Australia win T20 World Cup as Mitchell Marsh stars in final against New Zealand
Australia have won the T20 World Cup for the first time in their history, beating New Zealand by eight wickets in the final.
Despite entering the tournament off the back of five consecutive T20 series losses to Bangladesh, West Indies, New Zealand, India and England, Aaron Finch's side were able to hit form at the right time and win the World Cup.
Josh Hazlewood, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh all starred for Australia, picking up 3-16 and blasting 53 and 77 not out respectively.
Finch won the toss and unsurprisingly opted to bowl first, given that the vast majority of games at the tournament had been won by the chasing side.
New Zealand's innings was a tale of two halves, as they struggled to get going early on before cashing in at the back end.
They got off to a very slow start, reaching 57-1 from the first ten overs after the likes of Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa put the squeeze on early.
Daryl Mitchell, fresh from his heroics in the semi-final triumph over England, fell early, getting caught behind for just 11 off Hazlewood in the powerplay.
His opening partner Martin Guptill struggled, making 28 off 35, while Kane Williamson also started slowly with just seven runs coming off his first 13 balls.
Williamson showed his first signs of intent in the ninth over, taking back-to-back fours off Mitchell Marsh, but New Zealand remained well behind at the halfway stage.
However, things changed dramatically in the 11th over, when Williamson took the attack to Mitchell Starc and began to accelerate rapidly, almost single-handedly taking his side to a competitive total.
Having made 18 off 19 balls, Williamson struck three boundaries and took Starc for 19 runs.
The first boundary saw Hazlewood drop the Kiwi skipper in the deep, with the ball bursting through his hands and over the rope for four.
Williamson then nailed the following delivery straight down the ground for another four, before swinging a high no-ball away to the boundary.
Guptill's innings came to an end the following over, with leg-spinner Adam Zampa ending his struggles by getting him caught in the deep.
However, Williamson continued to attack, smashing Glenn Maxwell for two consecutive sixes to bring up his fifty off just 32 balls.
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Glen Phillips provided some useful support, hitting Zampa for two boundaries, but Williamson was the star of the show for New Zealand, climbing into Starc once again in the 16th over.
He took 22 off that over, the most expensive one Starc has ever bowled in his international career, striking four fours and a six.
Hazlewood wrestled back some momentum in the 18th over, getting Phillips caught at deep midwicket for 18 and ending Williamson's outstanding knock of 85 off 48 balls.
New Zealand were able to add 23 runs in the final two overs to post a total of 172-4, a remarkable innings given just how slow their start was.
In response, Finch's struggles with the bat continued as he was caught excellently in the deep by Mitchell for just five.
However, that was the only moment of success for New Zealand in the first half of Australia's innings, with Warner and Marsh putting on an excellent partnership.
The pair made 92 runs together, with Marsh taking 15 runs off an over from Adam Milne and Warner striking 17 off an over from Ish Sodhi.
Australia were 82-1 at the halfway stage of their innings and the early intent from Warner and Marsh meant they were well ahead of New Zealand heading into the final ten overs.
Despite the way Williamson was able to accelerate at the back end, New Zealand's slow start ended up costing them dearly as Australia chased down the total with seven balls in hand.
Warner brought up his half-century off 34 balls with a towering six off Neesham, before getting bowled by Trent Boult for 53.
Marsh also reached his fifty with a powerful six off Sodhi, breaking the record Williamson had just set for the fastest-ever half-century in a T20 World Cup final.
Glenn Maxwell, promoted up the order ahead of Steve Smith in an attacking move, played a useful cameo as he made 28 not out.
However, it was Marsh who was the star of the show, finishing on 77 not out as he capped an outstanding year by guiding Australia to their first ever T20 World Cup triumph.
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