London: England have lost their sixth wicket with Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler falling to Lockie Ferguson and the Cricket World Cup final against is New Zealand at the Lord’s on Sunday is anybody’s game.
Earlier, half centuries from Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler was keeping alive England's hopes of winning the Cricket World Cup (men’s) for the first time. With 3 overs remaining, England need 34 runs to win.
However, Woakes (2 runs from 4 balls) and Buttler (59 from 60) fell to Lockie Ferguson in quick succession. Buttler was caught by substitute Tim Southee at sweeper cover. Buttler failed to judge the slower ball from Ferguson. He sliced it in the air. Southee initially misjudged the flight of the ball. He moved to his left, then to his right, then sprinted in to grab a pressure catch.
Soon after, Woakes edged the ball to wicket keeper Tom Latham. Brought together with England reeling at 86-4, Stokes and Buttler produced a 100 run partnership to move the team to 196-5 off 45 overs.
The tightest finish to a World Cup final also involved England, in 1987, when Australia won by seven runs.
Stokes and Buttler, two of the team's most destructive batsmen, were trying to rebuild the innings after captain Eoin Morgan fell for 9 to a stunning catch by Lockie Ferguson at deep point. Running in from the boundary, he dived forward and took a two-handed catch just before the ball hit the ground off Jimmy Neesham's first ball. That left England on 86-4 at the time.
Earlier in the 17th over, Joe Root got stuck on the crease and edged a wide delivery by the New Zealand allrounder to wicketkeeper Tom Latham for 7 off 30 balls. One ball earlier, he had charged down the ground to smash Colin de Grandhomme and mossed
Jonny Bairstow then edged onto his stumps off Lockie Ferguson for a 55-ball 36.
De Grandhomme had figures of 1-25 off his stipulated 10 overs and is leading the strangling of England's batsmen at a tension-filled Lord's. England had emerged from a testing opening 10 overs of the reply with just Jason Roy back in the pavilion.
Roy had survived an lbw review off the very first ball — replays showed Trent Boult's inswinging delivery was hitting leg stump, but umpire Marais Erasmus' original decision was not out — and struck three fours before edging Matt Henry behind for 17.
Bairstow, who had struggled against Henry, was beaten all ends up twice by the paceman, while an inside edge of Boult just missed the stumps. It was England's second-lowest score from the opening powerplay in this tournament.
The Englishmen are chasing 242 to win the Cricket World Cup for the first time after Liam Plunkett's 3-40 helped to limit New Zealand to another middling total in the final at Lord's.
After winning the toss, Kiwis captain Kane Williamson had opted to bat first. Every New Zealand specialist batsman got into double figures but only opener Henry Nicholls (55) reached a half-century in the face of a disciplined bowling effort from the tournament host.
Plunkett, one of the understated members of the England team, took center stage by removing New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (30) and Nicholls in the space of 14 balls. The seamer also took the wicket of dangerous allrounder Jimmy Neesham (19).
Tom Latham plundered 46 off 57 balls as the Black Caps stumbled to 241-8 by making 62 runs off the final 10 overs.
The Black Caps, who are also seeking their first world title, have proved adept at defending relatively small totals in this tournament and Lord's isn't known for its heavy scoring in ODIs. In the semifinals, India failed to chase down 240 against New Zealand in Manchester.
(With inputs from AP)