LONDON: England will chase 242 to win the Cricket World Cup for the first time after Liam Plunkett’s 3-40 helped to limit New Zealand to another middling total in the final at Lord’s.
Every New Zealand specialist batsman got into double figures but only opener Henry Nicholls (55) reached a half-century in the face of a disciplined bowling effort from the tournament host.
Plunkett, one of the understated members of the England team, took center stage by removing New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (30) and Nicholls in the space of 14 balls. The seamer also took the wicket of dangerous allrounder Jimmy Neesham (19).
Tom Latham plundered 46 off 57 balls as the Black Caps stumbled to 241-8 by making 62 runs off the final 10 overs.
The Black Caps, who are also seeking their first world title, have proved adept at defending relatively small totals in this tournament and Lord’s isn’t known for its heavy scoring in ODIs. In the semifinals, India failed to chase down 240 against New Zealand in Manchester.
Chris Woakes removes Colin de Grandhomme and Tom Latham in quick succession as New Zealand are seven down now. 238 for 7 in 49 overs. New Zealand needs a big last 10 overs to set England a competitive target in the final after being reduced to 179-5.
Mark Wood trapped Ross Taylor lbw for 15 – though replays showed the ball would have gone over the stumps – before Liam Plunkett grabbed his third wicket of the match when Jimmy Neesham holed out to Joe Root at mid-on for 19. It was Root’s 13th catch of the tournament, a record for an outfielder at a single World Cup.
New Zealand defended a low total against India in the first semi-final while England proved they were fine either way completing an easy chase against Australia in the other.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson