Cricket World Cup Final: New Zealand v England – All you need to know

James Neesham out England New Zealand World Cup PA

This article was produced in association with Paddy Power as part of our coverage during the Cricket World Cup 2019. Paddy Power are offering a risk-free £10 bet for new customers during the tournament.

What is it?
It’s the final of the men’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, and there will be a new name on the trophy because neither New Zealand or England have ever won it before. England have been runners-up three times but not since 1992, while New Zealand are looking to go one better after reaching the final only to be demolished by Australia in Melbourne four years ago. Fittingly, it was England’s shellacking from New Zealand in that tournament that proved the biggest catalyst for the dramatic and stunningly successful changes that were to follow in England’s approach to white-ball cricket and led us all to this point. England’s path to this moment began against New Zealand in the 2015 summer after that disastrous World Cup when their new-look side waltzed out to face New Zealand, plundered 408 in the first game of the series and hasn’t looked back since. It is incredibly apt that the 2019 final should be between New Zealand and New England.

When is it?
Sunday July 14, starting at 1030 BST. The final, like the two semi-finals has a reserve day available. If even after two days no result is possible, then the group-stage table will hold sway. Which means England are two days of glorious summer rain away from lifting the World Cup.

Where is it?
It’s at Lord’s obviously. Which is probably the best piece of news going around for New Zealand because it’s the English ground that has proved most resistant to the charms of this astonishing England side. Since their 2015 reinvention, England have a 5-0 win-loss record at Edgbaston, for instance. They also have 5-1 records at Headingley and The Oval, 5-2 at the Ageas Bowl and a 4-1 record at Old Trafford. They have won three from three at Bristol and at the Riverside and hold a 4-2 ledger at Trent Bridge where they have twice broken the world record for highest ODI total. At Lord’s, though, they have won three and lost three. England have lost two of the last three at the Home of Cricket, including a thrashing from Australia cast in ever sharper focus by what happened in the semi-final and got knocked over for just 153 by South Africa in 2017. Got The Fear yet? Good. Get more details on Lord’s here.

Where can I watch it?
It’s on Sky Sports Main Event (ch 401) and Sky Sports Cricket (ch 404) in the UK. It’s also going to be on Sky One (ch 106) for those without a Sky Sports subscription.

More significantly still, a ground-breaking agreement between Sky and Channel 4 means the live coverage will be available free-to-air on Channel 4. Very 2005 areas these, full of Mark Nicholas and Mambo No. 5 vibes. To really capture the FTA spirit, half of the match will have to be moved to More4 because Channel 4 are showing the British Grand Prix. The final will also be taking over the BBC airwaves, taking over BBC Five Live as well as its usual homes on Radio 4 LW and Five Live Sports Extra. Or, of course, you can follow it all ball-by-ball with our live scorecard.

What are the odds?
England are overwhelming favourites to achieve the one thing they have been targeting with laser focus for the last four years. They are now 3/10 to get their hands on the trophy and achieve their destiny, with perennial dark-horse underdogs New Zealand out at 5/2 to poop the party.

New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup

June 1: New Zealand (137/0, 16.1/50 overs) beat Sri Lanka (136, 29.2 overs) by 10 wickets
June 5: New Zealand (248/8, 47.1/50 overs) beat Bangladesh (244, 49.2/50 overs) by two wickets
June 8: New Zealand (173/3, 32.1/50 overs) beat Afghanistan (172, 41.1/50 overs) by seven wickets
June 13: India v New Zealand – Match Abandoned
June 19: New Zealand (245/6, 48.3/49 overs) beat South Africa (241/6, 49/49 overs) by four wickets
June 22: New Zealand (291/8, 50/50 overs) beat West Indies (286, 49/50 overs) by five runs
June 26: Pakistan (241/4, 49.1/50 overs) beat New Zealand (237/6, 50/50 overs) by six wickets
June 29: Australia (243/9, 50/50 overs) beat New Zealand (157, 43.4/50 overs) by 86 runs
July 3: England (305/8, 50/50 overs) beat New Zealand (186, 45/50 overs) by 119 runs
July 9-10: New Zealand (239/8, 50/50 overs) beat India (221, 49.3/50 overs) by 18 runs

