Amid the drama, controversy and visceral ecstacy of England’s miraculous World Cup final win over New Zealand last Sunday, at least one man has succeeded in cutting through the rafts of post-victory chat to add a bit of creative flair to proceedings.
England defeated the 2015 finalists and now two-time runner ups by the slimmest of margins, eventually triumphing by virtue of having racked up a greater number of boundaries than their opponents during the 50 overs prior to the (as it should now be known to anybody who follows cricket) ‘Champagne Super Over’.
According to wordsmith Tom Ward at Tom Ward Studios.
‘Some day Root will find me
Caught beneath the Lord’s sky
In a Champagne Super over in July’.
The hilarious offering refers to Jofra Archer’s contentious wide at the start of the Kiwi’s super over (Where were you while we were fretting wides?), controversial umpire’s call decisions (Thank Allah for umpire’s call) and, of course, the utter fear and adulation that had the nation gripped (How many finals end so strange?) on that unforgettable day.
Perhaps most controversially of all has been the suggestion that England were gifted a sixth run after a freak incident in which batsman Ben Stokes unintentionally deflected the fielder’s throw to the boundary as he slid in to make his second run, having already completed one with batting partner Adil Rashid.
Former umpire Simon Taufel suggested England should have only been awarded five runs as the batsmen had not crossed when the fielder released his throw to the wicket keeper before the fateful moment that will enter Ben Stokes long into cricketing lore.
The rule in question, 19:8, states:
‘If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be:
– any runs for penalties awarded to either side
– and the allowance for the boundary
– and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act.’
If England had been awarded five runs instead of six, so the argument goes, they would have failed to match New Zealand’s score of 241 and the World Cup would have found its new home south of the Equator.
Any England fans doubting the validity of the World Cup triumph could well be advised to take solace in the words of ‘Champagne Super Over’ and wallow instead in the afterglow of what was surely the most dramatic cricketing rollercoaster these shore has and will ever see.
And if that doesn’t help, perhaps request some Oasis next time you brave the pub karaoke and blast out your own rendition of ‘Champagne Super Over’?