Australia Win Maiden T20 World Cup by Beating New Zealand

Mitchell Marsh and player-of-the-tournament David Warner both hit half-centuries in Australia’s eight-wicket triumph against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday.

New Zealand lost the crucial toss and was outscored 172-4.

Kane Williamson, who was dropped at 21, led the way with 85 off 48 balls, but Josh Hazlewood, who finished with superb figures of 3-16 from four overs, held his team back.

Marsh hit an unbeaten 77 off 50 balls and Warner scored 53 off 38 balls as Australia reached 173-2 in 18.5 overs after pulling fast bowler Adam Milne for a six-over fine leg off the first ball he faced. The win also ensured Australia’s unblemished record in knockout games against the Black Caps, which dates back to 1981.

“To be the first Australian team to do it is enormous, and I’m really happy with how the lads went about it,” Australian skipper Aaron Finch said. “I can’t believe people wrote him (Warner) off a couple of weeks ago; it was almost like poking the bear, (and Mitch Marsh), what a way to start, putting pressure on him right away.”

After coming together on 15-1, Marsh and Warner powered Australia’s steady run-chase with a 92-run second-wicket stand, before Marsh and Glenn Maxwell (28 not out) put on another solid half-century partnership to get Australia home.

Earlier, in a superb three-over session of the powerplay, Hazlewood got the important wicket of in-form Daryl Mitchell (11) with a magnificent slower ball as the Black Caps struggled to 57-1 by the midway stage of their innings.

But Williamson, who was dropped at fine leg by Hazlewood, exploded against Mitchell Starc, who took 0-60, the most expensive figures in a T20 World Cup final.

Williamson hammered seven of his ten boundaries against Starc, as well as smashing one of his three sixes off the left-arm fast bowler. In the 18th over, Hazlewood returned and caught both Glenn Phillips (18) and Williamson in the deep in the space of four balls.

In the semifinal encounter against Pakistan in Dubai, Australia had successfully chased down a 177-run mark, and a drier pitch made things simpler for Marsh and Warner.

Despite Finch (5) holing out at deep mid-wicket off a short Trent Boult delivery, both hitters dominated the New Zealand seamers on a dry surface (2-18).

Ish Sodhi’s dreams of striking in the middle overs were dashed, as both Marsh and Warner dominated the legspinner, who gave up 40 runs in three overs.

Boult returned and clean bowled Warner, but he had a night to forget when he couldn’t hold on to a return catch off his final ball of the spell, with Australia needing just 15 off 19 balls for victory.

New Zealand’s total of 172 was the same as the number it successfully defended against Scotland in a group game earlier this month at the same stadium. At Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the other 12 games in the tournament were won by teams that batted second.

And Australia isn’t the same as Scotland.

“They’re (Australia) a fantastic side, they had a fantastic campaign and came out and turned it on,” Williamson said after his team defeated England by five wickets in the semifinals. “Thanks to Australia’s relentless pursuit, they didn’t give us a single inch.” It wasn’t meant to be today, but I’m proud of how we’ve conducted ourselves… there are only two possible outcomes, and it’s a shame we weren’t able to complete the task.”

New Zealand has yet to win a white-ball World Cup hosted by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

In the 50-over World Cup final in 2019, New Zealand and England met at Lord’s. Neither team had ever won the championship before. The final ended in an unprecedented tie, and even a tiebreaker โ€“ the so-called Super Over โ€“ couldn’t decide the winner. On the basis of a boundary count, England was awarded the title.

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