Australia wins their first World T20 title

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VINODE MAMCHAN

(Dubai, UAE)

Australia added the International Cricket Council (ICC) World T20 title to their five 50 overs World Cup titles when they humbled their cross-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the 2021 final at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

It was a good Sunday night for the men in green and gold as Mitchell Marsh came to the party yet again to ensure that Australia copped their first World T20 title. Thirty four (34) years ago his dad Geoff was celebrating Australia’s first World Cup title as opener three hours away in India, now Marsh can join the conversation at the family’s dinner table having also achieved a world title.

Marsh’s excellent 77 not out came after a brilliant 85 from New Zealand captain Kane Williamson took his team to a competitive 172/4 off their 20 overs. Australia chasing 173 lost their struggling skipper Aaron Finch with just 15 runs on the board. This then let in Marsh who immediately shifted the balance with forthright his batting. Opener David Warner who is in good form got the right partner and it was attack from both ends.

New Zealand needed a breakthrough and Williamson went to his main man Trent Boult and he delivered by sending back Warner for 53. The Southpaw faced 38 balls striking three sixes and four fours. When he left Marsh continued untroubled and aided by some poor bowling by the Kiwis rapidly took Australia to their target. He ended on 77 not out off 50 balls with four sixes and six fours. Glenn Maxwell who partnered him to the end finished on 28 not out.

Taking nothing away from the Australian win, it must be noted that they played seven matches to win the title and won the toss on six occasions when they chased and took the matches. The only match they lost the toss and batted first they got destroyed by England. The toss it seemed continued to be a telling factor up until the finals.   

Earlier, Australia won the toss and after their great chase in the semi-finals against Pakistan they decided to ask New Zealand to take first strike. The Aussies controlled the early going as New Zealand lost Daryl Mitchell early. The aggressive Martin Guptill was contained as well as the Australian bowlers hit hard lengths.

Williamson however bided his time and waited on the bad balls to pounce. All of a sudden something clicked and he took the Australian bowling apart. He showed that there is room for proper batting in T20 cricket as he advertised proper timing.

At one point he took 21 runs from the bowling of Mitchell Starc who ended up going for 60 runs from his four overs. Williamson lost Guptill for 28 with the score 76/2 in the 12th over. With time running out Williamson was shouldered the burden and led from the front. He was well on the way to a century but got caught at the long off boundary going for another big hit. His finally tally of 85 runs came of 48 deliveries with three sixes and 10 fours. He scored his half century off just 31 balls as New Zealand finished strongly.

Josh Hazelwood was excellent for Australia taking three wickets for 16 runs from his four overs. Pat Cummins was also good in giving away just 27 runs, while leg-spinner Adam Zampa conceded 26 runs. The 12 overs bowled by the trio accounted for just 69 runs, while the other eight overs leaked 103.

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