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And Australia Take the World Cup Trophy Back!

ICCNew Delhi, Monday, March 30 – The grand finale between Australia and New Zealand played at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, on March 29, turned out to be a wonderful game witnessed by more than 93,000 cricket fans who hailed from different parts of the world but gathered at one place to catch the action live.

New Zealand entered in the last round after being unbeaten throughout the entire World Cup contests. They thrashed the Aussies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England, Afghanistan and Scotland in the leagues matches, West Indies in the 4th quarter-final and South Africa in the first semi-final. It would be wrong to say that the kind of play what Black Caps presented in this tournament was unexpected. Brendon McCullum spurred his men and motivated them to believe in their capabilities. The aggression seen in the New Zealand players made them stand on the victorious side in eight matches held in the cricket carnival.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the mega face-off between the Kiwis and Proteas at Eden Park, Auckland on March 24 will be remembered as one of the best matches played at a decisive stage. Despite the fact that South Africa lost at the end, they were humbly consoled by the opponents. These attributes aren’t seen commonly and this proved after a couple of days when a few Australian cricketers remained busy in sledging Indians. Nonetheless, the men in yellow shirts did their bit and took their squad into the final round. And at the end of the tournament, the Aussie attack put a ceiling on New Zealand at a score of 183 runs.

The way quick jolts were received by the Kiwis, it was not easily absorbed that they won the toss. McCullum who set the base for his playing XI to come into the finals to fight for winner’s title against South Africa in the previous match was out at a score of zero. Mitchell Starc built the early pressure to which captain of New Zealand succumbed. Martin Guptill was next to go when Glenn  Maxwell surprised him with a beautiful delivery in 11.2 over. The opener just scored 15 runs which comprised a six and a four. After an over, it was Kane Williamson turn to go back to the pavilion after contributing 12 runs of 33 balls, including a boundary, in the team’s total.

Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott, the hero of semis, tried to mount fight back and played beautiful knocks of 40 and 83 runs, respectively. Both cricketers fell short to James Faulkner and were caught behind by Brad Haddin but of course at a different time intervals. Taylor departed early and Elliott made efforts to defend Australian bowling attack as much as possible. Middle-order batsmen gave unexpected shock to New Zealand in view of the fact that Corey Anderson and wicket-keeper batsmen Luke Ronchi were out for a duck. Daniel Vettori scored 9 runs in 21 balls, together with a four, was dismissed by Mitchell Johnson. Not to forget that the calm and composed cricketer gave almost half of his life to cricket, debuting in cricket in 1996. Tim Southee (11 runs of 11 balls; 6 x 1) had to leave the crease as Maxwell hit the stumps when he was a tad far away from the white line. Matt Henry failed to add any run when Johnson made sure of stopping New Zealand at an attainable total. Trent Boult remained not out at zero.

Achieving 183 runs were easy for the Aussies. However, Kiwis gave then the first shock the moment Aaron Finch had to go back to the dressing room without accumulating any run. Trent Boult’s pace worked but it was perhaps the first and last moment for the Black Caps to jump in joy. David Warner and Steven Smith took their team into a strong position by correspondingly scoring 45 and 56 runs. After Warner’s play was brought to an end by Matt Henry, Kiwis once again saw the probability of bouncing back. The field was set in a way that Australian skipper Michael Clarke, who was not in form and playing his final One-Day International match, should throw his wicket as early as possible. At a certain stage, it was not easy for the two batsmen to take singles and hit biggies. But Clarke remained calm and composed, attacking the weak balls at the right time. His last inning of 74 runs consisted of 10 fours and one six. Despite the fact that Henry got his wicket in the first ball of 32nd over, it was too late for New Zealand to think of a comeback.

Shane Watson (2 runs of 5 balls) and Smith helped Australians lift the World Cup. It was the fifth time when the men in yellow shirts have won the title. India after winning 2011 WC gave Australia an unimaginable shock in the quarter-finals. But now, Clarke’s boys have taken it back once again. The tournament lasting for one-and-a-half months came to an end on Sunday with most predictable winner at the end. Kiwis though did not succeed to exploit the opportunity of winning the cup for the first time and log a historic triumph, they won hundreds of thousands of hearts. Aussies thanked viewers for taking out time to enjoy the match and support their team. James Faulkner was awarded ‘man of the match’. Celebration started soon after World Cup trophy was handed to Australian captain by Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

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