SPORTS IMPHAL MONDAY 30 MARCH 2015 Australia crush New Zealand to win WC title Michael Clarke dedicates 5th title to Phillip Hughes MATCH REPORT New Zealand: 183/10 (45) Australia : 186/3 (33.1) ------------------Player of the Tournament : Mitchell Starc Man of the Match : James Faulkner MELBOURNE, Mar 29 Australia on Sunday clinched the coveted ICC Cricket World Cup for the fifth time, thrashing New Zealand by seven wickets to provide a perfect farewell gift to skipper Michael Clarke, who played a key role with a 74-run knock in his final ODI appearance. Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc was named the player of the tournament. The 25-year-old left-arm quick finished with 22 wickets in the tournament, tied with New Zealand left-arm seamer Trent Boult though having played a match lesser than his Tasmanian rival. Fast-bowling all-rounder James Faulkner was named man-of-the-match for his devastating spell. The 24-year-old struck on the first ball of the second powerplay in the 36th over to end a 111-run fourthwicket partnership between Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott by dismissing the former with a slower delivery. Australia captain Michael Clarke dedicated Sunday`s World Cup final triumph to Phillip Hughes, the team-mate who died after being hit on the head by a bouncer last year. Clarke described Hughes as the squad`s 16th man at the six-week tournament. "I`m sure everybody standing on this stage will say we Australian captain Michael Clarke holds the trophy aloft with his teammates played this World Cup with 16 players," said Clarke. "This victory is dedicated to our little brother Phillip Hughes. Hughesy used to party as good as any of them so I guarantee we`ll celebrate hard tonight." "The band has got PH on it. I will wear it every game I play for Australia. It`s been a really tough few months." In the first innings, after the bowlers produced a clinical performance skittling out New Zealand for 183, the stage was set for the Australian captain, who used the platform to the fullest with a stylish 72-ball innings as the hosts regained the trophy winning the match in 33.1 overs ending an eight-year wait. The moment Steve Smith (56) hit the winning runs, the entire Australian team was out in the ground delirious in joy celebrating the very special achievement. All performers yearn for a stage as grand as the World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Clarke got his walking out as a hero with the entire MCG giving him a standing ovation once he was dismissed after getting his team to the doorstep of victory. Clarke added 112 runs in the company of his deputy Smith (56) and it looked as if the skipper was passing on the team’s baton to his heir apparent. There were 10 fours and two sixes in his final ODI innings. Clarke had the Herculean job of checking his emotions and carrying on with the business of guiding his team to victory after losing openers Aaron Finch (0) and David Warner (45). And the skipper was up for it with. Earlier, a collective display of disciplined bowling from the Australian bowlers helped them restrict a nervous New Zealand to a paltry 183 in 45 overs after Brendon McCullum opted to bat. A mid-innings collapse which saw New Zealand lose their last seven wickets for only 33 runs in 10 overs effectively ended their hopes of putting up a respectable total despite semi-final hero Grant Elliott’s gutsy innings of 83 off 82 balls. Ironically, this is the second time that a team in a World Cup final was bowled out for 183 after India in the 1983 final against West Indies, which they won by 43 runs. Seamer James Faulkner’s brilliant change-ups during the middle overs saw him end with impressive figures of 3/ 36 in 9 overs as the Black Caps collapsed from decent 150/3 after 35 overs to 183 all-out in 45 overs in about an hour. This was after Elliott along with Ross Taylor (40) had added 111 runs for the fourth wicket after the visitors were tottering at 39 for three. Faulkner was well complimented by the two Mitchells — Starc (2/20 in 8 overs) and Johnson (3/30 in 9 overs) — who had the opposition batsmen in trouble with pace and movement on a lively MCG track. Starc bowled a brilliant delivery first up, to get rid of Brendon McCullum, who was out without scoring. McCullum charged and missed out on a couple of balls dug short and the result was full delivery at the base of offstump which the batsman had no answer. Guptill, at the other end, got a freak six when his intended pull off a Josh Hazlewood short delivery flew behind the wicketkeeper for a six. Before that, he had hit a copybook square drive. Both Guptill and Williamson were cautious during the first 10 overs in which New Zealand scored 31 runs as they got rid of the impetuosity