Dubai: Mitchell Marsh and David Warner smashed half centuries as Australia won their first cricket T20 World Cup with an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in the final on Sunday.
New Zealand lost the all-important toss and scored 172-4. Skipper Kane Williamson, dropped on 21, led the way by scoring 85 off 48 balls., but his team was pegged back by Josh Hazlewood, who finished with impressive figures of 3-16 from four overs.
Marsh smashed an unbeaten 77 off 50 balls and Warner made 53 off 38 as Australia reached 173-2 in 18.5 overs.
Australia have not lost to New Zealand in a knockout game over the last 40 years.
Marsh and Warner powered Australia’s solid run-chase with a 92-run second wicket stand, after coming together on 15-1, before Marsh and Glenn Maxwell (28 not out) featured in another solid half-century partnership to take Australia home.
Earlier, Hazlewood got the key wicket of in-form Daryl Mitchell (11) with a brilliant slower ball in an impressive three-over spell of powerplay as the Black Caps crawled to 57-1 by the halfway stage of their innings.
But Williamson, dropped by Hazlewood at fine leg, cut loose against fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who returned 0-60 — the most expensive figures in a T20 World Cup final.
Williamson smashed seven of his 10 boundaries against Starc besides hitting the left-arm fast bowler for one of his three sixes. Hazlewood returned in the 18th over and had both Glenn Phillips (18) and Williamson caught in the deep in the space of four balls which stemmed the flow of runs.
Warner and Marsh dictated the New Zealand seamers on a dry wicket despite captain Aaron Finch (5) holing out at deep mid-wicket off Trent Boult’s short delivery.
New Zealand's hopes of Ish Sodhi striking in the middle overs didn’t work out with both Marsh and Warner dominating the legspinner, who conceded 40 off his three overs.
Boult returned and clean bowled Warner, but had a forgetful night when he couldn’t hold onto a return catch off his last ball of the spell with Australia needing just 15 for victory off 19 balls.
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