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.
After two long years of Test cricket & coronavirus interruption, the World Test Championship Final is finally here.
Rising Kiwis are slightly better prepared against world beaters India with a series against England. India has been in England for a few weeks due to quarantine but have only played an internal practice match.
Two of the best teams on show, finally some context for Test cricket, BJ Watling’s retirement, but will rain spoil it all?
The idea of the World Test Championship is not a new one.
World Test Championship was supposed to become a reality in 2009, 2013, & 2017, but each of those iterations were cancelled in favor of much more lucrative, ICC ODI Champions Trophy.
Imagine an Indian team comprising of Sehwag, Sachin, Dravid, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan competing against McCullum’s 2015 team or even better, the golden South African era of Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, AB De Villiers, & Dale Steyn earlier in the decade.
Anyway, World Test Championship finally came into existence in 2019 and began with the England-Australia Ashes series. 58 matches later, India and New Zealand are deservedly in the finals, carrying bench strengths of envy.
India began by routing West Indies in the Caribbean, before securing points at home against lackluster South Africa & Bangladesh teams.
Then came the tours Down Under. While Kiwis routed India in swing bowling conditions, India delivered a masterclass of ages in Australia. After 36/9 in Adelaide, Rahane’s century resurrected India in Melbourne. Then, the Pujara-Pant-Vihari-Ashwin show ensured India survived the 3rd Test, and the youngsters Shardul-Sundar-Pant-Siraj broke the Gabba fort to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Finally, the England home series was a completely one-sided event even after Joe Root’s classic gave England a headstart at Chennai. Ashwin’s all-round magic at home & Axar Patel’s memorable debut ensured India ease past England.
World Test Championship Final Preview – India’s Road To Glory
*Signifies away series
New Zealand’s road to glory was much more formulaic.
The Kiwis started with away tours of Sri Lanka & Australia. While they put on a good show in New Zealand, winning one match, they were hammered in Australia (barring Neil Wagner’s intense series).
At home, it was same old. Swinging conditions. Boult, Southee, and debutant of the year, Kyle Jamieson, wrecked havoc against India and West Indies. Only Pakistan provided any semblance of resistance with Fawad Alam’s classic fourth innings ton going in vain with four overs left in the Test match.
World Test Championship Final Preview – New Zealand’s Road To Glory
World Test Championship Final Preview – The Teams
Watch out for Ajinkya Rahane. He has a tendency to perform when it matters the most although his lack of consistency is frustrating. Rahane’s leadership & century in Melbourne was the catalyst for India in the memorable Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Since then, his form has gone hiding. England will bring back nice personal memories, and he is probably India’s best batter in swinging conditions. It is high time he shows up.
There were rumors that Mohammad Siraj would play in place of one of Mohammad Shami or Ishant Sharma, but that did not happen. India’s bowling has variety with Bumrah’s accuracy, Ishant’s seam, and Shami’s reverse swing. Looking forward to watch Ishant, who is in his 4th and most rewarding phase of his career. His 7-74 at Lord’s in the last tour was especially spectacular.
Tributes have started flowing in for BJ Watling in his retirement match. This one is my favorite, especially his mom’s statement. Watling has been a symbol of this rising team’s resilience and stability. Always solid behind the stumps, he will go down as Kiwis’s greatest keeper, but what I will miss the most is his rearguard action. NZ’s middle order rarely collapsed, but when it did, Watling was at the rescue. The question is, does he have one fighting innings left in him?
This is a very understated team, but do you know who is the New Zealand in the New Zealand team?Tom Latham & Henry Nicholls. When the Conways, Williamsons, or Taylors make huge scores around them, you can guarantee that Latham-Nicholls will provide ample solid support. Expect one of them to rise to the occasion in the finals.
Watch Out For
Sharma-Shubman Vs Pace brigade of Boult-Southee-Jamieson: This might as well set the tone for this match. A Mumbai Indians mini-match between Boult & Rohit Sharma.
Latham-Conway-Nicholls Vs R Ashwin: Ashwin has been India’s most successful bowler in this WTC cycle and has performed across all conditions (with both bat and ball). Conway is in the form of his life and the Kiwis have 2 other left-hand batters in the Top 5. Expect to see a lot of Ashwin.
The slip catching.England’s dropped catches were on show in the last series and they have been one of the worst slip catching sides in the past two years. So I am glad Ind-NZ are playing this week. Both teams have legendary fast bowlers, so the ball will go to the slips more than usual. Rest assured, the catches will be taken. Rahane, Taylor, Rohit, Kohli, Latham should do the job.
