DUBAI: David Warner made 53 and Mitchell Marsh smashed an unbeaten 77 off 50 as Australia won the ICC’s T20 World Cup for the first time with an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Chasing 173 for victory, Australia depended on a 92-run second-wicket stand between David Warner, who made 53, and Marsh to achieve their target with seven balls to spare in Dubai.
Warner became Trent Boult’s second wicket but Marsh kept up the charge to power Australia home to their long-awaited T20 crown and add to their five 50-over World Cup trophies.
Glenn Maxwell, who made 28, joined Marsh, who hit six fours and four sixes in his 50-ball knock, to put on 66 runs and hit the winning boundary as the Aussies came charging in to celebrate the triumph.
Australia, whose previous best was a runners-up finish in 2010, came into this edition’s semi-final with one loss to England and beat Pakistan in the final-four clash with a chase of 177.
Williamson, who was dropped on 21, started cautiously but once settled took on the opposition bowling to reach his first half-century of the tournament. He finished with 10 fours and three sixes in his 48-ball blitz to lift New Zealand from 57-1 in 10 overs after being invited to bat first.
The Kiwis initially struggled and lost Daryl Mitchell caught behind for 11 off pace bowler Josh Hazlewood who returned impressive figures of 3-16 from his four overs.
Opening batsman Martin Guptill failed to get quick runs despite his three boundaries and a 48-run second-wicket stand with Williamson. The captain hit back with two more fours off left-arm quick Starc who was taken for 60 runs from his four overs.
Adam Zampa sent Guptill trudging back to the dugout after the opener’s 35-ball 28 but Williamson kept up the charge with two sixes off Glenn Maxwell. Williamson again picked out Starc to smash four fours and one six in a 22-run 16th over and put on 68 with Glenn Phillips, who made 18.
Hazlewood returned in his final over to break the stand with Phillips’ wicket and then got Williamson out with a leg-cutter. Williamson’s score was the joint highest in a T20 World Cup final with Marlon Samuels’ 85 not out in the West Indies’ title victory in the 2016 edition.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood