For the first time since 1992 World Cup final – between Pakistan and England – the world cricket is braced for a fixture contested between the two sides who have never won the title before. England, having lost three of their nine league stage games, are set to lock horns with New Zealand at Lord’s on Sunday.

England, having humbled New Zealand in their final league stage game by a whopping 119 runs are a far more superior team than the Kiwis as far as their batting contingent goes. In fact, if statistics are taken in account, England’s batting strike rate of 103.27 is the best amongst all the participating nations. While New Zealand’s 78.74 is the second worst after Afghanistan.

And as we speak of hitting big, England sit at the pinnacle of it. Taking mere 8.19 balls/boundary which again is the best amongst the lot, the hosts have hit 74 sixes in the tournament (again, the most). New Zealand, on their part, have struggled with boundaries. Their figure of 12.64 balls/boundary is the lowest in the tournament.

Team SR Team Balls/Boundary Team 6s
England 103.27 England 8.19 England 74
Australia 95.10 West Indies 8.97 West Indies 59
Bangladesh 93.62 Australia 9.20 Australia 44
India 91.98 Bangladesh 9.92 India 36
Pakistan 90.20 Pakistan 9.97 Pakistan 28
West Indies 89.33 India 10.02 South Africa 27
South Africa 84.50 South Africa 11.95 Afghanistan 27
Sri Lanka 79.94 Afghanistan 11.99 Bangladesh 21
New Zealand 78.74 Sri Lanka 12.62 New Zealand 21
Afghanistan 72.61 New Zealand 12.64 Sri Lanka 16

To make things worse, England captain Eoin Morgan alone has hit more sixes (22) than New Zealand combined (21). Collectively, England has scored a whopping 2835 runs in the tournament, which is actually more than 1000 runs New Zealand (1812) have accumulated thus far.

England’s batting contingent is at an all-time high, to say the least. Having registered seven tons in the tournament so far, England now have the same number centuries as their previous eight World Cups combined.

New Zealand’s batting department, on the other hand, is heavily reliant on the likes of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor. In fact, it is their skipper, Williamson, who has scored both of New Zealand’s centuries in the World Cup. Ironically, both Williamson and Morgan have individual best of 148 in the tournament.

Furthermore, New Zealand’s openers have contributed the lowest runs (328) to the team’s total (1812) in this year’s World Cup.

When it comes to bowling though, New Zealand surpass their opponents by a whisker. To begin with, the Kiwis have the best bowling average (27.68) of the tournament. While their five 4+ wicket haul is the joint most in the tournament. England, on the other hand, are the only team in the tournament to not have a single bowler take a 4+ wicket haul. While the likes of Trent Boult and Matt Henry have grabbed all the attention, Lockie Ferguson and Mitchell Santner have been performing their task to mere perfection. As we speak of figures, Ferguson’s economy of 4.20 and dot ball percentage of 64.72 in Power Play 2 (11-40) is the best amongst every bowler.

Team SR Team 4+ wkt Hauls Team Balls/wkt
New Zealand 27.68 New Zealand 5 New Zealand 33.7
India 29.58 India 5 India 34.2
England 30.12 Australia 5 England 34.9
Pakistan 33.20 Pakistan 3 Australia 35.5
Australia 33.59 West Indies 3 Pakistan 35.6
South Africa 33.85 Bangladesh 3 South Africa 37.9
West Indies 39.27 Sri Lanka 2 West Indies 39.2
Bangladesh 41.33 South Africa 1 Bangladesh 40.0
Afghanistan 41.93 Afghanistan 1 Afghanistan 48.7
Sri Lanka 47.20 England 0 Sri Lanka 48.8

Having already squared-off earlier in the tournament, both England and New Zealand are well and truly aware of each other’s strengths and frailties. So will these figures actually signify when it matters the most? Well, we’ll have to wait for it.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Lindsey Parnaby