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Cricket World Cup final: What the stats have to say

Cricket World Cup final: What the stats have to say
© Reuters
England and New Zealand go head to head in the Lord's showpiece on Sunday.

The battle between England's batsmen and New Zealand's bowlers will be key to deciding Sunday's World Cup final, if the tournament statistics so far are any indication.

England's pace attack has impressed but it is the hosts' batting line-up which has posted the two highest totals of the tournament, while their wobble in the group stage came when the scoring slowed with key opener Jason Roy injured.

New Zealand, meanwhile, have leaned on their own new-ball attack, with captain Kane Williamson left to carry their batting to an extraordinary degree.

Here, PA analyses what both teams' tournament figures can tell us about which of them will win their first World Cup.

Batting

Kane Williamson celebrates his century against the West Indies
Kane Williamson has been New Zealand's stand-out batsman by far (David Davies/PA)

Williamson has been one of the tournament's stand-out stars and tops the batting averages despite being notably starved of support.

His mark of 91.33 is just under five runs clear of second-placed Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan on 86.57 – but almost 50 runs clear of his nearest team-mate, Ross Taylor at 41.87.

New Zealand batting averages at Cricket World Cup 2019
(PA Graphic)

England, meanwhile, have Jason Roy (71.00) and Joe Root (68.62) in the top 10, with the pair joined by Jonny Bairstow among the top 10 overall run-scorers.

Root is fourth on 549 – one place and one run ahead of Williamson, albeit in two more innings – with Bairstow seventh on 496 and Roy 10th with 426 in only six innings.

While there has been nothing to justify the reprinting of spectators' scorecards to accommodate scores up to 500, England have the highest two totals – 397 for six against Afghanistan and 386 for six against Bangladesh – and also led the way in terms of clearing the ropes.

World Cup 2019: most sixes
(PA Graphic)

Eoin Morgan's side have hit 74 sixes, 15 more than nearest challengers the West Indies and over three times as many as New Zealand, while the captain leads the way individually with 22 including a world-record 17 against Afghanistan.

Roy is joint-fourth on 12 with opening partner Bairstow one behind in sixth, while Ben Stokes (nine) and Jos Buttler (eight) also make the top 10.

Finally, of the 31 centuries in the tournament, seven have come from England batsmen – two each for Root and Bairstow, with Roy, Morgan and Buttler also contributing. Williamson has the Black Caps' only two tons.

Bowling

Lockie Ferguson, right, celebrates the dismissal of West Indies captain Jason Holder
Lockie Ferguson, right, celebrates the first-ball dismissal of West Indies captain Jason Holder (David Davies/PA)

In terms of the leading wicket-takers, the two finalists are evenly matched – England have Jofra Archer on 19, ranking third in the tournament, and Mark Wood on 17 while for New Zealand, Lockie Ferguson has 18 and Trent Boult 17.

The rest of the bowling statistics, though, show the Black Caps with an advantage as England's vaunted hitters face perhaps their toughest task yet.

Among those who have bowled at least 10 overs in the tournament, New Zealand have Ferguson (19.94) and James Neesham (20.75) in the top 10 of the averages and provide three of the top 10 economy rates.

Williamson's 15 overs of part-time off-spin have gone for only 4.26 runs apiece on average, as well as picking up a couple of wickets, while Colin De Grandhomme has kept opponents to 4.56 runs per over and Boult 4.62.

Jofra Archer prepares to bowl
Jofra Archer has been economical for England (Tim Goode/PA)

Archer, at 4.61, is England's only bowler in the top 10 but can boast the most dot balls in the tournament – 338, 15 clear of the field. Boult is on 320 having played one game fewer.

England are the only team in the tournament for whom no bowler has taken four wickets in an innings, while New Zealand have accounted for five of the 28 occasions it has happened – matching Australia and India for the tournament lead.

Neesham scooped five for 31 and Ferguson four for 37 against Afghanistan, while Boult took four against both Australia and the West Indies, and Matt Henry did so against Bangladesh.

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