The England cricket team has made history by winning the Cricket World Cup in the most thrilling fashion.
It followed an astonishing, game-saving Ben Stokes innings that led to a first ever ‘super over’ to decide the winner.
The scores were tied at the end of 50 overs - paving the way for a super over, a six-ball shoot-out that had only occurred 11 times in international history and never before in an ODI.
Incredibly, the teams went blow-for-blow once again, Stokes and Jos Buttler hitting 15 off Trent Boult before Jofra Archer conceded 14 off his first five deliveries.
The Barbados-born bowler, the least experienced player on either side, held his nerve as Martin Guptill forced the ball into the off-side and came back for a second that would have taken the trophy.
Enter Jason Roy, who picked up cleanly despite unimaginable pressure and hurled a flat, decisive throw towards Buttler, who scattered the stumps as Guptill scrambled.
Tied once again, England triumphed on account of boundaries scored in the original 50-over match, a technocratic decider in a contest that proved impossible to settle any other way.
In the end England’s 22 fours and two sixes proved the difference, besting the Black Caps’ tally of 14 and two.
After 44 years and 12 editions, England have finally lifted the trophy - and the national side were back on a free-to-air terrestrial platform for the first time since the 2005 Ashes.
Their victory emulates the England women’s team who won the Cricket World Cup on the same ground two years ago.
England began the tournament as favourites. They were in danger of getting knocked out early after defeats to Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan but fought back from setbacks.
The cricket tournament took place in 11 venues across England and Wales and it has been watched by more than 675m people worldwide.
After the game, Morgan labelled Stokes as “almost superhuman” after the all-rounder inspired England to glory.
Stokes held his nerve under the utmost pressure, his 84 not out ensuring England matched New Zealand’s 241 at a frenzied Lord’s and, despite being clearly fatigued, he returned to bat alongside Buttler for the super over.
“To come through is extraordinary,” the England captain said. “It’s almost superhuman. He’s really carried the team and our batting line-up.
“To bat with the lower order the way he did, I thought was incredible. He managed to deal with the emotion and atmosphere in an incredibly experienced manner.
“Hopefully everyone watching at home will try to be the next Ben Stokes.”
Stokes’ last final in an England shirt ended in heartbreak, conceding four successive sixes as the freewheeling Carlos Brathwaite secured the World Twenty20 crown for the West Indies in 2016.
Morgan added: “A lot of careers would have been ended after what happened in Kolkata. But Ben has stood up individually and in the unit for us a huge number of times since then.
“And here he’s had a huge day out and we’re thankful for that.”
Stokes recognised the magnitude of the finale, watched on by 30,000 at the home of cricket, a mass gathering at Trafalgar Square and a bumper audience up and down the country, swelled by being broadcast on terrestrial television.
He said at the presentation ceremony: “I’m pretty lost for words. All the hard work that’s gone in over these four years, this is where we aspired to be.
“To do it with such a game, I don’t think there will be another like this in the history of cricket.
“The lads, in this one-day team, the Test team, my family, their support has been massive. Now I’m just looking forward to tonight.”