Australia powered to an eight-wicket victory with seven balls to spare over New Zealand to win the ICC Men’s Twenty/20 Cricket World Cup for the first time in Dubai yesterday. It was the highest run-chase in a Men’s Twenty/20 World Cup final.
All-rounder, Mitchell Marsh scored a ferocious 77 not out from 50 balls as Australia overhauled what appeared to be a challenging 173 by New Zealand who were sent in to bat first after Australia won the toss.
Marsh, who was dropped on 68 when Australia needed 15 runs from 19 balls, shared a dominant second wicket stand of 92 off 99 balls with opener, David Warner, and continued to attack after Warner was bowled for 53 from 38 balls. Fast bowler, Trent Boult took 2-18 to be New Zealand’s best bowler.
After Glenn Maxwell hit the winning runs, Marsh was mobbed by his team-mates and dropped to his knees, overcome with emotion having produced his finest Twenty/20 innings on the biggest stage.
New Zealand, now beaten in three consecutive white-ball finals, were arguably favourites at the halfway stage after Kane Williamson’s 85 from 48 balls in a total of 172-4 on a slow pitch.
But it was Australia, unfancied before the tournament, who cantered home to join Australia Women as Twenty/20 World Champions.
The Australia celebrations began even before Maxwell’s stroke reached the boundary for the final time, the players rushing on to the field to celebrate with Marsh.
His innings will be remembered as one of the best in a World Cup final, the brutal hitting began with an emphatic front-foot pull for six off the first ball he faced.
Player of the Tournament Warner, dropped by his Indian Premier League franchise before the World Cup, was key too, while fast bowler, Josh Hazlewood took 3-16.
Together they helped seal a win that few expected three weeks ago.
The New Zealand innings of 172-4 was led by captain, Kane Williamson’s 85 off 48 balls. The only support he received was from opening batsman, Martin Guptill with 28.
The final scores: New Zealand 172-4 off 20 overs, Australia 173-2 off 18.5 overs.us