In one of cricket's greatest ever finishes, England and New Zealand competed 100 overs, only to find themselves tied. Even the Super Over couldn't separate them, and it was on the basis of having hit more boundaries that England lifted the trophy.Morgan was as delighted as anyone at winning the much-coveted trophy, but the manner in which they triumphed is yet to sink in. "I don't think there was one moment that you could say: 'That actually cost the game there.' It was quite balanced," Morgan told The Times.
"I'm black and white. I'm normally going: 'I know. I was there, that happened.' [But] I can't stick my finger on where the game was won and lost."I spoke to Kane [Williamson] over the last couple of days on numerous occasions, and none of us has come up with a rational explanation as to the various times we gave them the game and they gave it back to us. Like me, he can't get his head around everything."
Despite that, Morgan acknowledged it was the greatest ever cricket match. "By a long way," he said when it was put to him. "I can’t think of a game that’s come close. Madness. I should be cheery about it, shouldn’t I?"
There were moments in the final hour of the game where luck seemed to favour England, including when a throw from Martin Guptill deflected off Ben Stokes and ended up at the fence, crucially reducing England's target.Morgan is still comprehending that moment. "I'm not sure winning it makes it any easier," he said. "A little bit [troubled], because there's no defining moment that you'd say: 'yes, we thoroughly deserved it.'
"It's just been crazy. It would be more difficult to lose, of course.”
Carey was one of the standout performers in Australia’s World Cup campaign, which he finished with 375 runs in nine innings, at an average of 62.50. But more than the numbers, it was his composure under pressure and range of strokes with which he impressed. It prompted Waugh to compare the youngster to Michael Hussey.
With the former Australia captain now mentoring the team in the early part of their Ashes campaign, Carey is making use of his availability to transition effectively into red-ball cricket. "If I'm half as good as him [Hussey], I'll be happy, he's an incredible player," Carey said. "Having Steve is amazing for the group. I think he's won nine [eight] Ashes [series as player] and been over here [England] and played a lot. To have the knowledge of Steve Waugh, one of the greatest Australian cricketers, be a part of this group is something we're really lucky to have.
"Personally, I just had a quick chat just getting to know Steve. It's quite early and he'll mentor us and have his spin on things. It's just great knowledge to have. Steve's been watching the one-day stuff and commentating a bit there. I've had a few little chats with him, but more moving now into the red ball and getting that focus of a longer format.
"The patience of the game, staying focused for longer, little things that will come out over the next few days. The more we train, the more you start talking, you start asking questions."Some of Carey’s best performances at the World Cup came in crunch situations. Against West Indies, he made 45 and partnered Steve Smith in a 68-run stand to put up the first signs of recovery, after Australia had sunk to 79/5. They ended up making 288.Then, in Australia’s next match, against India, he slammed an unbeaten 35-ball 55 against one of the tournament’s best attacks. Australia were still comprehensively beaten, by 36 runs, but the ease with which Carey stroked the ball while the rest had struggled in a tall chase of 353, was eye-catching.
His 71 against New Zealand from No.7 was integral to lifting Australia from 92/5 to 243/9, which they eventually defended by 86 runs. Even in Australia’s last game in the round-robin, against South Africa, he nearly helped them chase down 326 with a superb 85 off 69 balls. All through, Carey kept a cool head and absorbed pressure while enticing with his strokeplay. "I guess different circumstances throughout the World Cup were really good learning experiences for me," Carey said. "Having Smith and Warner back in the side, and the experienced guys I got to bat with, you learn a lot out in the middle."Obviously, batting [at] seven, you hope to come in during the last 10, and if you don't, then you do your best through the middle to be busy, occupy the crease.
At times, it felt just like play good cricket, and play a bit of Test cricket - absorb some pressure and rebuild at times. It was good to go through different circumstances and have some success."The last six to eight weeks have been a massive learning experience for me and then going back 12 months even. Every time I go out to play, I try to learn as much as I can from success or failures, learn from the experienced guys in the team, and once you get put under pressure, you learn a lot about yourself pretty quickly as well.”
Australia require just a draw to retain the urn, but a stalemate would give England the chance to level the rubber, as they did Down Under in 2017, and Meg Lanning’s side began on day three like a team determined to grind their opponents down.
Some quickfire runs from Beth Mooney, who made her maiden Test fifty, allowed Australia to declare when her wicket fell on 420/8, with a tricky 15 minute period for England’s openers to survive before Lunch. A beauty from Ellyse Perry, who followed up her first-innings century with a ball which swung in before seaming away, bowled Tammy Beaumont and ensured the hosts went into the break one down.Heather Knight and Amy Jones then set about repairing the damage, putting together England’s best partnership of the day, before the former was pinned in front for Sophie Molineux’s maiden Test wicket, and her first of three on the day.
Georgia Elwiss was next to fall, run out by Nicole Bolton after being called through for a single that was never on, and then, shortly after the tea break, Jones, who had batted well for her 64, holed out to mid on.When Sarah Taylor was also pinned lbw by Molineux, a swift end to the innings and a tricky decision for Lanning over whether or not to avoid the follow on seemed possible, but Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver put together a doughty sixth-wicket stand to avert disaster, but batted slowly enough to most likely end England’s chances of getting a win to keep their hopes of regaining the Ashes alive.
Sciver completed her maiden half-century in her sixth Test match before Brunt was bowled between bat and pad by Ashleigh Gardner, who marked the occasion of becoming Australia’s third indigenous Test cricketer with a wicket to savour.Anya Shrubsole and Sciver batted through to the close untroubled. They will resume tomorrow with the latter 38 runs away from a maiden Test century, England 72 runs from avoiding the follow on, and Australia’s victory hopes very much alive.
McCullum knows what it's like to lose a World Cup final, as he was at the helm when New Zealand lost to Australia in the final of the 2015 edition in Melbourne. New Zealand's defeat at Lord's may have hurt them even more, given how they fell agonizingly short of winning their first ever World Cup title. After levelled scores in the match and then in the Super Over, England were awarded the game and the coveted trophy on boundary count. McCullum recalled that the players were 'pretty broken' after the game. Yet there was an element of pride over having made the final in the first place.
"I was lucky enough to have a beer with them in the changing room and they were pretty broken, that's for sure," McCullum was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz."They were also really proud of what they did and how well they played. Over the coming months and years, whilst it's still raw now, they'll understand just how magnificent that spectacle was. And for it to happen on the biggest of stages, to have played the hand that they played in that match is absolutely amazing.In face of the heartbreak, McCullum urged the team to look at the bigger picture, which is the positive impact New Zealand's overall performance will have on the game in the country, much like it did after the 2015 show."It was a missed opportunity but I looked at the positives of the rest of the World Cup and what it did for the game in our country rather than focusing on that last moment."
New Zealand are lined up for an exciting home summer later this year, as they host England and India. The high-profile series on the back of a fantastic World Cup performance could further enhance the game's cause in the country."A full calendar on the back of that World Cup performance, to have England arriving, to have India here, it's going to be pretty fascinating for cricket fans," he said."I'm confident that New Zealand will perform well. They're very good in their own conditions, that's for sure. But both those two teams will present a significant challenge."New Zealand's immediate priority would be their tour of Sri Lanka, where they play a two match test series beginning 14 August in Galle, followed by three T20Is.