England at the 2019 World Cup

May 30: England (311/8, 50/50 overs) beat South Africa (207, 39.5/50 overs) by 104 runs
June 3: Pakistan (348/8, 50/50 overs) beat England (334/9, 50/50 overs) by 14 runs
June 8: England (386/6, 50/50 overs) beat Bangladesh (280, 48.5/50 overs) by 106 runs
June 14: England (213/2, 33.1/50 overs) beat West Indies (212, 44.4/50 overs) by eight wickets
June 18: England (397/6, 50/50 overs) beat Afghanistan (247/8, 50/50 overs) by 150 runs
June 21: Sri Lanka (232/9, 50/50 overs) beat England (212, 47/50 overs) by 20 runs
June 25: Australia (285/7, 50/50 overs) beat England (221, 44.4/50 overs) by 64 runs
June 30: England (337/7 (50/50 overs) beat India (306/5, 50/50 overs) by 31 runs
July 3: England (305/8, 50/50 overs) beat New Zealand (186, 45/50 overs) by 119 runs
July 11: England (226/2, 32.1/50 overs) beat Australia (223, 49/50 overs) by eight wickets

New Zealand v England – Previous Meeting
We don’t have to go back too far for the group game between the two. It was the last match of the group stage for both teams, and technically both teams went into it needing a win to be sure of a semi-final place. In reality, that was true only of England as New Zealand’s NRR advantage over fifth-placed Pakistan was already essentially insurmountable. For England, though, it was a crucial match and they delivered in style. On the back of the impressive win over India in their previous game, England completed the rescue act they needed after successive defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia had put them on the brink of humiliation. And how.

As against India, they won a crucial toss. As against India, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow cashed in. Their hundred partnership set the platform for a 300-plus total and, despite England failing to fully cash in on the start they’d been given, the 305/8 they finished with proved more than enough. New Zealand’s openers were quickly removed, while the decisive blow came when Kane Williamson was run out at the non-striker’s end when Mark Wood got a fingertip to a Ross Taylor straight drive.

New Zealand never seriously threatened after that, eventually succumbing to a 119-run defeat that sent them into the semi-finals on the back of three successive defeats…

New Zealand v England – Team News
With New Zealand pace ace Lockie Ferguson fit again after missing that England game, New Zealand look settled enough now. Matt Henry’s excellence against India means he will surely retain his place ahead of Tim Southee, who struggled in that England game.

New Zealand do have an issue at the top of the order where Martin Guptill is horribly out of form and Henry Nicholls not ideally suited to the one-day game, but it’s too late now for New Zealand to do much about that other than hope for the best. Guptill is exactly the sort of chap to just suddenly slap 150 in a World Cup final from nowhere.

Jonny Bairstow injury England Australia World Cup semi final PA

England will be relieved that Jason Roy received only a fine and a couple of demerit points for his dissent when given out against Australia meaning he is free to play in the final. They will surely, though, be concerned about Jonny Bairstow, who suffered some kind of groin injury when trying to turn for a second run. He was able to play on without appearing in too much obvious discomfort, and England will do everything to ensure he makes it. The talk around the camp is that he will be fine. If he is not, then there are other options, none of which are particularly appealing.

The most likely outcome would be yet another last chance for James Vince, who came in to minimal effect when Roy was injured. The more adventurous alternatives would be to chuck Moeen Ali in as an opener and see what happens. That would also give an extra bowling option, of course.

England could promote Joe Root, who scored a century as a makeshift opener when Jason Roy injured himself against the West Indies, but almost certainly won’t. There is the final full banter option, suggested by Shane Warne, of pushing Jos Buttler up the order to open. It’s an intriguing option and not without merit, but also not one England will seriously consider given his importance in the finisher role and the likelihood of some early assistance for New Zealand’s estimable pace attack.

New Zealand v England betting preview in association with Paddy Power
A fascinating final in prospect at Lord’s, and the India-baiting inevitability of the fact that whichever team lifts the trophy will have done so losing three matches in the tournament. Which is one more than India.

