Australia Crush New Zealand, Claim Historic Fifth Cup

MELBOURNE: Australia became the first team to clinch five cricket World Cup titles, crushing traditional rivals New Zealand by seven wickets in the final of the 11th quadrennial tournament at the majestic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Sunday.

New Zealand's hopes of trouncing their trans-Tasman big brothers -- and 2015 World Cup co-hosts -- in the latter's backyard fizzled out as they were reduced to 39/3 in the 13th over. Grant Elliot (83) and Ross Taylor (40) sought to defy the odds with a 111-run stand for the fourth wicket, but in vain.

The four-time World Cup champions Australia got the ascendancy eventually by bowling out their neighbours for a bare 183 in just 45 overs.

Admirably supported by inspiring fielding, Australia seamers Mitchell Starc (2-20), Mitchell Johnson (3-30), James Faulkner (3-36) and spinner Glenn Maxwell (1-37) were all over the Black Caps, who lost the final seven wickets for a mere 33 runs.

The low total meant that Australia needed only to bat sensibly to capture their fourth title in the last five editions. And they did, getting over the line with contributions from skipper Michael Clarke (74 in 72 balls), Steven Smith (56 not out) and David Warner (45).
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Source: IANS