marsh,-warner-power-australia-to-maiden-t20-world-cup-title

Marsh, Warner power Australia to maiden T20 World Cup title

Kane Williamson score 85 from 48 balls for New Zealand, only for Australia to top the Black Caps’ total of 172-4 in Dubai and win by eight wickets; Mitchell Marsh hits 77 for Aaron Finch’s side as they win maiden T20 World Cup title and leave New Zealand waiting for first triumph

Last Updated: 14/11/21 5:41pm

    Mitchell Marsh hit an unbeaten 77 as Australia won the T20 World Cup

    Mitchell Marsh hit an unbeaten 77 as Australia won the T20 World Cup

    Kane Williamson’s batting masterclass came in vain for New Zealand as Mitchell Marsh and David Warner powered Australia to their first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title with an eight-wicket victory in Dubai.

    Williamson (85 off 48), having been dropped on 21 by Josh Hazlewood (3-16), propelled New Zealand from 57-1 after 10 overs to 172-4, hitting 10 fours and three sixes and taking apart Mitchell Starc (0-60 from four overs).

    However, for the 10th time out of 10 in this tournament in games under the lights in Dubai, the side batting second came out on top, with Marsh (77no off 50), Warner (53 off 38) and Glenn Maxwell (28no off 18) playing the crucial knocks as Australia – who unsurprisingly elected to bowl after winning the toss – reached their target with seven balls to spare.

    Kane Williamson scored a sparkling 85 in a losing cause for New Zealand in Dubai

    Kane Williamson scored a sparkling 85 in a losing cause for New Zealand in Dubai

    Australia maintained their 100 per cent winning record against New Zealand in ICC knockout games, which now stands at five matches, as they added a first T20 title to five in the 50-over World Cup.

    Few backed Australia to win the World Cup after they came into the tournament having lost their previous five T20 series, while they were then thrashed by England in the Super 12 stage.

    But Aaron Finch’s side regrouped and will now head into next year’s T20 World Cup as defending champions as well as hosts.

    New Zealand’s hopes of a maiden title and becoming Test and T20 champions in the same year were dashed as they suffered more disappointment in a white-ball final, following on from their 50-over defeats to Australia in 2015 and England, on boundary countback, in 2019.

    Another high-profile loss was harsh on Williamson, who had revived his team after Hazlewood’s 1-11 from three overs in the powerplay had restricted New Zealand to their tournament low of 32-1 after six overs – Hazlewood having the Kiwis’ hero in their semi-final win over England, Daryl Mitchell, caught behind off a slower delivery for 11.

    Australia vs New Zealand – Head to head in knockout competitions

    YearCompetitionStageVenueResult
    1996World CupQuarter-FinalChennaiAustralia won by 6 wickets
    2006Champions TrophySemi-FinalMohaliAustralia won by 34 runs
    2009Champions TrophyFinalCenturionAustralia won by 6 wickets
    2015World CupFinalMelbourneAustralia won by 7 wickets
    2021T20 World CupFinalDubaiAustralia win by 8 wickets

    Williamson struck back-to-back boundaries off Marsh in the ninth over and then really ignited in Starc’s 19-run 11th, during which Hazlewood dropped him at fine leg, with the ball then bouncing over the boundary rope – the next two deliveries were also fired to the fence by Williamson.

    Australia off-spinner Maxwell was whipped for back-to-back sixes over the leg-side in the 13th over as Williamson clinched a 32-ball half-century, while he then marmalised Starc’s 16th over for 22, with two slashed fours followed by a sublime six over square leg and two exquisite off-side fours.

    Hazlewood was the man to end Williamson’s majestic knock, with the batter caught at long-off in the 18th over off a leg cutter, three balls after a Hazlewood knuckleball had accounted for Glenn Phillips (18 off 17), with whom Williamson had bossed a stand of 68 from 37 deliveries.

    Jimmy Neesham (13no off 7) and Tim Seifert (8no off 6) – the latter having come into the New Zealand side for the injured Devon Conway – hit a boundary apiece at the death, while opener Martin Guptill laboured his way to 28 from 35 balls up top before falling to Adam Zampa (1-26).

    New Zealand’s total looked taxing, especially in the pressure-cooker environment of a final, and the Black Caps picked up the early scalp of Aaron Finch (5), caught by Mitchell off Trent Boult at midwicket.

    However, Warner and Marsh shared a rollicking stand of 92 from 69 balls – Marsh signalling his intent early on by going four, four, six off New Zealand quick Adam Milne in a 15-run fourth over.

    Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi (0-40) and medium-pacer Neesham (0-15) also took some tap, with Warner completing a 34-ball half-century when he hauled the latter over deep midwicket for six in the 11th over.

    Marsh did likewise to Sodhi in the 14th to clinch a 31-ball fifty, in the over after Warner had been bowled by Boult on the slog-sweep.

    Warner’s exit gave New Zealand hope – but up stepped Maxwell, who used his power and invention to flog Milne (0-30) and Tim Southee (0-43) for boundaries, earning Australia the title with a switch hit off the latter in the 19th over as his unbroken stand with Marsh ended on 66 from 39 balls.

    WHAT’S NEXT?

    Live International T20 Cricket

    November 17, 2021, 1:20pm

    Live on Sky Sports Cricket HD

    For New Zealand, it’s T20 cricket once again, with a three-match series in India getting underway as early as Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1.20pm. The Black Caps will stick around for two Test matches against India, in Kanpur from November 25 and then Mumbai from December 3.

    For Australia, it’s The Ashes. The Baggy Greens have not lost at home to England since 2010/11 and will be looking to extend that run this winter, with the five-match series getting going in Brisbane from December 8.

    There are then further games in Adelaide from December 16, Melbourne from December 26, Sydney from January 4 and then Perth – at the time of writing – from January 14. If they can add retaining the urn to their T20 triumph, what a few months Australia will have had.