Toss: Australia won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, UAE
Umpires: Marais Erasmus & Richard Kettleborough
What Actually Happened – Pakistan Vs Australia
Winner:Australia won by 8 wickets
Scores: New Zealand172/4 Australia 173/2
Player of the Match:Mitchell Marsh 77* (50)
Josh Hazlewood (4-0-16-3), Adam Zampa (4-0-26-1)
Trent Boult (4-0-18-2)
Kane Williamson 85 (48)
Mitchell Marsh 77* (50), David Warner 53 (38)
Player of the Tournament: David Warner
Moments of The Day: Williamson Plays World Cup Final Knock of the Ages; Marsh-Warner Combination One Step Better
New Zealand had two strong performers—Kane Williamson with the bat and Trent Boult with the ball.
NZ began brightly with Daryl Mitchell’s positive approach against Maxwell, however things quietened down after his wicket. Test match bowling lengths by Hazlewood & Cummins strangled the experienced duo of Guptill & Williamson.
From 27-1 in 3.1 overs, NZ could only get to 32/1 by the end of the Powerplay, 40 by the end of 8 overs, and 57 at the end of the 10th. At the halfway stage, Williamson 18 (19) & Guptill 27 (33). Then came Starc’s over. Dropped by Hazlewood, & 4-4-4 including a waist height no-ball. 19-run over, NZ back in the game, and Williamson would hit 67 runs in his last 29 balls. Shots & sixes all around the ground. One of the best World Cup innings you will ever see.
The bowling figures of the Kiwi bowlers were sub-par. The economies were—11.21, 13.33, 15.00, 7.66, & 7.50. Sodhi & Neesham went for 55 runs in their 4 together. Only one bowler gave New Zealand hope, Trent Boult. 4-0-18-2. 4.50 economy. Boult’s wicket of Warner almost sparked New Zealand alive, and the tough dropped catch off his own bowling in his final over was the final hope.
Australia’s victorious campaigns had three consistent cogs—Hazlewood, Zampa, & Warner—around which the matchwinners Stoinis, Maxwell, and Wade rotated. Today, the consistent 3 came to the party once again.
When Kane Willamson was going haywire, Hazelwood, Zampa, & Cummins combined for figures of 12-0-69-4. The other three went for about a 100 runs in 8 overs. After Starc’s 22-run 16th over, NZ were in pole position with 136/2 in 16 overs. Good death bowling and slower deliveries ensured NZ only get 36 from the late 4 with wickets in hand.
The moment where the game turned was after Finch’s dismissal. Australia 15/1 in 2.3 overs. What does Mitch Marsh do first ball in a pressure final? Hits it for six! He did not look back after that. Australia did not look back after that. 92 (59) partnership between Warner & Marsh and a 66* (39) partnership between Marsh & Maxwell ensured World Cup victory. Finally, a classic reverse hit from Maxwell against Southee to seal the deal.
Nobody hates you anymore, Mitch Marsh 😊👏
Shane Watson Tribute
It was only fitting that Shane Watson, player of the 2012 T20 World Cup, and Australia’s first T20I star was present in the commentary box.
He was the first Australian IPL star who made it big in the international arena and represented Australia for all the six World Cups until 2016. Although he did not win a T20 World Cup, it was only fitting that Watson was there for the moment that Maxwell hit the winning runs.
What a refreshing commentary debut he has had on the World Cup stage as well. Loved his analysis and you could see that this man loves every aspect of the game of cricket.
Celebrations of the Day – Feat Marcus Stoinis
The best part of the ending of a World Cup is the celebration. Here are some of the few videos that have come out on social media. Lovely stuff, watch out for Stoinis.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: New Zealand Ends Up Second Best…Again
Broken Dream #1 – End of an Era?
Mitchell Starc was the player of the 2015 ODI World Cup. Martin Guptill hit a memorable 237 and was one of the centers of NZ’s inspirational campaign in 2015.
In this World Cup, although Starc chipped in with a couple of wickets in most of the games & Guptill starred with a 93 in the UAE heat, today was a match losing performance by both oif these legendary players.
Guptill’s 27 (35) at a SR of 80.00 drained the energy out of the Kiwi batting and Starc’s 4-0-60-0 almost took the game away from Australia. Starc is approaching 32, and as a fast bowler, might focus on elongating his Test career, while Guptill is 35. It might be time for him to focus on ODI cricket and make way at the top in T20Is for someone like Tim Seifert.
Broken Dream #2 – Have New Zealand Underachieved?
The New Zealand cricket team has always been characterized as a “collective unit,” a team that “punches above their weight.” From 1975-2011, this was probably true.
6 ODI World Cup Semi Finals (1975, 1979, 1992, 1999, 2007, 2011)
3 ICC Champions/Knockouts Trophy Semi Finals (Semifinalists in 2006, Runners up in 2009, Winner in 2000)
1 T20 World Cup Semi Finals (2007)
Since the 2015 ODI World Cup, New Zealand has been one of the teams to beat. Their recent records stand as follows:
2 ODI World Cup Finals (2015, 2019 – barely lost)
2 T20 World Cup Semi Finals (Semifinalists in 2016, Runners Up in 2021)
1 World Test Championship Winners (2021)
New Zealand are the WTC champions, but the fact they did not lift any of the last 4 limited overs trophy means they have underachieved, not overachieved.
Toss: England won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE
Umpires: Aleem Dar & Marais Erasmus
What Actually Happened
Winner: England won by 6 wickets
Scores: West Indies 55/10 – England 56/4
Player of the Match: Moeen Ali 2/17
Adil Rashid (2.2-0-2-4)
Akeal Hosein (4-0-24-2)
Chris Gayle – 13 (13)
Jos Buttler – 24 (22)
Moments of The Day: England All the Way
Moeen Ali reaps rewards – Moeen has had an interesting 2 years since COVID. Travelled for 2 years with the squad, did not get much game time. Got exactly one match in the Indian Test series, where he performed well before he was sent home due to miscommunication. A brilliant IPL with CSK at #3, where his role in England T20s was undefined. Finally a Test retirement after the India-England home series. In this game, he opened the bowling, bowled 4 overs in a row, bagged two wickets (including a maiden), batted at #4, and a difficult running catch. Perfect day out for Moeen.
Tymal Mills comes back to the international side after 4-5 years and makes an immediate impression with 4-0-17-2. What a story since his Hundred performances.
Akeal Hosein‘s bowling and marvelous catch captures West Indies’ disciplined fielding effort. Although they got out for a low total, it was good to see that they did not give up. Attacking field settings by Pollard as well.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: West Indies’ Worst Batting Effort
West Indies’ 55 all-out was the third lowest in all T20 World Cups, their 2nd lowest overall, their first loss to England in 6 attempts at T20 World Cups, and their biggest defeat in T20Is.
Toss: Australia won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Umpires: Michael Gough & Nitin Menon
What Actually Happened
Winner: Australia won by 5 wickets
Scores: South Africa 118/9 – Australia 121/5
Player of the Match: Josh Hazlewood 2/19
Josh Hazlewood (4-1-19-2), Adam Zampa (4-0-21-2)
Anrich Nortje (4-0-21-2)
Aiden Markram – 40 (36)
Steven Smith – 35 (34)
Moments of The Day: Fast Bowlers Shine As Smith, Finishers Save Australia
Fast Bowlers have a say in both innings – Hazlewood bagged the player of the match award with Starc (2/24) and Cummins (4-0-17-1). Nortje (2/21) & Rabada (1/28) with good figures from Australia as well.
The core of the Australian T20 batting is Maxwell, Smith, and Stoinis and all three came to the party with different roles to play. Smith stabilized the innings after Australia were struggling for 38-3 & Stoinis’ 24* (16) (and Wade’s 15* (10)) finished the game off when Australia were in a precarious position. However, it was Maxwell’s measly spell of 4-0-24-1 in the PowerPlay that set the tone.
South Africa squeeze – At the halfway stage, 118/9 did not inspire much confidence. Maharaj & Shamsi continued the pressure left from Rabada-Nortje with combined figres of 8-0-45-2 and backed it up with impressive fielding. Highlight of their fielding effort was Aiden Markram’s flying catch to dismiss Steve Smith.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Faf Du Plessis – Huge Gamble for South Africa?
Faf Du Plessis was in touching distance of becoming the Orange Cap holder in IPL 2021 and was literally Protea’s best player in the IPL. Additionally, the second leg of the IPL was held on the same pitches as the ongoing World Cup. With an impressive bowling line up, South Africa’s only clear weakness is the batting. Except for Quinton de Kock (who took the second game off for personal reasons) & Rassie van der Dussen, the rest of the batting does not inspire consistency. Faf will be missed in this T20 World Cup.