Australia has won their fifth Cricket World Cup title, defeating co-hosts New Zealand by seven wickets in Melbourne on Sunday.
Australia had won the cup previously in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007.
Chasing 184 runs in 50 overs, Australia completed the task with more than 16 overs to spare. The third wicket partnership of 112 between Steve Smith and skipper Michael Clarke after the dismissals of openers Aaron Finch and David Warner cemented Australia’s comprehensible victory.
The final game marked Clarke’s last appearance in one-day internationals as he walked back to receive a standing ovation from the crowd after being bowled by Matt Henry.
“We played this World Cup with 16 players and tonight is dedicated to our little brother Phillip Hughes,” Clarke said at the trophy presentation.
New Zealand, topping Group A undefeated, lost its captain and striker batsman Brendon McCullum for a duck with a splendid delivery by Michelle Starc. After losing two more quick wickets, the fourth wicket stand between Ross Taylor (40) and Grant Elliott (83) – who replicated his performance from the semi final contest against South Africa – provided some much needed foundation.
However, a landslide of wickets instigated by Taylor’s dismissal narrowed any chances the Kiwis had to reach a competitive score; they lost their last seven wickets for a mere 33 runs, only managing 183 runs in 45 overs.
Although Trent Boult began the New Zealander bowling attack on a positive note, capturing the wicket of Aaron Finch in the second over, the second wicket partnership between Warner and Smith didn’t let the match slip from their grasp any further. Warner’s dismissal after scoring an impressive 45 brought the captain, Clark, to the crease, who with Smith drove the game far away from New Zealand’s reach, sealing the championship for Australia.
Clark scored 74 runs and Smith remained not out on 56.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar congratulated the Australian team.
Boult and Starc were the leading wicket takers in the tournament – each with 22 – and Martin Guptill surpassed Kumar Sangakkara to become the leading run scorer. James Faulkner was awarded Man of the Match, while Starc was declared Man of the Tournament for his highly impressive bowling throughout the tournament.
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