WELLINGTON – Cricket fans in New Zealand were heartbroken on Monday after their team came excruciatingly close to a maiden cricket World Cup victory, only to lose to England on total boundaries scored.
“End of the World! Black Caps lose by zero runs,” screamed a headline in the New Zealand Herald newspaper.
“It was cruel. It was incredible. It was one of the greatest sporting encounters you'll ever see. And it broke New Zealand's hearts,” said a column in the paper.
About 12,000 miles from Lord's, New Zealanders stayed up through the night watching at pubs, college campuses and their homes, cheering for an underdog team that reached the final with inspiring all-round performances led by skipper Kane Williamson.
But the excitement turned to despair before dawn as England emerged winners in a thrilling finish.
With the match tied after England were bowled out for 241 with the last ball of the 50th over, both teams scored 15 runs in a nerve-jangling Super Over. But the home side claimed the trophy because they had hit more boundaries in the match.
Local radio station hosts in New Zealand capital Wellington described empty roads on Monday as people took the day off to mourn the loss.
“Nice work @ICC ... you are a joke!!!” former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris wrote on Twitter, lashing out at the sport's global governing body over the boundary rule.