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The World Cup final

This match was surely the greatest argument for the I-was-there brigade which included me in the Great Rust Debate.

Never mind that my earpiece was attached to TMS all day whose commentary was superb and crucially on top of the rule requirements to decide a winner that the match itself nor super-over could not determine.

The match had the crucial ingredient of a thrilling finish with any result possible on the last ball.

The New Zealand total of 241 seemed low but defensible.

A few years ago against England teams that did not understand the grammar of limited over cricket it would have been enough.

I was there in 1979 when the Windies took the trophy at Lords when Geoff Boycott and Mike Brearley crawled along so slowly that the theory still exists that Clive Lloyd deliberately dropped Boycott.

My lasting recollection was again of the final ball bowled when Viv Richards swept a well-flighted delivery from Mike Hendrick down the off side straight over our heads in front of the Mound Stand on the leg side for a six.

My companion, a barrister learned in cricket, pronounced it the finest shot he ever saw. Ben Stokes ‘s six will not pass into the lore of memories but a stroke he never intended when a throw-in struck his bat, whilst he was prostate, for a boundary will.

There were many heroes out there but I would like to conclude by praising the Kiwis for their part.

No insensitive journalist as happened with Johnanna Konta could accuse them of being uncompetitive as they fought every inch of the way but accepted defeat afterwards with utmost dignity.

Kane Williamson is not just a world class batter and clever skipper, but above all a sport.

My reaction after such a victory is not the popular one. I left before the presentations to take a long walk in my favourite park, Regents.

There on a glorious sunlit evening I reflected on some of the great matches I was privileged to watch: England v West Indies in 1963 when similarly any result was possible on the last ball: more recently Stuart Broad’s 6-15 at Trent Bridge against the Aussies and now the one I have just seen.

This beats one them all.

About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts