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Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

Monday 15 November 2021 | Written by Rahul Patil | Published in Cricket, Sports

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Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!
Australia celebrate with the trophy after they won the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand in Dubai, UAE, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. Australia won by 8 wickets. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)/21111403

Australia won their maiden world T20 title by defeating trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand comprehensively in the final.

Final

Australia 173 for 2 (Marsh 77*, Warner 53, Boult 2/18) beat New Zealand 172 for 4 (Williamson 85, Hazlewood 3/16) by 8 wickets.

‘Adversity is the mother of greatness’. Before the start of this World Cup none of the cricket experts (including myself) picked Australia to make the semifinals, let alone win the tournament. And they had good reasons for not believing in this Australian team. Australia’s results in the T20 format have never been very impressive. They have won five ODI world cups and their record in test cricket is second to none but somehow, they had never managed to crack the T20 code. In July this year they toured West Indies and lost 4-1 in the T20 series. Then in August they toured Bangladesh and again lost 4-1 in the T20 series. Then came the Justin Langer saga wherein there was talk that the team and Langer were not on the same page. Their best T20 batter David Warner had a horrible IPL and was first removed from the captaincy and then subsequently dropped from Sunrisers Hyderabad side. But ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and one cannot argue about the mental toughness of Australian cricketers who somehow always manage to find a way out of difficult situations.

Winning the toss Aaron Finch had no hesitation in bowling first as 11 of the 12 matches played at Dubai have been won by the chasing side. On a good Dubai wicket, the New Zealand innings started sluggishly against some disciplined Aussie bowling. Semifinal hero Daryl Mitchell departed early and his partner Martin Guptill (28 of 35 balls) really struggled to get going. Guptill played 30 per cent of the 120 deliveries but only produced 17 per cent of New Zealand’s runs. Kane Williamson on the other hand was batting like a dream. Making the most of his luck (Josh Hazlewood dropped a regulation chance given by him when he was on 21) he unfurled the full rainbow of his stroke play. There were drives, punches, pull shots, slog sweeps, wristy flicks, scoops and lots of hard running between the wickets. It looked like Williamson was having a net session which is an irony as due to a troublesome elbow he hasn’t been able to practice as much as he likes to. Thanks to his one man show New Zealand managed a par score of 172 for 4 from their 20 overs. Josh Hazlewood with 3 for 16 of his 4 overs along with the ever-reliable Adam Zampa 1 for 26 were the pick of the Aussie bowlers. Mitchell Starc who went wicket less for 60 runs of his 4 overs had a forgettable night.

Like New Zealand, Australia too lost an early wicket in the form of captain Aaron Finch. But that didn’t deter them from playing their shots. Player of the tournament David Warner (289 runs at an average of 48.16 and strike rate of 146.70) got the innings off to a flier. He was joined by man of the finals Mitchell Marsh (77 not out of 50 balls) who made his intentions clear by hitting his first 3 balls for a six and 2 fours. From then on, every bowler barring Trent Boult was taken to the cleaners. The consistent Tim Southee had an off night conceding 43 of 3.5 overs. Ish Sodhi who had a great tournament so far went for 40 of his 3 overs. The Kiwi bowlers known for their discipline conceded six wides which showed the kind of pressure they were under. At no stage did Australia look under any sort of pressure. Warner and Marsh showcased some of the cleanest hitting of the tournament in their 99-run partnership whereas Marsh and Maxwell continued the onslaught in their unbeaten 66 run partnership to win the final comfortably with 7 balls to spare. They will now probably start as favourites for the next edition of the T20 World Cup to be played in Australia next summer. New Zealand’s search for a white ball World Cup win continues but they need to address the psychological barrier they seem to have against Australia in big games.

On a personal note it’s been an absolute pleasure covering this T20 World Cup for Cook Islands News. Until next time keep playing and watching cricket.