It was four years in the making and no one could have imagined the almost surreal circumstances in which it came to pass but England are world champions!
Eoin Morgan lifted the World Cup trophy for England at Lord’s after the most incredible final in the tournament’s history – one that it is hard to imagine will ever be topped – and over the last six weeks, there has been no shortage of standout performances from the men in blue.
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It started as it ended for England, with Ben Stokes as the star. He made four 80-plus scores, including his 84no in the final as well as kicking off the tournament with that stunning catch.
Just a matter of weeks after making his international debut, Jofra Archer was holding his nerve to bowl a Super Over in a World Cup final and having seen the 24-year-old fast bowler shine throughout the tournament, taking an England record 20 wickets, it was no surprise to anyone that he got his side over the line.
Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have formed a wonderfully destructive partnership at the top of the order and both showed their class throughout the tournament. Bairstow smashed back-to-back centuries in the must-win group games against India and New Zealand, while Roy’s return after injury helped to galvanise England in that India match. He hit four fifties, including a blistering 85 against Australia in the semi-final, and a century in the tournament.
After the blood and thunder of that opening pair, Joe Root provides the calm and composure – the glue in the England batting line-up – and he did his job superbly throughout the World Cup with hundreds against Pakistan and West Indies, as well as a further three fifties to end with 556 runs, the most by an England batsman at a World Cup, and an average of 61.77.
England vs Australia
July 18, 2019, 10:30am
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Finally on our shortlist is Chris Woakes who was consistency personified with the new ball. Often an unsung hero, Woakes took centre stage in the semi-final win over Australia, taking 3-20 to be named man of the match, and followed it up with another fine bowling effort in the Lord’s final, three wickets taking him up to 16 in the tournament.