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Marsh, Warner inspire Australia to maiden T20 WC title

  • Published at 12:48 am November 15th, 2021
Australia players celebrate with the T20 World Cup trophy after beating New Zealand in Sunday's final in Dubai Reuters

Now the six-time limited-over World Cup winners, Australia were boosted with half-centuries from Marsh and Warner

The cricket world has found its new T20 champions as Australia emerged as the winners of the T20 World Cup 2021.

Five-time 50-over World Cup champions Australia lifted the world title of the shortest format of the game for the first time, defeating New Zealand convincingly by eight wickets at Dubai International Stadium Sunday.

Now the six-time limited-over World Cup winners, Australia were boosted with half-centuries from Mitchell Marsh and David Warner to chase down 173 runs with seven balls remaining.

For the Kiwis, it was a night of yet another heartbreak in a world event final.

The Black Caps have now lost a second straight limited-over final – having missed out on the 2019 50-over World Cup after losing to hosts England on boundary count.

The 2020 world Test champions were chomping at the bit to win the T20 title having reached the grand finale for the first time – but it gave away to championship winning effort from Australian batters Marsh and Warner.

It was their slow start with the bat that eventually cost them.

This was the third night in succession a chasing team had emerged victorious with at least an over to spare.

Player of the final Marsh registered his sixth half-century in the format with the championship winning unbeaten 77.

The right-handed batsman got the winnings runs from a boundary – off New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on the fifth ball of over 19.

The Australian players ran to the field in celebration before the ball could even reach the rope and the umpire could signal.

The fire crackers placed on the round roof and alongside the 350 floodlights went off almost immediately, while the stands – packed mostly with India and Pakistan cricket supporters applauded and cheered.

Contesting their second T20 World Cup final, Australia opted to chase after winning the toss and with 173 to take down, they were never in a spot of bother.

They lost captain and opener Aaron Finch early in the chase but that did not trouble the Aussies as an in-form Warner took charge, scored his third fifty in the tournament and once again silence the doubts that had surrounded him ahead of the tournament.

Player of the tournament Warner added 53 off 38 and partnered Marsh to a 59-ball 92-run stand for the second wicket.

But it was Marsh who stole the show with his unbeaten 50-ball 77, laced with six boundaries and four over boundaries.

The Aussies dismantled the New Zealand bowling attack, breaking their spinner Ish Sodhi, and the Kiwis simply could not rely on the leg-spinner in the middle overs in the crucial game.

First it was Warner who broke Sodhi from a combination of stunning back-foot power play and then Marsh took him on.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson removed Sodhi from the attack after the leggie conceded 40 runs in just three overs.

Earlier Williamson led from the front to get his side to a competitive total.

Sent in to bat first, Williamson made New Zealand recover from a slow start with his 14th half century in the format and post 172 losing four wickets after 20 overs.

The total was the highest in a T20 World Cup final, before Australia bettered it hours later.

New Zealand in the powerplay was silent, scoring just 32 for one.

Tall right-arm pacer Josh Hazlewood bowled the three off the six overs and leaked only 11 runs, removing opener Daryl Mitchell for 11 off eight to get Australia an early breakthrough.

An under pressure New Zealand with Williamson and Martin Guptill in the middle remained boundary less for 32 deliveries, with the last one coming in the fourth over before Mitchell perished.

Williamson in the fourth ball of the ninth over had to manufacture the four, jumping out from the crease and driving the ball over extra cover for the welcoming boundary off all-rounder Marsh. 

Williamson struck the next ball for a boundary too – a short ball placed straight to deep midwicket.

New Zealand lost Guptill for a 20-ball 12 in the next over to Adam Zampa and break the second wicket stand on 48, but there was no stopping Williamson.

He hammered Maxwell for two over boundaries in the 13th over while new batsman Glenn Phillips took on Zampa’s last over in the game for  a four and a six.

Finch got Starc to join the attack and that's when Williamson decided to press on the gas.

The over went for 22 runs with four boundaries and a six to take New Zealand's tally to 114 for two to 136 without further loss.

The over made Williamson share the top spot of most boundaries scored by a batter off a bowler in a T20 World Cup game.

In 2009, Chris Gayle had hit Australia legend Bret Lee for eight boundaries and scored 46 off 18 with five fours and three sixes.

In 2014, Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad hammered former Bangladesh pacer Mashrafe Mortaza for 39 off 16 involving six boundaries and two over boundaries.

And Sunday, Williamson took Starc to the cleaners with eight boundaries and scored 30 off just 12 involving seven fours and a six.

Starc finished with horrible bowling figure of 60 runs conceded without success in four overs

In the next four overs, New Zealand added 36 to the total and received a double blow in the 18th over against Hazlewood.

The Kiwis first lost Philips on 18 to break the third wicket stand with Williamson on 68 off 37 deliveries.

A couple of balls later, Hazelwood got Williamson who converted his innings from 21 off 21 to a 48-ball 85 comprising 10 boundaries and three over boundaries.

The New Zealand captain finished as the joint-highest scorer in a T20 World Cup final – sharing the place with former West Indies batter Marlon Samuels.

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