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Cricket World Cup 2015: Australia crush New Zealand

New Zealand lost influential captain Brendon McCullum to the fifth ball of the match and were bowled out for 183. Grant Elliott resisted with 83, while Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner shared eight wickets. Australia rarely looked troubled, sealing a seven-wicket win in 33.1 overs, with captain Michael Clarke scoring 74 and Steve Smith 56 not out. Bowled by Matt Henry with eight required, Clarke, in his final one-day international, was given a standing ovation by the record 93,000 crowd and welcomed by his team-mates on the boundary edge. He was part of the Australia team that last lifted the trophy in 2007, with this success extending their record for most World Cups won. No other team has more than two. Australia’s win was the second in as many tournaments by a host nation after India’s win four years ago.

It provided a joyous end to an emotional Australian summer which saw batsman Phillip Hughes die after being struck on the neck by a ball in Sydney in November. In their first final, after six previous semi-final defeats, New Zealand were blown away. Their path to Melbourne came with eight successive wins, all on home soil, and most of the pre-match speculation was of how McCullum’s men would deal with the change in conditions. They won what was thought to be a crucial toss, but the life was sucked from their innings almost as soon as it began. The talismanic McCullum, so often a slayer of new-ball attacks throughout the tournament, aimed two wild swings at Starc, missed with both, then was bowled by a brilliant yorker. Far from the batting paradise predicted, the pitch was slightly two-paced and offered both turn and some uneven bounce. But that is to take nothing away from the Australia pace attack, Starc in particular, who bowled with hostility and found movement both in the air and off the seam.

Cricket World Cup roll of honour

World Cup wins Team Years
5 Australia 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015
2 West Indies 1975, 1979
2 India 1983, 2011
1 Pakistan 1992
1 Sri Lanka 1996
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