England’s bowlers gave the hosts a real chance of lifting their first-ever World Cup trophy with a superb performance at Lord’s on Sunday morning.
With a blanket of grey clouds hovering over the famed old ground after play was delayed by 15 minutes due to some summer rain, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer set the tone upfront.
The duo – destroyers of Australia in the semi-final earlier the week – were relentless in hitting their lengths and lines from the outset. Both New Zealand openers Henry Nicholls and Martin Guptill required the assistance of television reviews to survive vociferous appeals, but Guptill was not so fortunate later on when Woakes wrapped him on the pads again.
Guptill departed for 19, but the loss of the review would prove equally crucial later on when senior batsman Ross Taylor (15) was adjudged LBW by South African umpire Marais Erasmus with replays showing the ball to be bouncing over the stumps.
In the intervening period Nicholls and captain Kane Williamson attempted to absorb the pressure exerted by the England bowling unit, content to occupy the crease instead of pushing the accelerator down.