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Australia crush New Zealand, claim historic fifth Cup title

Sun, Mar 29, 2015, 04:02 PM
Melbourne, March 29, 2015: Australia became the first team to clinch five cricket World Cup titles crushing traditional rivals New Zealand by seven wickets in the final of the 11th quadrennial tournament at the majestic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Sunday.

New Zealand's hopes of trouncing their trans-Tasman big brothers -- and 2015 World Cup co-hosts -- in the latter's backyard fizzled out as they were reduced to 39/3 in the 13th over. Grant Elliot (83) and Ross Taylor (40), however, sought to defy the odds with a 111-run stand for the fourth wicket.

But four-time World Cup champions Australia got the ascendancy eventually by bowling out their neighbours for a bare 183 in 45 overs.

Admirably supported by inspiring fielding, Australia seamers Mitchell Starc (2-20), Mitchell Johnson (3-30), James Faulkner (3-36) and spinner Glenn Maxwell (1-37) were all over the Black Caps, who lost the final seven wickets for barely 33 runs.

The low total meant that Australia needed only to bat sensibly to capture their fourth title in the last five editions. And they did, getting over the line with contributions from skipper Michael Clarke (74 in 72 balls), Steven smith (56 not out) and David Warner (45).

New Zealand hopes soared when Australia lost opener Aaron Finch (0) in the second over of the inning. The right-hander gave a return catch to left-arm pacer Trent Boult.

But opener David Warner scored a stroke-filled 45 in 46 deliveries to diminish the pressure on the home team. After he fell to Matt Henry, Smith and Clarke consolidated the innings by playing risk-free cricket.
Agency: IANS

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