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Wonderful, magnificent, utterly astonishing, and the best day for English cricket and – one hopes – for cricket in England since the 2005 Ashes. England deserved to win the World Cup because they recovered from a seemingly desperate position in the league stage of the tournament, and played magnificently in the three matches which took them to the final. Then Ben Stokes and Jos Butler thoroughly deserved to win because they kept their nerve and batted with great skill when it seemed as if the match and the Cup were both slipping out of England’s hands.
But, while sport and cricket matches of this quality and intensity can be exhilarating and nerve-rackingly brilliant, they are also cruel. England deserved to win the World Cup, but nobody could honestly say that New Zealand deserved to lose the final; Eoin Morgan, even in the moment of victory, said that they had been the better team on the day.
And what a day it was, starting grey and chilly and ending in glorious sunshine. New Zealand’s innings was a struggle, as it often is.