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T20 World Cup final: Williamson’s 85 propels Kiwis to 172 against Australia

Both the teams have never won the T20 World Cup. (Source: Online)

DUBAI: Kane Williamson played a captain’s knock of 85 to guide New Zealand to a challenging 172 for four against Australia in the final of the ICC’s Twenty20 World Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

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.

Both New Zealand and Australia have never won a T20 World Cup and the Kiwis will be playing in their first-ever final in the tournament.

Playing XI:

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