T20 World Cup: Australia thrash New Zealand to lift maiden title

Australian players celebrate after winning the T20 World Cup final against New Zealand in Dubai. (AP)
Australian players celebrate after winning the T20 World Cup final against New Zealand in Dubai. (AP)

The Aussies beat New Zealand by eight wickets in Dubai on Sunday



by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sun 14 Nov 2021, 9:56 PM

Last updated: Sun 14 Nov 2021, 10:13 PM

Australia ended their T20 World Cup trophy drought in style with a thumping eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Australia ended their T20 World Cup trophy drought in style with a thumping eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the final at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

After New Zealand posted 172 for four on the back of Kane Williamson’s 85 off 48 balls, Australia reached home in 18.5 overs, thanks to superb half centuries from Mitchell Marsh (77 not out, 50 balls, 6 fours and 4 sixes) and David Warner (53, 38 balls, 4 fours, 3 sixes).

Warner’s spectacular return to form had been key to the Aussies’ run to the final here in UAE.

In the final, the left-handed opener was brilliant once again as he set the tone for Australian victory despite the early loss of captain Aaron Finch (5).

Warner, who had lost his Sunrisers Hyderabad captaincy as well as his place in the team in what was a disastrous IPL 2021 campaign, had the perfect redemption at the World Cup, playing a match-winning knock in the final on Sunday.

But the effort from Marsh was even more impressive. The tall all-rounder kept the scoreboard ticking without ever missing out on a chance to hit the big ones.

Despite Warner’s fall in the 13th over with Australia still needing 63 runs off 46 balls, Marsh continued to play with freedom as he guided the Aussies home with a fine unbroken third wicket partnership with Glenn Maxwell (28 not out, 18 balls, 4 fours, 1 six).

New Zealand failed to put any pressure on the field as Trent Boult (4-0-18-2) was left fighting a lone battle against the dominant Aussie batsmen.

Earlier, a fantastic knock of 85 off 48 balls from captain Kane Williamson helped new Zealand post a challenging total of 172 for four.

Put into bat, New Zealand got off to a slow start against an Australian attack that produced a disciplined effort in the powerplay.

Even the free-flowing Martin Guptill (28 off 35) was kept on a tight leash as the Kiwis crawled to 32 for one in the first six overs.

Having failed to score a single half century in his previous 10 T20 innings, Williamson made a slow start in the final after Daryl Mitchell (11) was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over.

The classy batsman soon found his range but needed a slice of luck in the 11th over of the innings when Hazlewood dropped him in the deep off Mitchell Starc (4-0-60-0) with the ball rolling onto the boundary.

Williamson added to Starc’s misery by hitting the next two balls for fours before demolishing the Australian leg-arm pacer five overs later.

The Kiwi captain launched a stunning assault on the veteran Australian bowler, picking 22 runs in the 16th over.

The first of the four boundaries in that over was the result of an outside edge with the ball racing to the third-man boundary. But then he showed the full range of shots for the next three fours, which were punctuated by a majestic flick for a six over the mid-wicket.

Williamson’s 68-run partnership for the third wicket with Glenn Phillips (18) came off just 35 balls.

But Australia managed to peg back New Zealand after Williamson’s superb innings came to an end in the 18th over when the Kiwi captain fell to the outstanding Hazlewood (4-0-16-3) while going for his fourth six of the evening.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 172/4 in 20 overs (Williamson 85, Martin Guptill 28, Glenn Phillips 18, James Neesham 13 not out; Hazlewood 3/16, Adam Zampa 1/26).

Australia 173/4 in 18.5 overs (Marsh 70 not out, Warner 53; Boult 4-0-18-2)


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