Neither England or New Zealand have won the World Cup before so there will be a new name on the trophy.
England and New Zealand have both had to ride out the storm to make this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final.
It has been far from smooth sailing for either side, but in the end it is Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan’s side who have emerged on top, and deservedly so.
No-one can complain that the two best teams in the tournament are not in Sunday’s showpiece at Lord’s.
After contrasting group stages, they have peaked at the right time and are both one win away from a maiden world crown.
Jofra Archer caught the eye with the ball while Jason Roy, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan all made half centuries with the bat.
But there was no doubting the star of the show, Ben Stokes setting the tournament alight with a stunning catch, 89 with the bat and two wickets with the ball.
Joe Root and Jos Buttler both struck centuries for the hosts but a Mohammad Hafeez-inspired Pakistan held on to secure a famous victory.
Roy continued his super form by crashing 153 and England ended up posting a then tournament-high 386/6 that proved beyond the fighting Tigers.
Archer and Mark Wood bowled the Caribbean outfit out for 212 and Root struck his second ton of the tournament to see England home with eight wickets and almost 17 overs to spare.
The bad news for England were the injuries sustained by Roy and skipper Morgan that prevented either from batting.
- But while Roy’s troublesome hamstring kept him on the sidelines, Morgan’s back spasm was soon a thing of the past as the captain produced the fireworks in their next game at Old Trafford.
The captain smashed an astonishing 17 sixes in his century and England broke their own highest total of the World Cup by posting 397/6 that proved way beyond Afghanistan.
England’s chase of 233 at Headingley proved beyond them as Lasith Malinga rolled back the years to knock over the top order – still missing the injured Roy - and while Stokes did his best, they ended up 20 runs short.
Mitchell Starc and Jason Behrendorff did the damage with the ball and England again fell short in a chase and suddenly the No.1 side in the world were in danger of being dumped out of their own party.
India were unbeaten and backed by a vociferous crowd at Edgbaston but with Roy back in tandem, Jonny Bairstow produced his best knock of the tournament with a century as England set 337/7.
Rohit Sharma produced another ton as was becoming customary at this World Cup, but India fell just short and England were still alive.
But when they needed to produce their best, they went back to their aggressive best.
Bairstow cracked another century as England won the toss and posted another 300-plus total, their sixth of the group stages.
How the Black Caps made it
The Black Caps fell short, but still went through the semi-finals courtesy of their net run rate.
They had their fast start to the competition to thank for their passage through the knockout rounds.
Afghanistan were sent packing by seven wickets at Taunton to maintain their perfect start before their India game at Trent Bridge fell victim to the weather – a precursor for their rain-affected semi-final.
That looked like being more than enough when Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson ran through the top order but Carlos Brathwaite smashed a late century to get the Caribbean side close.
But his attempt at a match-winning six fell just a metre short, Boult claiming the catch on the rope to keep the Black Caps unbeaten and good value for the knockout rounds.
Babar Azam’s superb century helped Pakistan to a six-wicket win at Edgbaston and then at Lord’s, their trans-Tasman rivals Australia taught them a lesson in an 86-run win.
On a tricky pitch, Williamson and Ross Taylor hit vital half centuries and when Matt Henry and Boult ran through the Indian top order, a surprise was very much on the cards.
MS Dhoni and Ravi Jadeja did their best to get India close but Martin Guptill’s sensational run out saw off Dhoni and the Black Caps finished off the job for an 18-run win.
Archer and Chris Woakes did the damage in the first powerplay before Adil Rashid tied up the middle order and it was only Steve Smith’s 85 that got the defending champions to a total of 223.
And when Roy and Bairstow started like trains once again, victory was always going to be theirs, fitting perhaps that skipper Morgan hit the winning runs to take England to a first World Cup final in 27 years.
(International Cricket Council)