Mitchell Marsh lashed an astonishing unbeaten half-century, as an imperious Australia crushed New Zealand by eight wickets to win their first ever Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.
In pursuit of 173 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Australia lost captain Aaron Finch cheaply for five but then took charge of the contest thanks to Marsh’s 77 not out off 50 deliveries with half-dozen fours and four sixes.
Left-handed opener David Warner punched 53 off 38 deliveries with four fours and three sixes as the Aussies completed their run chase with seven balls to spare.
Black Caps captain Kane Williamson had earlier stroked a high class 85 off 48 balls, an innings which propelled New Zealand to 172 for four off their 20 overs after being sent in.
Opener Martin Guptill added 28 from 35 balls but no other batsman passed 20 as fast bowler Josh Hazlewood snared three for 16 to keep the Black Caps scoring in check.
“It’s awesome, it really is. I think there’s been so much talk about this being the one that’s been elusive to Australia,” said Finch.
“And to be fair, we probably underperformed in the past, if we are being honest with ourselves. We’ve had some great teams along the way.
“This team is pretty special. The camaraderie, the way that everyone really cares for each other and looks after each other, looks out for each other [is] pretty special.
“So yeah, it’s awesome. That’s brilliant and it’s great for Australian cricket.”
Hazlewood claimed semi-final hero Daryl Mitchell for 11 to a catch at the wicket in the fourth over, leaving Williamson to anchor two successive crucial stands to provide the innings with momentum.
The right-hander posted 48 for the second wicket with Guptill before putting on a further 68 for the third wicket with Glenn Phillips (18), New Zealand gathering 58 from the last five overs.
In reply, when Finch top-edged left-arm speedster Trent Boult and was taken in the deep by Mitchell, the game appeared poised to be a genuine contest.
However, Marsh arrived to inspire a 92-run, second wicket partnership with Man-of-the-Series Warner before adding 66 in an unbroken third wicket stand with Glenn Maxwell who made 28 not out.
By the time Warner, who finished the tournament with three half-centuries, was bowled by Boult in the 13th over, Australia were already in control of the chase and Marsh’s continued dominance made sure of the outcome.