On coming Sunday, July 14, at the home of cricket, Lord's, there will be a new world champion in ODI cricket. Two teams, who have never won the ultimate title in 50-over cricket will lock horns to emerge victorious and get their hands on the trophy.
While the Kiwis surprised everyone by defeating India and earning a title shot in their second successive World Cup, the pre-tournament favourites finally showed that ruthless streak that had made them the no. 1 ranked side, coming into this tournament, and thumped Australia by 8 wickets to enter the World Cup final for the fourth time.
First, it was the pair of Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer that did the damage early on in Australia's innings. While Archer dismissed Aaron Finch, the Aussie captain, for a first-ball duck, Woakes showed his quality by getting rid of David Warner and Peter Handscomb.
It was the indefatigable Steve Smith that battled like only he can and kept the innings from sinking. But wickets kept falling at the other end, eventually leading to the Aussies being bowled out for 223 despite Smith's brilliant 85.
England were made to once again realise what a key player Jason Roy is and how much he was missed by the team when the opener got his team to a strong start in the first ten overs. While Bairstow held one end up, Roy ensured there was a continuous flow of boundaries from the other. England were 50/0 in 10 overs but things were only going to get better for them as Roy launched an all-out attack on the Aussies and knocked them out of the game. The first wicket fell at the score of 124 but it was too late for the defending champions. Even the wicket of Roy at the score of 147 didn't stop England as their captain Eoin Morgan and Test captain Joe Root kept the momentum and took their team home with 8 wickets and nearly 18 overs remaining. A more comprehensive win couldn't have been imagined.
So, will England win their first World Cup in their fourth appearance at the final? Or will the Kiwis go one better? One thing is for sure – a new nation will join the group of World Cup winners.