Australia clinch maiden title
Marsh and Warner shine in resounding 8-wkt win over New Zealand
Dubai: A clinical unbeaten knock from Mitchell Marsh (77 not out off 50 balls) along with a crucial half-century from David Warner (53 off 38 balls) led Australia to their first Men's T20 World Cup trophy, defeating New Zealand by eight wickets in the final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium here on Sunday. Chasing 173, Australia reached the target with seven balls to spare.
Warner began by taking back-to-back boundaries off Tim Southee in the second over. In the next over, Aaron Finch chipped Trent Boult over long-off for a boundary. But Boult had the last laugh as Finch top-edged a pull to a running deep square leg for a diving catch. Mitchell Marsh welcomed Adam Milne by whacking pace-on deliveries for a six and two fours. But the right-arm pacer conceded just three runs in the final over as Australia reached 43/1 in Power-play.
Post Power-play, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi kept things tight but Marsh and Warner were quick to thwart the plans of stemming the run-flow. While Marsh slog-swept Santner for a six over deep square leg, Warner slammed Sodhi for two fours and a gigantic six straight down the ground. Marsh welcomed James Neesham in the 11th over with a six over fine leg. It was followed by Warner reaching his half-century in 34 balls with a hoicked six over deep mid-wicket. Boult provided a much-needed breakthrough in the 13th over, ending the 92-run stand by dislodging Warner's stumps. In the next over, Marsh brought up his half-century in 31 balls with a flat slog over long-on off Sodhi, bettering Kane Williamson's record for the fastest fifty in Men's T20 World Cup final. Two balls later, he went on to smash Sodhi for a pull through mid-wicket.
Glenn Maxwell took a brace of boundaries against Milne and Southee in 15th and 16th overs as Australia inched closer to the target. Marsh struck two more boundaries before Maxwell finished off the chase with a reverse-sweep past the third man to send Australia into the celebratory mood.
Earlier, a top-class knock from skipper Kane Williamson (85 off 48 balls) steered New Zealand to 172/4 in 20 overs. From being dropped at 17, Williamson turned the corner with a classy show of shot placement and finding gaps to lift his team to an above-par total. For Australia, Josh Hazlewood was the pick of bowlers with 3/16 in four overs.
Electing to bowl first, Australia was able to keep New Zealand quiet in the Power-play. Hazlewood bowled three of his four overs for just 11 runs, including 14 dot balls, and took Daryl Mitchell's wicket in the fourth over. Hazlewood set up Mitchell with two deliveries outside the off-stump before slipping a slower one around off, foxing Mitchell into nicking behind to a forward-diving Matthew Wade. After that, Australia kept New Zealand on a tight leash, resulting in 32 runs being made in the Power-play.
Williamson broke the 32-ball boundary drought with back-to-back fours through extra cover and cow corner against Mitchell Marsh in the ninth over.
Brief scores: New Zealand 172/4 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 85, Martin Guptill 28, Josh Hazlewood 3-16, Adam Zampa 1-26) lost to Australia 173/2 in 18.5 overs (Mitchell Marsh 77 not out, David Warner 53, Trent Boult 2-6) by eight wickets.