It’s Time To Give It Back: Kangaroos Lift Their Fifth World Cup Trophy While Defeating Kiwis in The Clash of The Titans
Two very best teams of the 2015 edition of ICC World Cup, the yellow brigade Australia and the black caps New Zealand, came face to face in a tough battle of glory in the final of World Cup on 29th March, 2015 Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The tournament has already witnessed 48 amazing one-day internationals between teams from five continents played over six weeks. Finally these two teams have made the 11th version of 2015 ICC World Cup final the trans-Tasman tussle. The rivalry between the Trans-Tasman cousins generates the same amount of passion which can be witnessed between India and Pakistan every time they meet on the ground. Australian yellow brigade tried to maintain their pedigree in the World Cup whereas black caps have tried to give their best in this match.
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New Zealand reached the final of the 2015 edition of the ICC World Cup after an 8-game victory streak while beating South Africa with a six off the penultimate ball in the semifinal. On theother hand, Australia only lost a single match in this tournament, athatnd that too against the New Zealand itself, in the pool stage, but showed up on final with full confidence after defeating India by 95-run in semi-final. The yellow brigade played their seventh ICC World Cup final in this match and their four previous titles boosted their confidence a little more before the start of the much awaited final. New Zealand on the other side is now having indisputably their best form of all time in ICC World Cup, and they reached the final stage in this tournament for the first time. Australian side clearly started as the favorite as they are unbeaten at the MCG in their last six ODI encounters and has also won 10 of the 12 ODI matches hosted at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the last five years.
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Several cricket pundits declared even before the final that the chance of New Zealand lifting their first World Cup would depend on the new ball attack of Trent Boult and Tim Southee besides their strong batting formation. Australian captain Clarke while talking about playing at the MCG said, “I think the fact that the conditions are different will certainly help us, and we’ve played a fair bit of cricket throughout the summer at the MCG as well,” and added, “Conditions are a lot different to what New Zealand have been playing in in New Zealand. But in saying that, I think we’re going to have to play our best cricket, there’s no doubt about it.” Clarke also declared his decision to retire from ODI after this World Cup which raised an emotional pitch for the yellow brigade at the final. The decision of Clarke seems sudden but the reason is a back problem that has plagued him for the past couple of years.
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New Zealand’s bowler Southee told reporters in Melbourne on Friday, “It hasn’t swung for us in every game but we’ve found ways to take wickets so I think that’s the beauty of our attack,” and added, “I think we’ve got variety to it and if it does swing, obviously we do become a bit more dangerous. But we have found ways to take wickets when it’s not swinging.” Captain McCullum while talking about the chances of them in the final said, “I’m confident we’ll give ourselves the best chance,” and also told “We’ll play well, but that doesn’t guarantee us anything. It also doesn’t guarantee Australia will beat us.” McCullum also hinted about the retirement of New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori after the final while stating, “He’s a tremendous ambassador for the game of New Zealand and also worldwide,” and added, “He’s been an outstanding team-mate and a very close friend as well.” McCullum also said “It would be nice, not just for him, but for the other guys as well to achieve the ultimate success.”
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While talking about his predictions before the final, former English captain Michael Vaughan said, “If you asked me which team I’d want to captain, it would be Australia because of their talent. But what Brendon McCullum has done for New Zealand is produce leadership because he’s making some of those players play better than they actually are. Grant Elliott is playing like Steve Waugh at the moment. McCullum’s sending belief through the dressing room because of the way he has led from the front wielding the willow and setting the tone from the start of every innings.” New Zealand’s former captain Stephen Fleming, on the other hand, stated, “Yes, McCullum’s men can win, but as to whether they will, that is absolutely in the balance with the odds favouring Australia – but only just. That is not some Kiwi self-deprecation on my part, but rather an acknowledgement that Clarke’s side has a slight advantage because they know the conditions better than the Black Caps.”
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Of, course, it did not require expert to predict that the Kangaroos, having turned blood-thirsty after their only loss in this tournament to the Kiwis, would be out to avenge their loss. Their home ground advantage was quite predictable, as well. New Zealand won the toss, and elected to bat first, hoping to turn the scoreboard to a decent enough number that the Australians would have a hard time chasing. However, their plan did not work out as Australia knocked out the black caps, one after the other.
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Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum opened the first innings, but during the second over, McCullum was sent back to the pavilion with a duck by M. Starc, in the third ball that he faced. Guptill’s contribution was not substantial either, as New Zealand lost him at just 5 runs in 11.2 overs. Grant Elliott was the highest scorer for New Zealand, with 85 runs off 82 balls, and his wicket, taken by Haddin, was a precious one. None of the other players managed to reach even a half century, though Ross Taylor was close, reaching 40. Within 45 overs, New Zealand was all out, at 183 runs, leaving an easily achievable target for their arch rival.
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David Warner and Aaron Finch opened for Australia, and though Aaron’s dismissal in the 1.4 over at 0 was a ray of hope brought by Boult, it did not help. David warner smashed 45 off 46 balls with 7 boundaries and was dismissed, having built the foundation for Australia, while Michael Clarke scored 74 off 72 balls, and was knocked out by Henry. Steven Smith and Shane Watson continued with the short Australian innings, as they sailed through to score 186/3 in 33.1 overs, as Smith ended the match scoring a boundary as the winning shot. Australia won by 7 wickets and lifted the trophy, thus winning their 5th World Cup title. Faulkner, with his 3 wicket, won the Man of the Match of this seasons ICC World Cup Final where Mitchell Starc received the Man of the Series Award for his wonderful performance throughout the World Cup.
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New Zealand Batting First Innings
|Martin Guptill||b G. Maxwell||15||34||1||1||44.11|
|Brendon McCullum||b M. Starc||0||3||0||0||0|
|Kane Williamson||c & b M. Johnson||12||33||1||0||36.36|
|Ross Taylor||c B. Haddin b J. Faulkner||40||72||2||0||55.55|
|Grant Elliott||c B. Haddin b J. Faulkner||83||82||7||1||101.21|
|Corey Anderson||b J. Faulkner||0||2||0||0||0|
|Luke Ronchi||c M. Clarke b M. Starc||0||4||0||0||0|
|Daniel Vettori||b M. Johnson||9||21||1||0||42.85|
|Tim Southee||run out G. Maxwell||11||11||0||1||100|
|Matt Henry||c M. Starc b M. Johnson||0||7||0||0||0|
|Trent Boult||Not Out||0||1||0||0||0|
Australia Bowling First Innings
|Bowler||Over||Maiden||Runs||Wicket||Economy Rate||No Ball||Wide|
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Australia Batting Second Innings
|David Warner||c G. Elliott b M. Henry||45||46||7||0||97.82|
|Aaron Finch||c & b T. Boult||0||5||0||0||0|
|Steven Smith||Not Out||56||71||3||0||78.87|
|Michael Clarke||b M. Henry||74||72||10||1||102.77|
|Shane Watson||Not Out||2||5||0||0||40|
New Zealand Bowling Second Innings
|Bowler||Over||Maiden||Runs||Wicket||Economy Rate||No Ball||Wide|
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Toss: New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat
Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (AUS)
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SL), Richard Kettleborough (ENG) and Marais Erasmus (SA)
Man of the Match: James Faulkner
Man of the Series: Mitchell Starc
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