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World Cup Overview

England win the ODI World Cup for the first time

In the 12th edition of the World Cup, Eoin Morgan's revolutionised England side finally came good

The final was tied by the cup went to England  •  Getty Images

The final was tied by the cup went to England  •  Getty Images

World Cup No. 12
Minor teams
None
Format
In 2010 the ICC decided to restrict the 2015 and 2019 World Cups to ten teams, but after facing criticism from the Associate nations, it decided to put off the reduction to 2019. The tournament had a round-robin format, so all ten teams played each other and the top four progressed to the semi-finals. England, the hosts, and the top seven teams in the ICC ODI rankings automatically qualified for the tournament. West Indies and Afghanistan joined them after making it to the final of the World Cup Qualifier, while Zimbabwe missed out for the first time since 1983 and Ireland since 2007.
Early running
The first surprise of the World Cup was Bangladesh's win over South Africa, who had a terrible World Cup, winning only three matches in all.
India and defending champions Australia had a great run and were at the top of the points table. India lost only one match, to England, who needed the win after a wobbly start to their campaign. Australia lost two, to India and South Africa, but were the first team to qualify for the semi-final.
New Zealand began strongly, but after losing their last three league games, they had to wait on the other results to find out if they had qualified for the knockouts.
The semi-finals
New Zealand beat India in a gripping contest, played on a two-paced Old Trafford pitch over two days after rain forced the game into its reserve day. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor ground out half-centuries to take New Zealand to 239, a challenging target on that surface, particularly after Matt Henry and Trent Boult swung out India's top order and reduced them to 5 for 3. MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja fought back to take India past 200, but once Dhoni was run-out, New Zealand were able to knock off the tail and win by 18 runs.
The second semi-final was one-sided in contrast, with England thumping Australia by eight wickets at Edgbaston to make it to their first World Cup final since 1992.
The final
Easily a contender for the greatest ODI ever, the World Cup final between England and New Zealand was tied, as was the Super Over played to decide it. Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes' 110-run partnership had dragged England from the depths of 86 for 4 and they levelled scores - helped along the way by a Martin Guptill throw that deflected off Stokes' bat and went to the boundary when they needed nine off three balls. Stokes and Buttler walked out to face the Super Over and scored 15 off of it. Guptill and Jimmy Neesham brought down New Zealand's target to two off one ball, but as they took the risky second run, Buttler dived behind the stumps to run Guptill out. The scores were tied again, so the result was decided based on which team had scored more boundaries. England, with 26 to New Zealand's 17, were declared champions.
Controversies
The World Cup being decided by boundary count felt unsatisfactory to many, and in October 2019, the ICC announced that in semi-finals and finals of future global tournaments, if the teams scored the same number of runs in their Super Overs, further Super Overs would be played until one team won.
But the more controversial decision of the final was Kumar Dharmasena's ruling to award six runs and not five to England for the Guptill overthrow that deflected off Stokes' bat and went past the boundary. Law 19.8 of the playing conditions states that the batters at the crease - Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid - should have already crossed before Martin Guptill began to throw for the second run to count in the final tally. Replays suggested this was not the case as Guptill's throw ricocheted off Stokes' bat and rolled into the boundary behind the wicketkeeper. After the game, Dharmasena said he admitted to the error but said he would "never regret" the decision, because there was no provision in the laws to refer the decision to the third umpire, as no dismissal was involved, and he had consulted the leg umpire on it - which conversation was heard by all the umpires officiating.
Farewells
Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez, South Africa's JP Duminy and Imran Tahir and Afghanistan's Hamid Hassan announced they would retire from ODIs ahead of the World Cup. Fast bowler Hamid, who had made a miraculous comeback to the side after a bad accident, bowled only two overs and went wicketless in his final ODI, a fractious match against Pakistan which Afghanistan lost by three wickets. Hafeez managed a win in his last game, against Bangladesh, as did Duminy and Tahir, in a ten-run win over Australia. Malik announced his ODI retirement at the end of Pakistan's World Cup campaign, although his final game had come earlier, against India, where he was out for a first-ball duck.
India's semi-final defeat to New Zealand in which he was run-out when India needed 24 from nine balls was Dhoni's final international, although he announced his retirement only in August 2020.
England fast bowler Liam Plunkett got to bow out with a flourish, taking 3 for 42 in the final. It was the last of his 89 ODIs for England. He left English cricket in 2021 to play Major League Cricket in the United States.