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Trans-Tasman rivalry takes centrestage in World Cup final

Sat, Mar 28, 2015, 01:49 PM
Melbourne, March 28: Much more than the World Cup title will be at stake when co-hosts Australia and New Zealand square-off in the final of the quadrennial event at the majestic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Sunday.

After six weeks and 48 matches among 14 teams, the game pits four-time champions Australia, the numero uno side in One-Day Internationals (ODI), against their trans-Tasman rivals and maiden finalists New Zealand.

The Black Caps had faltered in the semifinals six times previously but overcame South Africa to enter their first summit clash.

If familiarity between the two sides has not quite bred contempt, several highly competitive clashes in the past, including the underarm-marred match in the 1980s, will make Sunday's game a fierce contest.

Australia, with a balanced side and having experience in dealing with big occasions, will have the home advantage even though they will be up against an in-form side.

New Zealand are on an eight-match unbeaten streak and have 13 wins from their past 14 ODIs. Their victory over Australia in the group stage will give them a lot of confidence going into the match.

However, this will be the first time in the tournament that the Kiwis will play away from home. Moreover, many former players are saying that their habit of playing at small grounds at home will be a hard reality to overcome when they take the field at the massive MCG in front of a hostile crowd.
Agency: IANS

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