Australia claimed an eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in Dubai. Marsh, who came in with his side at 1-15, helped David Warner to dismantle New Zealand’s attack in the biggest successful run chase in a World Cup final in Dubai.
Glenn Maxwell struck the winning runs with a reverse sweep as Australia chased down the 173 runs needed with 7 balls to spare, erasing the memory of their 2010 final loss to England.
This was Marsh at his best, despite being widely panned and polarizing among cricket fans and analysts. From the first ball he faced, when he struck New Zealand’s fast Adam Milne for six, his resolve was evident. He didn’t let up after that, scoring 77 runs in 50 deliveries, including 10 boundaries and four sixes.
Marsh received the man-of-the-match award for his efforts, and he was pleased on the platform after being reminded that his career has had its ups and downs. Marcus Stoinis continued the Marsh love-in post-match, as he lauded the all-rounder.
“I can’t wait to keep playing with this team … you won’t find bigger supporters of Mitch Marsh than right here apart from probably his family,” Stoinis said.
“We are so happy for him.”
While Marsh was brilliant, he was ably supported by Warner, who for the second time in the knockout stages set up Australia’s run chase. Warner was later named player of the tournament and said the team victory was “up there with 2015”, when Australia beat New Zealand in the ODI World Cup final.
Warner made 49 against Pakistan in the semi-final before being ruled out caught behind in controversial circumstances, and he made 53 here to get a large run chase off to the perfect start. However, there was no question regarding the form of dismissal this time. With Australia on 1-106 after 12 overs, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson knew he needed a wicket and summoned strike bowler Trent Boult. Warner’s stumps were shaken by a quick, skidding delivery on the second ball of the subsequent over.
The Australian smashed his bat in rage after his swing and miss, having learned nothing from the trials of New Zealand’s Devon Conway and his broken hand.
Maxwell, who had been out of touch throughout the competition, smashed practically everything on his way to 28, and victory appeared to be a foregone conclusion until a few nerves struck in the 18th over, when Milne was dismissed for just three runs.
The following Tim Southee over restored order as Australia completed the victory before the wild celebrations began.
Fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, albeit for different reasons, would have been relieved by those celebrations. Starc was thrashed by New Zealand’s batters, finishing with numbers of 0-60, and while Hazlewood was outstanding with the ball, taking 3-16 and contributing to New Zealand’s poorest powerplay score of the tournament of 1-31, he made a potentially fatal blunder.
Williamson hoicked a full toss from Starc down the throat of Hazlewood at fine leg after Australia had already lost opener Martin Guptill, only for Starc’s partner quick to drop the regulation catch as the ball burst through his hands and over the boundary for four. Starc was doubled over and crestfallen, as if he’d been punched in the stomach. Hazlewood stood with his hands on his hips and his head down low. After that, Williamson set about making Australia pay. As he began to speed his own innings and push the run rate up, he hammered Starc for four on each of the following two deliveries, taking the over for 19 runs.
He had 35 from 25 deliveries before the conclusion of the over, and he had his half-century two overs later when he hit Maxwell for two consecutive sixes, the first with only one hand on the bat. In the 16th over of the innings, Williamson poured salt into Starc’s open wounds by dismissing the left-arm fast for 22 runs, the worst single over figures in a T20 World Cup final.
Williamson was all class as he paid credit to Australia’s performance after New Zealand lost a tournament final for the second time.
“It was good to score what we believed was a competitive total only to be chased down by Australia,” he added. “They are a brilliant side and came out here tonight and turned it on.”