One Last Fight. One last take

It has been 27 years since… (Got the titanic feel?)

It has been 27 years since England last qualified for a Cricket World Cup final.

In the glorious city of Melbourne, Melbourne Cricket Ground was the stadium, as they came face to face with none other than Team Pakistan (being unpredictable as ever.) In that final, Team Pakistan was restricted to 249, when they batted first. But oh that, was a night to remember. Some say it might have been a lot fewer, if Javed Miandad had been given out by lbw and sent back to the pavilion, not once but twice. But boy, they were unstoppable as he had reached double figures, scoring 58 runs.

With the performance, Pakistan had showcased in World Cup’92 and then assuming that they would crumble with the early pressure exerted the bowling side of England, was a misjudgment. Luck was on their side, as they had put up a decent score under the leadership of Kaptaan, Imran Khan, leaving England to bat really well against an attack that would put different obstacles for the batsmen to come– few of which, on the day, were answered. But how did that day end?

Pakistan beat England by 22 runs and emerged as the world champion in World Cup 2019.

27 Years later…

England reached its first Cricket World Cup final in 27 years by vanquishing the defending champions, Australia by eight wickets on Thursday, ensuring their ticket to the 2019 World Cup final.

Jason Roy smashed three sixes in a row in his brilliant knock of 85 runs, batting off 65 balls, which helped Team England achieve 224 runs in 32.1 overs. On the other hand, the baggy greens failed to win a World Cup semi-final for the first time in eight attempts, unable to defend a total of 223.

The host’s successfully step into the World Cup Final’19 after 9969 days… 27 years.

Team England will battle it out with Team New Zealand, in the final to be played at Lord’s on Sunday, presenting a fight as to who will take the cup home. It will be England’s fourth World Cup final, and New Zealand’s second appearance in a World cup final — and to make things more exciting, neither of these teams have won a World Cup final. Showing no nerves chasing a competitive but hardly formidable target, the English played the same attacking cricket they have produced over the last four years which has taken them to the top of the one-day international rankings.

Talking about the Black caps in CWC’19…

Team New Zealand has been much more cohesive, with their performance being destructive. Even though their strength, for me, is their high-quality pace bowling attack, on the afternoon of 9th July 2019, the Kiwis faced the Men in Blue in the second semi-final of World Cup 2019, elected to bat as they won the toss.

New Zealand, aka the Blackcaps, started their journey with a bang in World Cup 2019, as they defeated Sri Lanka by 10 wickets. The former World Cup finalists were leading the table at the start of the championship as they were undefeated. But the tables soon turned as they faced Team Pakistan, after losing from the Men in Green, their journey of consecutive losses began at the end of the group stage, as the world saw them finishing at the fourth position. On the points table just above Pakistan, who also accounted for an equal number of points, but due to a lower run rate, it was Team New Zealand that moved onto the semi-finals.

Facing Kumar and Bumrah, the top order batsmen of New Zealand fell short as they were sent back to the pavilion. Next came Williamson and Taylor (the anchor for Team New Zealand) as they kept their cool against the nerve-wracking match they played. With a threat of rain, these star players made sure to survive all the existing threats and pull their team. Their captain and the remaining players were quick to put a plan and did enough to annoy the Indian stroke masters. As they put a target of 240 runs on board, for the Men in blue to chase.

As Kiwis aim to bag their first-ever World Cup title, a look at their amazing performance in the semi-final of CWC 2019, which has allowed them to become World Champions.

But the Men in Blue soon crashed and burned, as they lost

In spite of ending the CWC 2019 points table at the fourth position, the Kiwis have proved to be the worthy contenders of World Cup 2019 trophy after outshining Team India in the semis.

The Kiwis have been nothing short of being consistent in the tournaments, since they were successful in reaching the final of CWC’15, in the last edition. Even though Team New Zealand lost to Australia in the final of World Cup 2015 by seven wickets, it is apparent this time, that they will leave no stones unturned in the final against England to enter their name among World Cup champions.

But will it be that easy for the most consistent team to snatch victory from the hand of the favorites and the host of CWC’19?

England is all set to step into a game, they’ve been hoping to play for the past 27 years. With strong win predictability of 74%, leaving only a 26% chance for New Zealand to take the cup home, it will surely be a fight to witness.

With one winner, one loser, July 14th, 2019, will be the day, fate is decided of both these teams.

Reporting one last time of the last battle, it will be a day that will go down in history as both star teams would come face to face to fight for the trophy, that neither has lifted before.

p.s. In case you’re sad about Pakistan not being in the game anymore, don’t forget that both teams were undefeated until they faced Pakistan… their winning streak was history as Pakistan stepped against the cricketing giants and bashed both of them.

Who cares if they aren’t competing to lift the trophy, they’ve beaten the teams competing to lift that trophy!

Cheer on guys.

About Maham Tahir

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