Australia win maiden T20 World Cup, defeat New Zealand by 8 wickets

David Warner and Mitchell Marsh's splendid fifties sealed the victory over New Zealand.

Published: 14th November 2021 10:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2021 09:15 AM   |  A+A-

Australian cricketers hold the trophy and celebrate after winning the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup final match in Dubai, UAE, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021.

Australian cricketers hold the trophy and celebrate after winning the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup final match in Dubai, UAE, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

DUBAI: This was a final nobody predicted before the T20 World Cup began. And when New Zealand and Australia made it past the semifinals, it looked good to serve the perfect feast.

In a format, where the match-ups occupy a major part of discussion in the drawing board, this Trans-Tasman final was tailor-made.

Two evenly-matched sides in terms of bowling resources going head-to-head against two batting line-ups that prefer to go by a template.

On paper, Australia were just a little better than the Black Caps, only because their batting had a lot more firepower.

In a tournament where winning the toss was as good as winning the match, the trend continued even in the final.

Australia won the toss and went on to lift their maiden men’s T20 World Cup trophy as they chased down New Zealan’s total (172/4) — the highest in a T20 WC final — by eight wickets under the Ring of Fire at the Dubai International Stadium.

In a tournament where slow pitches have made people yawn, the repeated narrative of teams batting second having an edge because of dew factor has only made it worse. 

The issue with batting first and scoring more than a par total on this pitch — where it is impossible to work pace on the ball — is batters have found it difficult to move swiftly to fifth gear and keep foot on the pedal.

Between New Zealand and Australia, going into the final, the latter had won all their five matches while chasing.

The Kiwis had won two matches when they batted first, but both of it were afternoon matches and were against Namibia and Scotland. That said, they at least knew the sort of template to follow. 

ALSO READ: Indian connection to Australia's success at T20 World Cup

New Zealand don’t have depth in the batting. Instead they optimise their resources. Go safely in the powerplay, pick up pace through the middle slowly and explode at the death.

Bat first or not, they are team that can score between  155-175. If they bowl first, the job is easy because they have the attack to restrict opposition to a total in this range.

In the final, they started slowly and lost Daryl Mitchell in the fourth over and in powerplay had only 32 on board.

In a format where dot balls is equivalent to wasting precious resources, they had 25 in the first 10 overs.

They even went without a boundary for 32 consecutive deliveries before Kane Williamson hit successive fours off Mitchell Marsh as Kiwis were 57/1 after 10 overs. 

On the other hand, Australia were following their own pattern.

Their all-round attack gives them enough freedom to rotate their bowlers.

Well aware that Kiwis won’t go hammer and tongs at the top, Josh Hazlewood bowled three in the powerplay as Aaron Finch rotated Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Marsh and Adam Zampa.

At the half-way stage, they had limited the damage. And this is when New Zealand broke the shackles after Hazlewood dropped Williamson for 19.

The next six overs saw them score 79 runs for the loss of just one wicket as Williamson was elegance personified.

Not many can score such beautiful runs and when he was dismissed in the 18th over, he had made 85 off 48 balls after being 15 off 16 at one stage.

The Kiwis, however, after reaching 136/2 at the end of 16 overs, added only 36 off the last four overs to end up at 172. 

Chasing the target, with dew around, David Warner (51) and Marsh (77 n.o) threw away New Zealand’s template in brutal manner as Australia coasted home.

WInning story

Nobody gave them a chance but Australia eased past the Kiwis to clinch their first T20 World Cup crown. A look at how they did it.

Bully Warner back 

At the IPL, he was first dropped before being ostracised. It seemed like he couldn't buy a run. However, the southpaw has been a proper bully the last three weeks. Taking the attack to the bowlers, not afraid to take on negative match-ups, he finished the event as second highest run-getter. 

Zampa, a new legend 

When Justin Langer & Co. sit to debrief, all of them will like to buy a beer for their leg-spinner. He finished the World Cup as the leading wicket-taker from the Super 12 onwards. Control, execution and picking wickets during clutch moments and variation... he had it all.

Greater than their parts 

They had come to the World Cup losing five series on the bounce. They had a couple of elite operators in this format — Glenn Maxwell and, to an extent, Mitchell Starc.

However, during the course of their seven games, most of the 15 put their hands up and performed. Importantly, they were willing to grind.  

Toss, a big factor 

A lot has been written about the importance of the toss and in the end, Australia showed how to use that advantage. In all, they ended up winning six of seven tosses and ended up winning all of those six games.



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