James Neesham, swashbuckling New Zealand all-rounder, single-handedly kept his team in the game during that Super-Over in the 2019 World Cup final against England after he stroked Jofra Archer for a whirlwind six over mid-wicket to reduce the target of 16 to manageable proportions.
But ultimately, Jofra Archer and England kept their cool to restrict the Kiwis to 15 to win the World Cup on the back of a boundary count rule.
Needing 2 off the last ball, Martin Guptill was brilliantly run-out by Jason Roy and Jos Buttler to deny New Zealand the victory and James Neesham feels he’s going to remember those 20 centimeters for the next 50 years.
“When we got out to bat, obviously getting 16 in a Super Over to win is almost unreachable. So, the pressure was pretty well off because I guess no one is going to blame you for not getting 16,” James Neesham told ESPNCricinfo.
He added: “It was all about making contact as long as possible but yeah 1 run, 20 centimeters short? Will think about those 20 centimeters for the next 50 years”
James Neesham opens up on his thought-process during the closing stages of the 2019 World Cup final
With the actual game ending in a tie, teams were forced to play the Super-Over and since England had hit more boundaries than New Zealand, the hosts just needed to tie the Super-Over, as per the boundary count rule.
So, was James Neesham aware of the rule before he went out to bat?
“I was informed about the boundary count rule while padding up for the Super-Over. I have actually won a game on boundary count in a super-over earlier in my career, so it wasn’t much of a surprise” James Neesham added.
No one could have thought that the World Cup would end up in a tie. So, at what point did Neesham thought that he may end up playing the super-over? Or did he?
“I think first and foremost you’ve got to take care what’s in front of you. Being at one of the hotspots in the field during the death overs (at long-on), I sort of knew that it will be a high chance I had to do something in the field before I batted,” Neesham added
The boundary count-rule has since then been disbanded and according to the current tie-breaker, teams will be required to play successive Super-Overs until a clear winner is ascertained.