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Australia lift 5th World Cup, give fairytale sendoff to Clarke

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Melbourne: Australia today clinched the coveted ICC Cricket World Cup for the fifth time, thrashing New Zealand by seven wickets to provide a perfect farewell gift to skipper Michael Clarke, who played a key role with a 74-run knock in his final ODI appearance.

After the bowlers produced a clinical performance skittling out New Zealand for 183, the stage was set for the Australian captain, who used the platform to the fullest with a stylish 72-ball innings as the hosts regained the trophy winning the match in 33.1 overs — ending an eight-year wait.

The moment Steve Smith (56) hit the winning runs, the entire Australian team was out in the ground delirious in joy celebrating the very special achievement.

Read more: B-Town congratulates Australia for World Cup win

All performers yearn for a stage as grand as the World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Clarke got his walking out as a hero with the entire MCG giving him a standing ovation once he was dismissed after getting his team to the doorstep of victory.

It was a touching sight to find all his teammates standing at the boundary line to greet him.

Australian captain Michael Clarke waves his bat after scoring 50 runs while batting against New Zealand during the Cricket World Cup final in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, March 29, 2015.

Australian captain Michael Clarke waves his bat after scoring 50 runs while batting against New Zealand during the Cricket World Cup final in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, March 29, 2015.

Clarke added 112 runs in the company of his deputy Smith (56) and it looked as if the skipper was passing on the team’s baton to his heir apparent.

Having announced his retirement from ODIs a day before the finals, it was a free-spirited Clarke in action.

The drives flowed from his bat, the footwork was as immaculate as ever and so was the manner in which he charged out to the spinners. Each and every shot was greeted with thunderous applause by the capacity crowd.

There were 10 fours and two sixes in his final ODI innings. Clarke had the Herculean job of checking his emotions and carrying on with the business of guiding his team to victory after losing openers Aaron Finch (0) and David Warner (45). And the skipper was up for it with.

Earlier, a collective display of disciplined bowling from the Australian bowlers helped them restrict a nervous New Zealand to a paltry 183 in 45 overs after Brendon McCullum opted to bat.

A mid-innings collapse which saw New Zealand lose their last seven wickets for only 33 runs in 10 overs effectively ended their hopes of putting up a respectable total despite semi-final hero Grant Elliott’s gutsy innings of 83 off 82 balls.

Brief Scores:

New Zealand: 183 all out in 45 overs (Grant Elliott 83, Mitchell Johnson 3/30).

Australia: 186/3 in 33.1 overs (Michael Clarke 74, Steven Smith 56 not out; Matt Henry 2-46).

Team

Australia: Michael Clarke (c), Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood.

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

Scoreboard in the final CWC

New Zealand innings:

Guptill b Maxwell 15
McCullum b Starc 00
Williamson  c & b Johnson 12
Taylor  c Haddin b Faulkner 40
Elliott  c Haddin b Faulkner 83
Anderson    b Faulkner 00
Ronchi c Clarke b Starc 00
Vettori  b Johnson 09
Southee  run out 11
Henry     c Starc b Johnson   00
Boult     not out     00

Extras: (LB-7, w-6) 13
     
Total: (all out in 45 overs) 183
     
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-33, 3-39, 4-150, 5-150, 6-151, 7-167, 8-171, 9-182
     
Bowling: Starc 8-0-20-2, Hazlewood 8-2-30-0, Johnson 9-0-30-3, Maxwell 7-0-37-1, Faulkner 9-1-36-3, Watson 4-0-23-0.

Australia innings:

Warner      c Elliott b Henry 45
Finch           c and b Boult 00
Smith              not out  56
Clarke               b Henry         74
Watson              not out   02 

Extras: (LB-3, W-6)            9
    
Total (3 wkts, 33.1 overs)    186
    
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-63, 3-175
     
Bowling: Southee 8-3-65-0, Boult 10-0-40-1, Vettori 5-0-25-0, Henry 9.1-0-46-2, Anderson 1-0-7-0.

World Cup Winner

1975 – West Indies
1979 – West Indies
1983 – India
1987 – Australia
1992 – Pakistan
1996 – Sri Lanka
1999 – Australia
2003 – Australia
2007 – Australia
2011 – India
2015 – Australia

  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup
  • Australia lift fifth World Cup

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