New Delhi: Captain’s knock from Kane Williamson (48-ball 85) went in vain after David Warner (38-ball 53) and Mitchell Marsh (50-ball 77) starred with the bat to help Australia beat New Zealand by 8 wickets with seven balls remaining in the final of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
The toss once again proved to be decisive in Dubai. Trent Boult was the pick of Kiwi bowlers as he ended up with figures of (2/18) but apart from him rest of the bowlers to the cleaners, especially the spin duo of Santer and Sodhi who gave away 63 runs in 6 overs.
New Zealand’s performance in recent years has been excellent but their inability to beat their arch-rivals Australia in big tournaments continue. The Black Caps tonight appeared in their third ICC final in 27 months, in a third cricket format. They won the World Test Championship earlier this year against heavyweights India after reaching the final of the ODI World Cup 2019.
Earlier, after Australia won the toss and decided to bowl first on a dry Dubai track, a special captain’s knock from skipper Kane Williamson powered Kiwis to 172/4. Skipper Kane, who was dropped by Josh Hazlewood on just 21, went to score 85 from just 48 balls, highest runs ever scored by a captain in the history of T20 World Cup final. Also, 85-run fiery knock by Williamson is the joint-highest score posted by a batter in a men’s T20 World Cup summit clash.
Aussies had things under control in the first eight overs. New Zealand had reached 32/1 at the end of powerplay. After spinner Adam Zampa bowled some tight overs to lessen his opponents’ scoring rate, a solid batting performance from Williamson helped New Zealand attain 115 runs in the last 10 overs.
At one point in the match, it seemed that NZ would score a 190-plus target but Josh Hazlewood (3/16) and Pat Cummins bowled some awesome slow deliveries to stop Kiwi batters from hitting big strokes. Talking about Australian bowlers, it was an awfully off-day for veteran Mitchell Starc who conceded 60 runs – most by any bowler in a T20 World Cup Final and 2nd most runs conceded by an Australian bowler in the history of T20 cricket.
New Zealand playing XI: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Tim Seifert (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Australia playing XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood