"No one lost the final," New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said Tuesday as his team tried coming to terms with the gut-wrenching defeat against England in the World Cup's greatest summit clash. Cricketers, current and former, shared New Zealand's pain on losing the title on boundary count with many of them asking for a "serious look" into the rule, slammed as "absurd".
"At the end of the day nothing separated us, no one lost the final, but there was a crowned winner and there it is," Williamson told Newstalk ZB.
Widely praised for the grace with which he and his side accepted the defeat, Williamson said they had signed up to the rules that governed the tournament.
New Zealand lost to England at the Lord's on Sunday due to inferior boundary count (16 in 50 overs to hosts' 24) after both the regulation 50 overs and the Super Over ended in ties.
"I suppose you never thought you would have to ask that question and I never thought I would have to answer it (smiling)," was Williamson's first reaction when asked about the rule.
"While the emotions are raw, it is pretty hard to swallow when two teams have worked really, really hard to get to this moment in time.
"When sort of two attempts to separate them with a winner and a loser it still doesn't perhaps sort of shine with one side coming through, you know," Williamson, one of the finest gentleman playing the sport, said.
The 4192nd ODI witnessed was one of the greatest clashes in the history of the One Day International Game. In 11 World Cup editions, the closest victory margin was seven runs by Australia against England in 1987 at Kolkata. Now, England, with the pain of three World Cup final losses and New Zealand, the 2015 final losers, clashed against each other. It was already 6:45 AM in New Zealand. 100 overs later, a New Zealand-born cricketer playing for England almost hurt the Kiwis.
Ben Stokes blasted 83 but the match ended in a tie and for the first time in World Cup history, the title would be decided on the super over. Trent Boult leaked 15 runs and New Zealand needed 16 runs. James Neesham blasted a six off Jofra Archer, who came into the England side as a man of destiny having just qualified to play for the national side. Two runs were needed off one ball. Martin Guptill, who had endured a nightmare World Cup, had a chance for glory.
However, when he turned for a second, Guptill was run-out. The super over was tied. England had won the World Cup due to a bigger boundary count. Read that again: England won the World Cup because the boundary count was higher. 22 by England as compared to 16 by New Zealand.
(With Inputs: PTI)