Warner, Hazlewood, Marsh help Australia lift their maiden T20 World Cup Title
Australia 173 for 2 in 18.5 overs (Marsh 77*, Warner 53; Boult 2/18) defeat New Zealand 172 for 4 in 20 overs (Williamson 85, Guptill 28; Hazlewood 3/16) by 8 wickets
Australia and New Zealand took the field for the much-anticipated ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 final battle for their maiden T20I WC championship crown at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, November 14.
In the shortest format, both Australia and New Zealand were vying for their maiden titles, also the first time that the tournament would witness a new winner.
Australia entered the ICC event having lost all of their previous series this year to finally set the stage for the summit clash against the Kane Williamson-led outfit. On the other hand, the Kiwis, playing their first final of the competition, entered the field at the back of strings of consistent performances.
Australia skipper Aaron Finch, who had earlier reckoned that the toss would not be a deciding factor in the T20 World Cup 2021 final against New Zealand, won the toss and sent the Kiwis to bat first.
NZ lose Daryl Mitchell early, score only 32/1 in the powerplay
After being put in to bat first, openers Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell got off to an optimistic start. The inflow of runs was at 6 runs per over until Josh Hazlewood got the biggest breakthrough of the semi-final’s hero of the Blackcaps, Daryl Mitchell on the NZ score of 23 runs in the 4th over. Australia drew their first blood as Mitchell failed to grasp the length and edged the ball to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade for 11 runs.
Skipper Kane Williamson came in one-down to pair up with Guptill from the other end. Thereafter, NZ longed for getting runs in the rest of the powerplay overs and managed just 9 runs after Mitchell’s dismissal. The scorecard read 32/1 after the powerplay overs, the lowest for NZ in the tournament so far.
Australia’s bowlers keep it tight for Williamson-Guptill
Australia’s bowlers had so far managed to keep the noose tight on the Blackcaps and they were thoroughly in control which seemed evident from NZ’s dipping run rate. Williamson-Guptill duo struggled until the 10th over as spinners, Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa kept it as stoic as possible in the middle overs.
The momentum was in Australia’s control before Williamson shifted gears and attacked Starc in the 11th over for 19 runs. In that over, Williamson survived a chance when Hazlewood dropped him on 17 runs, which the Aussies had to pay a price for later. It was also NZ’s best over so far, wherein Williamson hit three consecutive boundaries and gave the run-rate a much-needed fillip which was below 6 runs per over at that time.
However, Australia quickly jumped into the game when Adam Zampa, in his quest for a breakthrough, dismissed Guptill on the first ball of the 12th over. In his sluggish 28-run knock off 35 balls, Guptill looked to go top gear in the later stages but his knock and a 48-run partnership came to a halt. New Zealand’s score read 76/2 in 11.1 overs and new batter Glenn Phillips joined the skipper in the middle.
From there on, Williamson took over command and initiated the innings’ escalation at a brisk pace. He smashed Glenn Maxwell for two consecutive sixes in the 13th over and reached his 14th fifty and fastest fifty in the finals of the T20 World Cup in style. New Zealand reached the 100-run mark in the 14th over with six overs to get to a competitive total.
Williamson punishes Starc for 22 runs in an over
The 16th over of New Zealand’s innings turned out to be the most expensive one for Australia. Mitchell Starc, who came in to bowl with thirst of a wicket, got the worst punishing of his career. He conceded 22 runs in the 16th over, where Williamson ransacked him for four boundaries and one huge six. Starc conceded 50 runs in just three overs, not a figure to boast about, while Williamson aggregated 41 runs off just 12 deliveries against him.
New Zealand were in the driving seat and aimed to go for a big total, however, it was dented in the 18th over. Hazlewood returned in the 18th over and dismissed Glenn Phillips (18) with a slower length ball. He brought an end to the 68-run stand between Kane Williamson and Glenn Phillips (18) and gave Australia the 3rd breakthrough. In the same over, he took down the biggest fish Williamson after a brilliant 85-run knock off just 45 balls.
New Zealand posted 172/4 after 20 overs after efforts from Jimmy Neesham (13*) and Tim Seifert (8*).
Finch departs cheaply in powerplay
After having restricted NZ for 172 runs, it was the batters’ task to get Australia off to a terrific start. Instead, skipper Aaron Finch departed cheaply in the third over after getting a top-edge towards the square-leg off Trent Boult’s delivery and Australia were 15/1 after three overs.
The new batter Mitchell Marsh came in to bat and started off with a mammoth six off his first delivery. He followed suit and clobbered Adam Milne’s next two deliveries for consecutive boundaries and accumulated 15 off the 4th over. The Warner-Marsh duo left no stone unturned and attacked seemingly all the NZ bowlers all over the stadium. Australia crossed the 50-run mark in 7 overs and further accelerated the innings at almost 13 runs per over. Australia’s score read 82/1 after 10 overs with momentum completely in their favour.
The duo continued to wreak more destruction and built upon their partnership which was inching towards a 100-run stand. David Warner completed his 20th fifty in the T20Is with a six in the 11th over as the game slowly faded away from the Kiwis.
However, Boult returned and bowled Warner by rattling his middle and leg stumps and revived some hopes for his side. Warner departed for 53 runs off 38 deliveries and stitched 92 runs with Marsh during the chase. Warner-Marsh duo had done enough damage and NZ bowlers barely looked threatening. And that was banked upon well by Marsh who raced towards his 5th fifty in T20Is off just 31 balls. Marsh scored an unbeaten 77* runs and powered Australia to 173/2 in no time with Glenn Maxwell who remained unbeaten on 28* runs. They put up a 66-run stand for the 4th wicket and helped Australia lift their maiden T20I World Cup title.
Signature end to Australia’s campaign that took off after slow start
Australia showed that they know how to win trophies in the ICC tournaments. First off, the bowlers especially Josh Hazlewood gave Australia an early momentum with a crucial wicket. Then Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell further sealed Blackcaps’ hopes of getting 190+ runs. However, the Kane magic overwhelmed the Aussies, with a blissful knock of 85 runs.
The second half of the game was completely in Australia’s control right from the first ball of the chase. No NZ bowler except Trent Boult who finished with 2/18 seemed to have bothered the likes of Warner and Marsh. Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner failed to put a brake on Australia’s run rate. It was as if Australia had the entire control of the match barring the brilliant knock from Williamson.
Player of the Match
Mitchell Marsh lifted the player of the match award for his match-winning knock of 77* runs off 50 deliveries. He hit six boundaries and four sixes at a strike rate of 154.00 and helped win the game for his side with 7 balls to spare. He engaged in two partnerships during the chase with Warner of 92 runs and with Glenn Maxwell worth 66 runs.
ICC Men’s T20 WC 2021 Player of the Tournament
David Warner lifted the player of the tournament award for his crucial performances at various junctures of the tournament. Warner top-scored for Australia in the tournament with 289 runs from 7 innings spread across 7 matches at an average of 48.16 and a strike rate of 146.70. Overall, he ended up just behind Babar Azam who scored 303 runs from 6 matches. Warner scored three fifties in this year’s T20 World Cup including a vital 532 in the final.
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