that brought about McCullum’s downfall. The best shot during that particular phase was a straight drive from Williamson off Hazlewood’s bowling. Clarke introduced Glenn Maxwell in the 12th over and it brought dividends immediately. Guptill (15) was bowled trying to cut a rather innocuous Maxwell delivery that was tossed up on the off-stump with not a hint of turn. Williamson’s rather uncomfortable stay at the wicket ended when Johnson bowled a well disguised slower as the right-hander failed to check his shot. The result was a simple return catch which Johnson gleefully accepted. Williamson scored 12 off 33 balls. Elliott and Taylor then started the repair job. While Elliott was the aggressor, the normally attacking Taylor was ready to hold one end up while nudging and pushing for singles and twos. Elliott started with a cut off Maxwell and a mistimed hook shot fetched him a six. There were a couple of flowing cover drives off James Faulkner as he reached his 50 off 51 balls. With Taylor for support, the fourth wicket partnership crossed the 100run mark in 126 balls. However, the New Zealand innings lost direction from that point. Taylor tried to steer a wide delivery from Faulkner as Brad Haddin took a fantastic one-handed catch stretching to his right. Corey Anderson (0) was fooled by a yorker as Faulkner suddenly cranked up the pace and the left-hander couldn’t get his bat down. From 150/3 New Zealand slumped to 150/5 and it soon became 151 for six as Mitchell Starc got Luke Ronchi (0) to flash hard as Michael Clarke took a nice catch at first slip. Daniel Vettori (9) was yorked by Johnson and Elliott, who looked good for a century was then taken by Faulkner as it became 171 for eight. –– PTI Pakistan must learn from Australia and New Zealand, say former players KARACHI, Mar 29 Former Pakistan Test players on Sunday appealed to the country’s cricket authorities to learn from the success of Australia and New Zealand in the World Cup. Shortly after Australia bagged the title for the fifth time, many former players credited the captains of the two teams for encouraging their players to play a more enjoyable, watchable and aggressive brand of cricket. “I think it just shows how big a role a captain has to play in a team. New Zealand might have lost but I give credit to both captains for bringing in a fresh approach to their teams in this World Cup,” former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said on Geo News channel. Akhtar pointed out that if the captain and team management was willing to back the players to play aggressive and positive cricket than the results would be good more often than not. “These two teams played fearless cricket and we need to learn from them. Our cricket has become stagnant and our leadership also needs to be fresh and aggressive,” added Akhtar. Pakistan’s recently retired ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq has faced the brunt of criticism for the failed World Cup campaign and is usually criticised for not being adventurous and showing flair as captain and batsman to set an example for his players. Former Test captain turned pundit, Rameez Raja also lauded the approach of the two finalists. “New Zealand cricket has reinvented itself under Brendon McCullum. They lost today but they are a big saleable side now and they will do better in future as well,” Rameez said. He said Pakistan cricket also needed to reinvent itself with a fresh approach. “We can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. We need positive leadership and better coordination.” “Their batsmen are technically good and they are willing to learn. We just don’t have that sort of quality in our batting and that is why we are suffering. It is not about just bringing in new players it is about finding and grooming quality and technically strong players.” Yousuf pointed out that for too long now Pakistan cricket had become dull due to a fear of defeat. –– PTI Record 93,013 MCG crowd for WC final MELBOURNE, Mar 29 : A ground record crowd of 93,013 watched the World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. That shattered the venue‘s previous record attendance for a cricket match of 91,112, according to officials. Sunday‘s crowd has also topped the attendance of 87,182 for the 1992 World Cup final at the MCG between Pakistan and England. Organisers added that 1,016,421 people attended the matches at the six-week World Cup. –– AFP Owned and published by Sapam Nishikanta Singh at Sega Road Thouda Bhabok Leikai, Imphal (Manipur) Pin-795001 & Printed by him at Sangai Offset Printers, Sega Rd, Thouda Bhabok Leikai, Imphal (Manipur) Pin-795001; Edited by Hijam Rajesh Tel: 9206040924, 9206345908 RNI No. 72025/99.
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