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ICC T20 WC: Marsh, Warner star in Australia's first T20 WC triumph

Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to claim the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 title at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday night.

In the final, Australia created history with this win as this was their first-ever T20 World Cup title.

New Zealand posted 172 for four in their 20 overs and in their response Australia ended on 173 for two in 18.5 overs to claim the title.

New Zealand after being asked to bat lost opener Daryl Mitchell early. Then captain Kane Williamson took charge of the innings. Williamson shared 48 runs for the second wicket with Martin Guptill. Then Williamson joined forces with Glenn Phillips as they added 68 runs for the third wicket. Williamson finally fell for 85 off 48 balls with 10 boundaries and three sixes. In the end New Zealand ended on 172 for four in their 20 overs. For Australia, the key wicket-takers were Josh Hazlewood (3-16) and Adam Zampa (1-26).

Aaron Finch speaks after Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to claim the #T20WorldCup

© ICC / T20 World Cup

In their response, Australia lost captain Aaron Finch early. But then David Warner added 92 runs for the second wicket with Mitchell Marsh. Warner finally finished on 53 off 38 balls with four boundaries and three sixes. Warner's innings and his partnership with Marsh put the Australian innings back on track. Marsh carried on as he swiftly changed tracks. Marsh added an unbroken 66 runs for the third wicket with Glenn Maxwell (28 n.o.). Marsh finished unbeaten on 77 off 50 deliveries with six boundaries and four sixes. For New Zealand their best bowler was Trent Boult (2-18).

Salim Parvez - Aussies clinch first T20 World title

Given the drama of the two semi-finals finals, the T20 World Cup final at Dubai International Stadium, between Australia and New Zealand promised so much. It didn’t quite live up to the expectations as Australia, powered by David Warner (53) and Mitchell Marsh (77 not out), won the game by 8 wickets with considerable ease.

It was also the continuation of the Tran-Tasman rivalry between the two neighbouring countries, with both having played great white ball cricket, in this tournament. Australia’s decision to bat first in a night game, didn’t surprise anyone and their bowlers – with three high-class tall pacemen – responded well. In the six-over powerplay New Zealand could only muster 32 runs for the loss of Daryl Mitchell.

Back-to-back boundaries from skipper Kane Williamson off Mitchell Marsh brought up the fifty in 8.5 overs but 57-1 after the 10 overs needed more impetus. So far the Australians had only conceded five fours and a six and not allowed rotation of strike either. The NZ captain with three boundaries off Mitchell Starc upped the tempo only to lose his partner Martin Guptill, who had struggled to dominate in his 28 off 35 balls.

Without any undue risk, Williamson only needed 32 balls for his superb fifty after twice hoisting Glenn Maxwell’s off-spin into the crowd. The 100 mark was reached in 13.5 overs but a lot more was needed to power NZ to a competitive total. In a delightful exhibition of controlled wrist spin, Adam Zampa only gave away 26 runs in his 4 overs, with seven dot balls.

Kane Williamson speaks after Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to claim the #T20WorldCup

© ICC / T20 World Cup

Over No.16 was clear evidence of Williamson’s skill level in his ability to time and place the ball with so much precision. After two edged boundaries, he would smash Starc for a six and two fours to net twenty-two runs from his bat. The left-arm pace bowler earlier had him dropped on the fence when he had 21 to his name, was hit for 60 runs in his 4 overs. Willamson had played a captain’s knock of 85 off 48 balls with 10 fours and 3 sixes, before getting caught at long-off off Josh Hazlewwod - easily the best of the Aussie bowlers with

A slow and dry surface that looked worth 165 runs at least and after accelerating with 115 in the last 10 overs, New Zealand would finish with 172- 4. The Australian bowlers hit the deck very well and managed to employ change of pace brilliantly.

The Australian management had opted to include an extra batsman and given their depth were fairly confident against the target set to them. The top three in the line-up were not going to sit back with Marsh, flicking the first ball he faced, over the square leg boundary, into the crowd. Williamson only brought in the slow men at the end of the powerplay stage when the Australian score stood at 43-1 in six overs.

Warner – a street smart batsman - was set to be the key man in this run chase as Australia reached 50 in 7 overs. Pumped up for the big occasion, he didn’t allow Ish Sodhi or Mitchell Santer – the two slow bowlers – to pose any threat with hitting over the top and running aggressively for the second run. At the half way of their innings Australia were sitting pretty at 82-1 with both Warner and Marsh having given their side a great chance to lift their first ever T20 World title. 

Warner was to his fifty off 34 balls with a six against James Neesham, in the first over after drinks that was worth 15 runs. New Zealand bowlers were clearly on the back foot when Trent Boult bowled Warner in the 13th over, with the one that skidded through. Marsh smashed his fourth six, over long-on to reach the fifty mark off 31 deliveries against Sodhi, who was called three times for a wide delivery in an over. The target was down to 37 off the last 5 overs and Maxwell finished the game with a switch hit boundary in the fine leg region, with seven balls in the bank.

Match Summary
New Zealand: 172-4 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-28 (Daryl Mitchell-3.5 ov), 2-76 (Martin Guptill-11.1 ov), 3-144 (Glenn Phillips-17.2 ov), 4-148 (Kane Williamson-17.5 ov)

Australia: 173-2 (18.5)
Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Aaron Finch-2.3 ov), 2-107 (David Warner-12.2 ov)

Result: Australia won by eight wickets


Playing XI
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (captain), Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wicket-keeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryll Mitchell, Kane Williamson (captain), Tim Seifert (wicket-keeper), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi

Match details
Toss: Australia, elected to field
Venue: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai
Start time: 1800 hrs UAE time
Match officials: Marais Erasmus, Richard Kettleborough (On-field Umpires); Nitin Menon (TV Umpire); Kumar Dharmasena (Reserve Umpire); Ranjan Madugalle (Match-referee)