Ben Stokes says England's World Cup win was 'destiny'
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Last Updated: 27/12/19 8:34am
Ben Stokes says England's World Cup win felt like "destiny" as they edged New Zealand on boundary countback to triumph at Lord's in July.
Speaking on our special Christmas show, The Summer of Stokes, which you can watch On Demand now, the England all-rounder reflects on his starring role in his side's thrilling victory.
Stokes' unbeaten 84 in England's 50 overs ensured they tied New Zealand's total of 241, before he and Jos Buttler took their team to 15 in the Super Over on an unforgettable afternoon in London.
England required 22 from nine balls when Stokes launched Jimmy Neesham to deep midwicket but with Trent Boult looking set to take the catch, he then trod on the boundary cushion as England scored six and, in Stokes' eyes, got their hands on the trophy.
Lord's has never been like it and I don't think it ever will be again. The crowd were absolutely brilliant. I don't think they could ever have expected to watch something like they did on that day.
Stokes on atmosphere at World Cup final
"It was almost like destiny that we were going to win it after that," said Stokes, who then smashed Boult for six in the final over before also earning six when Martin Guptill's throw from the deep deflected off his bat and raced away to the fence.
"Trent caught it and stood on the rope and I started signalling six for some reason. I've got no idea why, it's the umpire's job!
"But I was almost like a fan in that five seconds of the ball being in the air, wishing and praying that he'd drop it. He didn't - but then he stood on the rope."
Trent got in two good yorkers and it didn't feel like he was going to miss. I just had to go with something. I had never played a sweep shot off a seamer before in my life and I've no idea why I thought it was a good idea to do it at that time. I went with it, committed to doing it. As soon as I hit it, I knew that I'd got enough of it.
Stokes on slog-sweeping Trent Boult for six in final over
England needed two from Boult's final delivery to win the game before the Super Over but Stokes says finding the boundary was never his intention.
"I remember thinking 'we can win this World Cup but we can also lose it'," said Stokes, who drove Boult to long-on to secure a match-tying single before Mark Wood was run out looking to complete a second run.
"I could try and lash this out of the park, hit a four, hit a six, which would be great to look back on and say 'this is how I did it'. But I knew that if I didn't get it right and it went straight up in the air we would lose the World Cup.
"By doing what I did, we were guaranteed to go to a Super Over. I didn't want to give New Zealand a chance by me trying to be a hero."
I've no idea where that came from. As good a story as that sounds [I didn't ask for it to be removed]. As soon as it happened, I apologised to Tom Latham and Kane Williamson and said I didn't mean to do it."
Stokes on the deflection off his bat going for six
England's chances of victory took a massive hit when, from the second legal ball of New Zealand's Super Over, Neesham swatted Jofra Archer for six to reduce the Black Caps' requirement from to seven from four deliveries.
However, Archer kept his cool and with the Kiwis then needing two from one ball, Jason Roy hurled in a throw from the deep before Buttler ran out Guptill to spark wild England celebrations and leave Stokes reflecting on how years of hard work had paid off.
"Being in a team sport is so rewarding because you get to share moments like that with so many people - team-mates, backroom staff who have helped you along the way," he added.
"There is never one individual who wins you a game, it's a team effort throughout a tournament like that and at the end of the game when you are in the dressing room, celebrating together, there are 20-25 people who have all had the same goal for such a long period of time.
"You get to share it with them all. People who have put their heart and soul into creating an environment and mentality. All the players got medals but there are a lot more people who deserve medals around their necks."
I was at long-on, I remember Simon Doull was behind me, sat down like a nervous wreck. I just looked at him and smiled like, 'oh god!' When I saw the ball wasn't coming anywhere near me I ran in and when I saw it going towards Jason Roy, I was like, 'yes, best fielder'.
Stokes on last ball of World Cup final
Stokes had also lit up the first match of the tournament, England's 104-run win over South Africa at The Oval, when, after scoring 89, he then took a quite remarkable one-handed catch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo at deep midwicket, eliciting a response from Nasser Hussain on commentary of "you cannot do that, Ben Stokes!"
"I'd describe it like something in a movie where it all goes into slow motion. It was a strange feeling and everything went quiet, I didn't know how to react," added Stokes.
"There was a little bit of embarrassment because I'd made it into a difficult chance when it should have been easy.
"I was in the right position to start with and then, for some reason, I started creeping in. I managed to stick my hand out and it stuck in but it would have been a pretty regulation catch if I had done the right thing and been in the right place.
"I will never forget that feeling after that wicket and the team huddle when I went back to the boundary and the crowd was stood up. I just had to take it all in. It was a great experience."