Australia Beats New Zealand to Claim Cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Mitchell Marsh and David Warner plundered half centuries as Australia won its first Twenty20 cricket World Cup with an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Sunday’s final.
New Zealand lost an important toss. It was then sent to bat, and the score was 172-4.
Kane Williamson, the skipper, was first to score 85 of 48 balls. But his team was overtaken by Josh Hazlewood (Australian paceman), who scored impressive results with 3-16.
Marsh, who blasted Adam Milne, a fast bowler, for six runs on the first delivery when he was at the crease in Australia’s 15-1 match, finished the game unbeaten, scoring 77 from 50 balls. Australia reached 173-2 in seven overs thanks to a partnership of Marsh and Warner for a second wicket partnership that saw him score 92 runs off 38 balls. Australia maintained its unbeaten record in knockout games against the Black Caps with this win.
Australia, five-time World Cup 50-over winner, was not in good form leading up to the tournament. Warner also struggled in the Indian Premier League.
It was quick to turn the tables when the results were in, as Australia won all of its games and Warner took home the Player of the Series award.
“This is huge, to be the first Australia team to do it, so proud of how the guys went about the campaign,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said. “Can’t believe people wrote (Warner) off a couple of weeks ago, it was almost like poking the bear.”
After setting up Australia’s run chase with Warner, Marsh continued with Glenn Maxwell (28 not out) in an unbroken 66-run stand.
Hazlewood had earlier taken the wicket of Daryl Mitchell (11) in a crucial three-over run during the powerplay. This was as the Black Caps crept to 57-1 in the middle of their innings.
But Williamson, dropped by Hazlewood at fine leg, cut loose against Australia’s fastest bowler Mitchell Starc, who returned 0-60 — the most expensive figures in a T20 World Cup final.
Williamson was able to hit Starc for seven of his 10 boundaries. He also caught the left-arm fastbower for one his three sixes. Hazlewood came back in 18th over, and in just four balls had Williamson and Glenn Phillips caught deep.
Australia was able to defeat Pakistan with 177 runs. The semifinals were played at Dubai. Marsh and Warner had a much easier time playing on a dryer pitch.
The New Zealand seamers had to play both bats after Finch ((5) was caught out deep in mid-wicket following a quick delivery by Trent Boult (2-18).
New Zealand’s hopes of Ish Sodhi striking in the middle overs backfired with both Marsh and Warner dominating the legspinner, who conceded 40 off his three overs.
Boult returned and clean bowled Warner, but then couldn’t hold onto a return catch off the last ball of his spell with Australia needing just 15 for victory off 19 balls.
New Zealand’s 172 was the same total which it had successfully defended against Scotland in a group game at the same venue earlier this month. Other 12 matches at Dubai International Cricket Stadium were won in the second innings by teams that batted first.
“They’re (Australia) a fantastic side, had a brilliant campaign and came out and turned it on,” said Williamson, whose team had knocked out England with a five-wicket victory in the semifinals. “Credit to the way Australia chased it, they didn’t give us an inch. But proud of how we’ve operated … there are only two possible outcomes, shame we couldn’t get the job done.”
The New Zealanders, inaugural winners of the World Test Championship earlier this year, have still never won a title in one of the ICC’s white-ball World Cups.
In 2019, New Zealand and England met at Lord’s in the final of the 50-over World Cup. The trophy was never won by any of the teams. The final finished in an unprecedented tie, and the outcome couldn’t be decided after a tiebreaker — a so-called Super Over. England won the title based on a countback.