England found cricketing bliss by dint of divine intervention and Ben Stokes' brilliance, cracking a code that proved indecipherable for 44 years as history sliced through teary-eyed New Zealand's grasp in a final that will be remembered for ages.
The game twisted this way and that till the very last ball, and beyond at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord's. Fittingly enough, the finale, inarguably the most gripping in the tournament's history, unfolded in a venue that is steeped in history.
Chasing 242 for win, England managed 241 to force the first ever Super Over in the ICC Cricket World Cup, then scores were again leveled after the Super Over too, with both sides 15 each. But how Eoin Morgan & Co pulled it off from tied off after both 50-overs and Super Over.
England won it via Super Over on boundary count.
In the end, it was England's superior boundary count – 22 fours and two sixes compared 16 by New Zealand that saw the 'Cup' finally coming to its spiritual home.
Batting second in Super Overs is always tough and even tougher if Jofra Archer is the bowler at the other end. Jimmy Neesham had other ideas as he got 14 but Archer's final delivery on the blockhole saw Martin Guptill failed to complete a second run.
Earlier, needing 15 in the last over, Ben Stokes played two dots and then smoked Trent Boult over deep mid-wicket for six, then got a lucky overthrow while running a double that fetched them six runs.
With three needed off two balls, Stokes ran a desperate two but non-striker Adil Rashid was way short of his ground, leaving the hosts to score two runs off the last ball.
Boult kept one full on Stokes' legs and he could only hit towards the long-on and two was never on as the bowler effected an easy run-out under pressure. Stokes was left stranded on 84 as England were all out on 241, paving the way for the first ever Super Over of the World Cup.
With PTI inputs
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