But India did lose to both these sides when a win would have either probably or definitely sent them out; major tournaments – especially one with as bone-headed a format as this one – are not about how many you win as when you win them.

New Zealand’s approach was to take advantage of a favourable early fixture list to make their late wobble when things got trickier irrelevant. England’s somewhat riskier plan was to stumble to the point of oblivion only to dramatically remember just in time that they are comfortably the best team in the world.

England’s vaguely shambolic path through the early part of the tournament is now hugely to their benefit, however. In their last three matches they have clinically dispatched India and then absolutely thrashed New Zealand and Australia. Those, if you hadn’t twigged, are the other three semi-finalists. And it’s why England are such hot favourites here.

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Had England cruised through to the semi-finals as most expected, they would have reached the knockouts still needing to answer all the questions that have hung over them since their Champions Trophy humiliation at the hands of Pakistan. Have they got the ticker for it in a major tournament? It’s all fun and games smashing people about in bilateral games, but how will you go under tournament pressure? How will you handle being World Cup favourites?

Instead all those questions have been answered ahead of the final. The emphatic wins over India and New Zealand to close out the group stage answered all but one; what happens when you don’t win the toss and make 300 batting first? The semi-final against Australia dealt with that.

England have won their last three games against the best the tournament has to offer and, while New Zealand were able to bottle lightning against India, they lost three in a row before that. England look thoroughly worthy of quotes around the 1/3 mark.

The reason is New Zealand’s batting, which has become horribly dependent on Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. The fragility of that was highlighted in the group game against England when Williamson was run out by a Mark Wood fingertip at the non-striker’s end.

England have reached 300 on all five occasions when they have batted first in this tournament, and once when batting second. In two others they have chased down totals around 200 with around a third of the innings remaining. Only twice – against Sri Lanka and Australia in games Jason Roy missed – has the batting failed. New Zealand have yet to reach 300 once in this tournament.

If New Zealand are to spring a surprise, it will be their bowlers that do it. And they really could, especially at Lord’s where England’s aggressive approach meets greater resistance from the conditions. They have the attack to match England’s and, as they showed against India, they can embarrass the best. Trent Boult and Matt Henry are a splendid new-ball combination, while Lockie Ferguson – who missed the group game – is the perfect fast bowler for those middle overs. They will have to somehow find a way to stop England’s batting machine as they did against India at Old Trafford and, to a large extent, Australia at Lord’s.

We want to focus on two of the less heralded bowlers in this game. Henry and Chris Woakes. They may not get the headlines, but they get the job done, and the 7/2 for two accurate and old-fashioned English-style bowlers to take four wickets between them in conditions that demand precisely their skillset looks a touch generous.

They have each taken two or more wickets in an innings four times at this World Cup. Henry has a four-wicket and two three-wicket hauls, while Woakes has twice taken three wickets. Both took three in the semi-finals, where their combined figures were a startling 6/57.

Woakes adores Lord’s, a venue where he has taken 23 international wickets at an average of just 15.34, and Henry looks just as suited to this track. He has only played one match here in international cricket – a Test back in 2015 – but took six wickets in the match including Joe Root in both innings.

The New Zealand top run-scorer betting isn’t quite a two-horse race but it’s easy enough to discount most others against an England bowling attack that really is looking first rate now having been the weak link for so long.

Guptill has no form at 7/2, and nor does Henry Nicholls at 5/1. Tom Latham made 50 against England but it was painful to watch, and then it’s into the all-rounders. One of them – Neesham perhaps at 10s – might land you something if New Zealand’s innings is a total disaster, but we’d back Williamson and Taylor to avoid that scenario. Both are ideal men for the big stage as well.

Williamson is 9/4 and that’s fair enough, but we wouldn’t have him quite such a clear favourite ahead of Taylor at 7/2. Both men played superbly in assessing the conditions and adapting accordingly against India in the semi-final, but it was Taylor who looked the more assured and ended up with the higher score.

In the equivalent England market Ben Stokes still looks overpriced at 9/1. But you can’t be sure of a run for your money given the return to form of England’s top order.

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