Michael Clarke marked his final one-day international with a fine 74 as Australia won their fifth World Cup, beating fellow co-hosts New Zealand by seven wickets in a one-sided final in Melbourne on Sunday.
New Zealand, who defeated Australia by one wicket in the pool phase, were all but out of the match after being dismissed for just 183 following captain Brendon McCullum’s decision to bat first, having won the toss.
The writing was on the wall for New Zealand, appearing in their first World Cup final, when McCullum was bowled for a duck in the first over by impressive left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc.
Grant Elliott (83) and Ross Taylor (40) rebuilt the innings with a stand of 111 before New Zealand lost a trio of quick wickets, with Starc and fellow left-arm seamers Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner sharing eight wickets between them.
Australia captain Clarke, playing his last one-day international before he retires from white-ball, but not Test cricket, saw his side to the brink of victory before he was bowled for 74 in his 245th ODI, with the skipper walking off to a standing ovation from a record Melbourne Cricket Ground crowd of 93,013.
Steven Smith, who put on 112 for the third wicket with Clarke, made 56 not out — his fifth successive score of 50 or more this tournament — and hit the winning boundary as Australia finished on 186 for three with a huge 101 balls remaining. – BSS/AFP