Dubai (IANS): 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.
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.
WICKET-KEEPER batsman Matthew Wade on Sunday said that it was a huge achievement for Australia to win the maiden Men’s T20 World Cup trophy, adding that the boys had the belief to become the first team to achieve success for their country.
“It’s huge. First T20 World Cup coming in, felt like a lot of people wrote us off early, but internally we spoke about how we could be the first team to achieve this for Australia,” said an elated Wade, who played a match-winning knock in the semi-final against Australia.
“Something really, really special. More than my innings (against Pakistan), the partnership (with Stoinis) will stand out. We didn’t realise we scored as many runs as we did. Today we were confident that if the boys could get off to a good start we can do this. Thankfully Mitch (Marsh), Davey, and Maxi did it,” he added.
Star batsman Steven Smith also echoed Wade’s sentiments, saying that it is an honour to be here with the boys and take the trophy home.
“It means a lot. We have worked hard for a long time and it is an honour to be here with the boys and take the trophy home. Warner’s last two weeks have been amazing. A lot of people were writing him off. He came in with exceptional intent and took the game away at the start,” said Smith.
Sharing his excitement, pacer Pat Cummins said, “Pretty pumped. Once we go back home it will sink in. A lot of support back home, they’ve gotten up at 1 am.”
With Sunday’s win against New Zealand in the final, Australia ended their 14-year-long wait for a maiden T20 World Cup trophy.
NEW Zealand captain Kane Williamson felt that his team wasn’t able to create many opportunities while defending 173 against Australia in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final. He was gracious in defeat, saying that Australia were clinical with their chase and thoroughly deserved to be the champions. In their first Men’s T20 World Cup final, New Zealand lost to Australia by eight wickets at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
“I thought the efforts that went in were outstanding. The guys worked hard towards what was a competitive total. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to create many opportunities and get those breakthroughs. It was a little bit frustrating. I think we have seen the conditions throughout. They have been fairly consistent and the ball did skid on a little bit. But Aussies were outstanding in their chase and very clinical. They have had a fantastic campaign and thoroughly deserved that (title),” said Williamson in the post-final press conference.
Williamson believed that the pitch early on was tough to score runs upon as they were at 57/1 in the first ten overs. “It did feel tough. It was just holding in the wicket a little bit. Sort of normal characteristics I think of the Dubai surfaces. It was nice to sort of build a platform and accelerate from there which we were able to do. I suppose when you lose, you look at a number of different areas and you want more of everything. But I think if we look at a whole, the campaign and the effort that went in and the performances that went into getting us here, and even tonight, it’s always a fine line with winning and losing, especially in this format. But you come up against a very strong side in Australia and they are playing very, very well, and they did that again tonight.”
Talking about his whirlwind knock of 85 off 48 balls, laced with ten fours and three sixes, Williamson remarked, “It was nice to make a contribution. I suppose when you finish with the end result, always want a little bit more. You want to make sure that as a batsman or being a part of partnerships that have real value, and certainly that was the focus. But unfortunately, today it didn’t get us far enough. But there are a number of good contributions. The team did their very best and it wasn’t quite enough tonight.”
The 31-year-old said that Australia was good enough to put them under pressure, depriving his bowlers of taking crucial wickets when needed the most. “The bowling attack has been a strong point for us throughout this whole competition. You’re having to adjust from venue to venue, team to team, and that’s the nature of playing in a tournament sport. Tonight, you can always look at little bits that you want to do a little bit better.
“But ultimately the quality was there from Australia and they played really, really well and put us under pressure, and we weren’t able to get those breakthroughs. If you are, then you can’t build that pressure, and 170 feels like a long way away. But they played really well. They got momentum and it never changed.”
New Zealand’s next international assignment is a three-match T20I series against India, starting from Wednesday in Jaipur. After the T20Is, the Black Caps will participate in two Tests to be played in Kanpur and Mumbai.