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29-Mar-2015 10:18:00 GMT
Australia v New Zealand, World Cup final, MCG

Australia Crush New Zealand to Win World Cup 2015

Melbourne: Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday to win the World Cup for the fifth time and send their retiring captain Michael Clarke out as a winner.

Australian bowlers Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner captured three wickets each as the home side skittled New Zealand for 183 in 45 overs.

Grant Elliott top scored for the Black Caps with 83 but New Zealand's hopes of winning the World Cup for the first time were dealt a savage blow when their captain Brendon McCullum was bowled for a duck in the first over of the day.

Australia reached their victory target in the 34th over for the loss of just three wickets.

Clarke, who announced before the match that he was retiring from one-day internationals, guided his team to victory with a sparkling 74, departing to a standing ovation with Australia nine runs away from victory.

Steve Smith, his likely replacement as Australia's next captain, hit the winning runs and finished not out 56 in front of a record crowd of 93,013.

Australia previously won the World Cup in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007. No other country has won the tournament, which was first held in 1975, more than twice.

The result means Australia have won four of the past five World Cups, with a quarter-final exit in 2011 the only blemish in the stretch.

McCullum won the toss but fell victim to a superb in-dipper from Mitchell Starc, who finished with two scalps to be the World Cup's leading wicket-taker alongside Boult on 22 victims.

New Zealand stumbled to 3-39 in the 13th over, with dangermen Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson back in the sheds after tame dismissals to Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Johnson respectively.

Elliott, the hero of his side's dramatic win over South Africa in their semi-final, stepped up under immense pressure again.

This time he received scant support from teammates.

The Johannesburg-born batsman shared a 111-run stand with Ross Taylor, the pair knuckling down particularly well in a two-over spell from Starc.

Taylor's dismissal, engineered by James Faulkner but completed thanks to a diving one-handed catch from Brad Haddin, was the beginning of the end.

Elliott's run-a-ball knock was not without luck.

The 36-year-old was on 15 when he was trapped lbw by Maxwell in the 20th over.

However, umpire Kumar Dharmasena's decision was overturned when ball-tracking technology suggested it had turned sharply and was going to miss leg stump.

The right-hander eventually fell to Faulkner, who claimed three wickets to be Australia's leading wicket-taker in the final alongside Johnson.

McCullum, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi and Henry all failed to get off the mark - thanks to a mix of poor batting and potent bowling.

Brief scores
New Zealand -
183 (Elliott 83, Johnson 3-30, Faulkner 3-36)
Australia - 186/3 (Clarke 74, Smith 56, Warner 45)
Result - Australia won by 7 wickets


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