Lucky charm Plunkett says England World Cup win ‘meant to be’

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LONDON, July 15, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Liam Plunkett believes the drama of England’s World Cup win against New Zealand has “changed the history of English cricket”.

The host nation tied with New Zealand after 100 hard-fought overs at Lord’s on Sunday, both sides locked on 241, and even a Super Over shootout could not prise them apart.

Both sides hit 15 from their single over of sudden-death action but England emerged as the winners thanks to a little-known tie-breaker that tallied up the team’s boundary count across the match.

The game was watched by the biggest audience in a generation, with around 30,000 packed into Lord’s, thousands congregating in front of a big screen in Trafalgar Square in central London and the first free-to-air terrestrial coverage in 14 years.

“What a day — it has changed the history of English cricket,” said Plunkett, the veteran of the side at 34 years old.

“Everyone got to watch that. I hope everyone gets involved and loves it like when we won the Ashes in 2005. It was a special day.

“We have been amazing and we have changed the culture of cricket in England. I don’t believe in the stars and all that stuff, but it was the first time that I felt ‘this is meant to be’.”

Plunkett finished the tournament with a proud 100 percent record — winning all seven of the games he played and being overlooked for each of the host nation’s three defeats.

He also put together an impressive selection of key scalps, including South Africa’s Hashim Amla, West Indies opener Chris Gayle and India superstar Virat Kohli.

In the final he dismissed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and recorded figures of 3-42.

“The old lucky charm thing, I was riding with it,” he said. “I was just hoping the coach would think that so I’d get a game. The last four years playing for England was the best time of my life.

“Kane is a massive player and to get a crucial wicket is what I do pride myself on so it was nice to get that.”