Heroic knocks by David Warner and Mitchell Marsh guided Australia to comprehensively beat New Zealand by eight wickets to clinch their first-ever T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai cricket stadium on Sunday.
The one-sided contest ended in the 19th over as the Kangaroos completely bogged out the Kiwis to grab their first-ever T20 World Cup title in front of a charged crowd.
As Glenn Maxwell played the winning shot — a reverse-sweep for a boundary on the third-man — Australian players and staff rushed to the pitch, hugging and greeting each other.
Australia, reaching the T20 World Cup final the second time, had lost to England in the final of 2010 edition. It was New Zealand’s first-ever final in a T20 world title.
Kiwis that have lost all the world cup matches against arch-rival Kangaroos since 1996, could not reverse the history.
Australian skipper, Aaron Finch won the toss, and as expected elected to field to avail the dew advantage in the second innings.
New Zealand openers Martin Guptil and Daryl Mitchell provided a 28-run start on a dry wicket in the first four overs. In-form Mitchell was the first casualty, who was caught behind on an out-swing by pacer Josh Hazlewood — the last delivery of the 4th over. He scored 11 off seven balls.
A tidy spell by Australian bowlers restricted the otherwise aggressive Guptil and skipper, Kane Williamson at only 32-1 in the power-play, the first 6 overs, when only two fielders are allowed to be placed outside 30-yard circle.
Williamson finally hit back-to-back boundaries to Mitchell Marsh after 32 deliveries, bringing the 50 in the 9th over.
In the half-way stage, Kiwis were 57-1. Williamson was dropped by Hazlewood on the boundary, resulting in 19 runs, including three back-to-back boundaries in the 11th over delivered by Mitchell Starc.
Guptil lost his wicket at a total of 76, playing an unnecessary shot and being caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary on Adam Zampa’s spin delivery. He scored 34 off 28 balls.
An unfazed Williamson continued to take on the Australian bowlers from the other end, hitting two consecutive sixes to Maxwell in the 13th over, and bringing his 50 off just 32 balls.
Kiwis crossed the 100-mark in the 14th over.
Williamson took an off-color Starc to task with four boundaries and a six in the 16th over, stealing 22 runs on six deliveries.
His 85 off 48 balls glitz ended in the 18th over when he was caught on the mid-off boundary, while trying to dispatch a slow delivery by Hazlewood into the stands.
He finished with 10 fours and three sixes. His score was the joint highest in a T20 World Cup final with Marlon Samuels’ unbeaten 85 in the West Indies’ title victory in 2016 in Kolkata.
Jimmy Neesham took no time to follow the suit with a six on the mid-wicket but could not continue the pace in the last two overs. Kiwis could score just 22 runs in the last 12 balls.
The Black Caps finished with 172-4 in the allotted 20 overs.
Hazlewood took three wickets, whereas Starc remained costlier, conceding 60 runs in his four overs without a wicket.
Chasing down a challenging 173-run target, in-form Warner picked on the Kiwis’ pace battery from the beginning, however, Finch lost his wicket in the third over.
He punished Trent Boult with a hard drive for four on the mid-off but was caught by Michelle on the deep mid-wicket on the next ball.
The struggling skipper, who had been bowled out for a duck in the semi-final against Pakistan, scored five off seven balls as the total score was just 15 in the third over.
Marsh opened his inning with a six and two boundaries on three consecutive deliveries by Milne in the 4th over.
The two maintained a healthy run-rate, finishing the power-play with 43-1.
An unstoppable Warner and Marsh picked on New Zealand’s spinners with boundaries and sixes, changing the victory predictions in Kangroos’ favor even before the half-way stage.
Runs kept coming at an excellent rate as Aussies scored 82-1 in 10 overs.
Warner completed his 50 with a massive six on the mid-wicket to Neesham off 34 balls.
In a much-needed breakthrough, Boult clean-bowled Warner in the 13th over, rekindling Kiwis’ hopes. Warner hit 53 off 34 balls.
But an undaunted Marsh continued to charge and completed his half-century off just 31 balls, dispatching a straight delivery by off-spinner Ash Sodhi into the stands.
Right-handed Maxwell, from the other end, unleashed a spree of boundaries and sixes, sealing his team’s victory with seven balls to spare.
Mitchell Marsh was declared man of the match for his dazzling 77 off 50 balls.
Maxwell scored 28 not out.
David Warner was declared player of the tournament, while Pakistan skipper Babar Azam remained the top scorer of the tournament with 303 runs in six matches.