October 26, 2020

Cricket World Cup final: Australia eases to seven-wicket victory over New Zealand for fifth World Cup win


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6357214-3x2-700x467By Jon Healy From ABC.Net

Australia has won the World Cup in a canter, beating New Zealand by seven wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the country’s fifth world title.
New Zealand: 10/183 Australia: 3/186

The match was wrapped up in the 34th over after a brilliant innings by retiring skipper Michael Clarke (74), ably supported by Steve Smith (56 not out), saw Australia easily chase down New Zealand’s modest total of 183.

“I’m over the moon. What a tournament!” Clarke said.

“I think firstly obviously to Brendon [McCullum] and the New Zealand team, they deserve a lot of credit. They’re always a tough team to beat.

“In any sporting event Australia v New Zealand is always an exciting contest. Tonight was no different. Congratulations to him and his team on a wonderful tournament.”

In a tournament littered with explosive scoring and monstrous totals, Australia’s match-winning effort was relatively low-key but by no means unimpressive.

And the partisan crowd had the thanks of their hero.

“To the Australian fans, to all the fans of the game of the cricket I think it’s been an amazing turn out for this tournament,” Clarke said.

“For the support we’ve had through the tournament, thanks to every Australian and every cricket supporter out there.

“Most importantly, to that amazing team including support staff that stands over there. I couldn’t have asked for anything more, the support I’ve received since coming back to the team.

“The way they’ve stood up and played. They deserve to stand here to night and hold that trophy up.”
Calm and collected chase sees Australia home

The run chase started inauspiciously when Aaron Finch (0) barely made it through the first over from Tim Southee (0 for 65) before popping an easy return catch to Trent Boult in the second to give the Black Caps the early breakthrough they desperately needed.

David Warner (45) apparently saw that as an invitation to attack as he, with a little help from Smith, belted 29 runs off the next three overs.

Warner was typically aggressive and, despite surviving a number of chances, looked set for a half-century before holing out to Grant Elliott at deep mid-wicket with a hideous hook shot in the 13th over.

That saw Clarke join heir-apparent Smith at the crease for his final ODI innings, and he was welcomed by a roaring reception from the crowd of 93,013 people at the MCG, a record for a single day of cricket in Australia.

With the run rate not a concern, Clarke was watchful early before freeing his arms through the middle overs as New Zealand’s bowlers grew increasingly frustrated.

Unfortunately, there were not enough runs required for Clarke to bow out with a ton in his 50-over game, but the 33-year-old brought up his half-century off 56 balls with five fours and one six off the bowling of the usually stingy Daniel Vettori (0 for 25).

He eventually fell when he chopped on from Matt Henry (2 for 46)

And, in a ‘passing of the baton’ moment, it was Smith who hit the winning runs three over later after yet another effortless half-century – passing 50 for the fifth consecutive time.

“I just wish [Clarke] was with me at the end there,” Smith said.

“I kept saying ‘Pup, stay with me stay with me’.”

Earlier, Australia’s bowlers ripped through the Black Caps’ batsmen thanks to three wickets each from Mitchell Johnson (3 for 30) and James Faulkner (3 for 36).

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Faulkner said after the game.

“To play in front of 93,000 fans here at MCG, win a World Cup, it’s amazing. What a performance today.

“It’s been an amazing couple of years in the Australian one-day outfit. We brought our ‘A’ game today.”

Australia looked a class above from the opening over when player of the tournament Mitchell Starc (2 for 20) sent dangerman Brendon McCullum’s bails flying with just the third ball of the day.

Martin Guptill (15) looked to rebuild the innings before he managed to play inside the line of a Glenn Maxwell (1 for 37) delivery in the 12th over after putting on just 32 runs alongside the out-of-form Kane Williamson (12).

Williamson joined Guptill in the dressing room one over later when he tamely chipped a ball straight back into Johnson’s hands.

It was then left to Ross Taylor (40) and semi-final hero Elliott (83) to attempt more reparations.

They performed more impressively than their predecessors and scored 111 runs before man of the match Faulkner got in on the action.

Taylor fell chasing a wide slower ball that found his outside edge and was snaffled brilliantly by a spread-eagled Brad Haddin.

The Black Caps’ woes deepened when Faulkner bowled Corey Anderson for a duck two balls later.

Luke Ronchi joined in the duck parade in the next over, edging Starc to Clarke at first slip.

Johnson farewelled departing veteran Vettori, who played all around the left armer’s yorker, the ball cannoning into his leg stump.

As his partners disappeared, Elliott was caught behind chasing quick runs off Faulkner, before Matt Henry became the fourth duck of the innings, spearing the ball straight to Starc at point off Johnson.

The last wicket fell in ignominious fashion as Maxwell ran out Southee (11) at the non-striker’s end after the number nine jammed his bat into the ground an inch short of his crease.

IMAGE: Australia celebrates with World Cup trophy Photo: Fifth time’s a charm … Michael Clarke and the Australian team celebrate with the World Cup trophy. (Getty Images: Cameron Spencer)
Flawless form … Steve Smith hit the winning runs after notching his fifth consecutive half-century. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)
For more on this story go to: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-29/australia-coasts-to-world-cup-win-over-new-zealand/6357172

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