Cricket World Cup final: Pitch report, preview, betting tips

Hosts and number one ranked ODI side England face the Black Caps of New Zealand in Sunday’s Cricket World Cup final.

Neither side has ever lifted the World Cup with England losing in the final three times and New Zealand’s best result their runners-up spot in 2015.

England last made a Cricket World Cup final in 1992, doing so in the kit that their 2019 World Cup uniforms were inspired by.

New Zealand needed two days to complete a low-scoring dogfight of a semi-final against India, while England made quick work of an Australia team that ran out of steam at the tail end of the competition.

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Jason Roy of England reacts after being given out caught behind, despite not connecting with the ball as umpire Marais Erasmus ushers him from the field during the Semi-Final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Australia and England at Edgbaston on July 11, 2019, in Birmingham, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Jason Roy smashed 85 in the semi-final but was fortunate to avoid being banned for the Cricket World Cup final after a show of dissent when he was given out despite not making contact with the ball. Roy motioned to review but England had already used their single batting review in an attempt to overturn the earlier dismissal of Jonny Bairstow.

Roy is a key man for England who have struggled when the Durban-born Surrey blaster has not been in the lineup to partner Bairstow.

New Zealand enjoyed a long unbeaten run at the beginning of the tournament but saw their form dip in the latter stages of round-robin competition, they were the last team to secure a place in the top four but produced the goods when it mattered against India.

Kane Williamson has carried much of the responsibility for ensuring the Black Caps have scored enough runs. Williamson is the only Black Cap to have scored a hundred in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, tonning up in successive matches to help New Zealand beat South Africa and the West Indies.

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Kane Williamson of New Zealand hits a six to bring up his century during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and South Africa at Edgbaston on June 19, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

New Zealand have bowled very well to make up for some of their batting deficiencies, pacemen Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry have shared 49 wickets between them in the tournament. England’s pace trio of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes have shared the same number of wickets between them.

England sport the most centurions in the 2019 World Cup so far with five players going to three figures. Joe Root and Bairstow have reached the mark twice while Roy, Jos Buttler and skipper Eoin Morgan have all made hundreds.

Cricket World Cup final pitch report

The surface at Lord’s has lived up to its reputation of providing a little bit for everyone.

In four matches prior to the Cricket World Cup final two teams have managed to get past 300 and both sides won. Scoreboard pressure has worked a treat at the venue will all four games won by the team batting first. In three of the four matches, the side batting second has been bowled out.

Both sides have shown a desire to bat first when winning the toss in the tournament so far and the final should be no exception.

New Zealand have been reluctant to deploy their leg-spinner, Ish Sodhi, preferring the all-round ability of left-arm tweaker Mitchell Santner. England will play two spinners but the Black Caps will be reluctant to drop one of their quicks to accommodate Sodhi on a pitch that certainly isn’t a bunsen burner.

Betting tips

England are at short odds to win and dominate run-scoring and wicket-taking but there is good value in the individual top scorer.

Jos Buttler bats down the order and so has pretty long odds at being England’s highest scorer but he is a big match player and could come through in the clutch for the hosts. Much like Buttler Stokes offers another good value long shot.

Matt Henry was man of the match in the semi-final and has been on great form but with so many top bowlers on show bookmakers have been forced to offer some juicy odds on the Black Caps bowler to end as the top wicket-taker.

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