Former New Zealand cricketer Ian Smith recalled the epic scenes from the commentary box during the 2019 World Cup final between England and New Zealand at the Lord’s. The tournament-decider could not have been any more exciting as both sides fought tooth and nail to clinch their maiden World Cup title. But in the end, England reigned supreme by the barest of margins while New Zealand were merely left to lick their wounds.
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England, led by Eoin Morgan, lifted the title for the first time after overcoming plenty of jitters in the group stages. The hosts won due to the boundary count rule as both the 50-over game and Super over resulted in a tie. The Black Caps, who beat India in the semi-final in a low-scoring clash, almost defended 241. Ben Stokes’ brilliance for England played as much a significant part, who made an unbeaten 84.
Speaking on Inside Out with Harsha Bhogle, Ian Smith, who served as the commentator during the match, declared that he had no idea things would take a dramatic turn and his time in the commentary box in the final moments would extend to 90 instead of 30 minutes. Ian Smith went out to state that commentary is a partnership and that working alongside each other brings out the best in one another.
“It was great and where it came from, I don’t know. I had no idea it was going to turn out that way when I sat down with seven overs to go. I had no idea that the last commentary stint that usually is around 30-35 minutes was going to last closer to 90 minutes. And it was, I have always said this about commentary, it is not a competition, it is a combination. When you work alongside people, you bring out the best in each other,” Ian Smith remarked.
The moment Jos Buttler ran out Martin Guptill in the final ball of the super over, Ian Smith uttered the words “England have won the World Cup by the barest of all margins. Agony, agony for New Zealand.” The Kiwis lost after reaching their second successive World Cup final. In 2015, they lost to Australia at the MCG.
“It has to be, right up there: Ian Smith
The 63-year old further said that the commentary during that encounter has to be amongst his favourites, given what was on the line, the ground, and the stage two teams played at. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson garnered plenty of praises due to his gentleman-nature; however, several experts opined that the trophy should have been shared between the two sides.
“Is it my favourite time of commentary, it has to be, right up there because it was perhaps one of the greatest games of cricket we have ever seen or ever likely to see, particularly when you consider the importance of what was at stake and the stage we were playing on,” the Nelson-born added.