another sublime performance from the openers set the platform for England to beat their eventual title clash opponents by a comprehensive margin. England's top two contributed 194 runs while Morgan's cameo helped push the total to 305/8. England's five-pronged pace attack, with able assistance from Adil Rashid, then blew New Zealand out of the park as the Kiwis were all out for 186.
Semi-Final: England beat Australia by 8 Wickets
England's rematch against Australia was in the semifinal and it couldn't be more different from their previous encounter than it was in this case. Australia batted first and Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid and Joffra Archer ensured that they were all out for 223. Roy played a blinder of an innings at the top of the order and would have made a century had it not been for an erroneous caught behind decision that went against him. His 124-run opening stand with Bairstow effectively killed the match as England reached the World Cup final for the first since 1992 by chasing down the target in 32.1 overs.
Final: England beat New Zealand via Boundary Tiebreaker
England won the Cricket World Cup for the first time in extraordinary circumstances, beating New Zealand by a tiebreaker of boundaries scored after the match was tied after regulation play and then the first Super Over in the tournament's history. Martin Guptill needed to score two off the final ball of the Super Over but was run out by England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler as the New Zealand batsman scrambled back for the second. Both teams scored 241 after the regulation 50 overs per side, with England scoring 14 off the last over — including a six made up of two runs followed by an accidental four deflected off the bat of the diving Ben Stokes — to tie New Zealand's 241/8. The teams then scored 15 runs each in the Super Over, but England won courtesy of scoring more boundaries in regulation play.
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