A thumping eight-wicket win by Australia in the summit clash of the T20 World Cup against New Zealand helped them clinch their maiden title in the shortest format of the game at the Dubai International Stadium. After being asked to bat first by Aaron Finch, New Zealand were propelled to 172/4 in the first innings courtesy of a masterclass from Kane Williamson. The skipper of the Kiwi side scored a scintillating 85 off 48 deliveries to anchor the innings and give the team much-needed impetus in the death overs.
In reply, an unbeaten 77 of 50 deliveries from Mitchell Marsh and a quickfire 53 off 38 balls from David Warner helped the Australian side get over the line in this much-awaited clash. Despite losing Finch early in the run chase, a 92-run partnership between Warner and Marsh laid the foundation for the side in pursuit of 173 runs. The right-handed batter produced one of the most destructive innings in the shortest format of the game as he took the game away from the Kiwi side in the first half of the innings. Despite losing Warner in the 13th over with 107 runs on the board, the Aussie outfit reached the target comfortably with eight wickets and seven balls to spare and clinch their first T20 WC trophy.
Kiwi's launch an attack in the last ten overs
The Black Caps were jolted early in the innings as they lost Daryl Mitchell for 11. However, along with Martin Guptill, Williamson steadied the innings and took the side to 57/1 at the halfway stage. Williamson led from the front and launched an attack on Mitchell Starc, right after the drinks break. The right-handed batter smashed 19 runs off the 11th over to shift the momentum in favour of the Kiwi side. Despite scoring at 5.7 runs per over in the first ten overs, New Zealand smashed 115/3 in the last ten overs, which is their second-highest total in the world event in overs 11-20. 116/2 against Bangladesh at Pallekele in the 2012 edition is on top of the list.
Skipper leads from the front
In this high-voltage clash, New Zealand relied heavily on Williamson to shoulder the responsibility of the side and guide the team to a massive first innings total. The 31-year old consolidated the innings by accumulating the ones and the twos before taking the attack to the opposition bowling unit. The right-handed batter smashed 85 runs off 48 deliveries studded with ten boundaries and three massive sixes to power the team to a mammoth first innings total. Displaying an array of strokes all around the ground, Williamson scored a match-defining half-century, the second-highest score in a World Cup final. Marlon Samuels scored an unbeaten 85 against England in the last edition of the competition in 2016.
Starc endures a day to forget
One of the most experienced bowlers in the white-ball format, Starc endured a dismal day with the ball as he was smashed for 60 runs in his four-over spell. The left-arm pacer struggled with his line and length throughout the innings and conceded at an economy rate of 15 runs per over, making it the most expensive spell in the T20 World Cup for Australia. He also became the third bowler in T20 WC to concede 50+ runs in an innings twice. To add more, in overall T20Is, only Andrew Tye has conceded more runs in an innings than Starc. Against the same opposition in 2018, Tye had conceded 64 runs in Auckland.
Marsh lights up Dubai
The pressure of the run chase and the ever-increasing asking rate can have a massive impact on the fortunes of the game. Despite losing skipper Finch early in the run chase, Marsh continued to attack the bowling unit and scored a brutal half-century off 31 deliveries, which is the fastest 50 in the T20 finals. The 30-year-old surpassed Williamson's 32 ball half-century in the first innings. In addition, his score of unbeaten 77 is the joint fourth highest in a T20 WC Final.
Marsh scores 600 runs in a calendar year
En route to his unbeaten half-century, Marsh achieved a rare feat as he became the first Australian player to amass 600 runs in a calendar year in T20 Internationals. His promotion to number three in T20Is since the start of this year has done wonders. A false start in the first two matches of this edition of WC didn’t hamper his confidence as he bounced back with two 50+ scores in his last three matches. Out of the 627 runs scored this year, 549 of those have come when he has batted at number three.
Warner continues his sublime form
After enduring a torrid time in the Indian Premier League 2021, there were doubts on the form of Warner. However, the southpaw has silenced the speculations in the last four matches. After scoring 80 runs at an average of 26.7 in his first three matches, Warner hit a purple patch in his next four. He scored 209 runs in four innings at an average of 69.7 and strike rate of 151.4 with two 50+ scores. By virtue of his purple patch, Warner scored 289 runs, the most for an Aussie batsman in an edition of T20 WC.
Another one to the collection
When speaking about the most successful teams across formats, Australia pops up right at the top of our mind. In the 2021 T20 WC Finals, they added one more to their collection of World Cup titles. Though they had made it to the finals in the 2009 edition, they failed to get their hands on it. By virtue of winning this edition, Australia now have a total of six World Cup titles. Five in ODIs that includes three in succession (1999-2007) and one in T20Is.