Nine runs were needed off the last three balls. Ben Stokes was on strike, Trent Boult was the bowler. The southpaw batsman knew he had to run two at any cost to keep England in the contest. Stokes played the ball towards the cow corner where New Zealand’s best fielder, Martin Guptill was stationed. Guptill fired his throw to the strikers’ end and Ben Stokes made a diving effort to get back into the crease. The ball ricocheted to the boundary and Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs.
But wait, there is another twist in the tale. Ben Stokes had not completed the second run when the ball deflected to the boundary after hitting his bat. Thus, Stokes had completed only one run and four runs were given for the overthrow. Subsequently, England should have been given five runs by Kumar Dharmasena as per the rulebook of the ICC and not six runs. Oh, New Zealand!
It was unfortunate for New Zealand.
The law states: “If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side, and the allowance for the boundary, and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.”
New Zealand didn’t have the rub of the green on their side and it was a heartbreak for them. They were inches away from clinching their maiden World Cup title but they were denied by the boundaries count.
England had the rub of the green on their side.
In fact, the Super Over was also tied as both teams scored 15 runs. Ben Stokes played a brilliant knock of 84 runs and he was awarded the Man of the match in the final of the tournament.
Eoin Morgan said: “I wasn’t quite sure what had happened to start with because, obviously, he dived and there was dust everywhere and the ball deflected through and all the Blackcaps standing around going ‘What’s going on?’ So I was trying to figure out, did he hit it, did the keeper hit it?
“I was trying to stay in the moment. I wasn’t celebrating. It is not something you celebrate or cheer, well I don’t because that could be us on the other side of it, and there are margins like that today that we spoke about. We spoke about that just chatting in the outfield the finest of margins today of guys ducking balls when they could have scored or different case scenarios, stealing runs where guys should have stopped them. It does emphasise that you need to be on top of your game.”
New Zealand was unfortunate to miss out and may the third umpire should have stepped in when that overthrow happened. Ben Stokes had raised his hands and New Zealand was dejected as they were favourites at that stage.