India has revealed its XI ahead of time. Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Mohammad Siraj, Hanuma Vihari, Axar Patel, Mayank Agarwal all played crucial roles in the lead up to the WTC Finals, but unfortunately did not make the final XI. This is also the first time that Jadeja-Ashwin-Sharma-Shami-Bumrah will play together. What a mouth-watering lineup.
Squad: Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj
New Zealand’s lineup selects itself, but the crucial question is the #7-8 spot. Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, & Ajaz Patel performed admirably in the England series and Colin de Grandhomme has been out for a while, so will they go for a four-fast bowler strategy? Ajaz Patel should have done enough in the England series for a spin option in this Southampton pitch.
Tom Latham, Devon Conway, 3. Kane Williamson*, 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. BJ Watling (WK), 7. Colin de Grandhomme/Kyle Jamieson/Matt Henry, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Neil Wagner, 10. Trent Boult, 11. Ajaz Patel
Squad: Will Young, Tom Blundell (WK)
Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell, Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, and Rachin Ravindra failed to make the final cut.
I honestly cannot see a way past the weather. Both teams have excellent bowling options, so unless both teams suffer collapses twice, a result would be very hard to attain.
Would love if we get a full game, but for now, going with a Draw.
Verdict: Draw 0-0
If the game does happen, what am I excited for the most? Neil Wagner’s intensity, Colin de Grandhomme’s hairdo, Williamson-Kohli-Southee’s continuing journey from U-19 World Cup, Pujara-Pant combination, Ross Taylor’s wisdom, an emotional sunset to Watling’s wonderful career, and in general, just a hard-fought sporting final.
World Test Championship Final Preview – Prediction
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World Test Championship Records
Are there are records that can be broken in the World Test Championship Final?
It is really interesting that even though NZ made it to the finals, there is nobody in the top 15 run-scorer. Combination of several players standing up and the fact that NZ did not play as many games. Kane Williamson is at 16th with 817 runs and Tom Latham is 25th with 680 runs.
India, on the other hand, have 5 batters in the Top 15:
Rahane – 1095 (5th)
Rohit Sharma – 1030 (6th)
Kohli – 877 (11th)
Agarwal – 857 (12th)
Pujara – 818 (15th)
Ashwin is on #3 with 67 wickets and Southee is New Zealand’s best at #5 with 51 wickets.
Kyle Jamieson – 36 (12th)
Ishant Sharma – 36 (13th)
Mohammad Shami – 36 (14th)
Jasprit Bumrah – 34 (16th)
Trent Boult – 34 (18th)
Neil Wagner – 32 (20th)
Fielding and Dismissals
Both teams are pretty close on this list with BJ Watling – 43 dismissals (4th) and Rishabh Pant – 40 (5th).
In terms of catches, Rahane – 22 catches (4th) and Ross Taylor – 18 (5th) are at the top with Rohit Sharma – 16 (6th) and Virat Kohli – 16 (7th) close behind. New Zealand’s next best is Tom Latham – 14 (12th).
At the 2019 Cricket World Cup (CWC) held in England, all 10 teams played against each other. In the 29th match at Manchester, New Zealand faced the mighty West Indies. Until that point of the tournament, West Indies had won 1, lost 3, and 1 no-result. New Zealand, on the other hand, were unbeaten with 4 wins and 1 no-result. With each team having 4 games in hand, the tournament was still wide open.
Chasing 291, West Indies collapsed to 164-7.
Comes in Carlos Brathwaite. Remember his name? Braithwaite and the tail launches a remarkable comeback. Twists and turns, wickets fall, spectators at the edge of their seats.
Brathwaite hits 3 consecutive sixes in the 48th over. Brathwaite scores his maiden ODI century. Brathwaite can do no wrong.
Brathwaite’s dream is alive. One wicket left, West Indies need 6 off 7 balls, Brathwaite on strike. Surely, it is their game now…
What Actually Happened:
The dynamic duo of Brathwaite and commentator, Ian Bishop, from that 2016 T20 World Cup final are back together. Jimmy Neesham runs it and bowls a short ball, Brathwaite heaves, and Trent Boult is near the boundary. (Yes, the same Trent Boult who would later do this in the Final). All you can see is the ball in the blue sky.
Ball comes down. Gravity happens. Boult catches it. West indies 286-10. New Zealand win with an over to spare.
Ian Bishop exclaims, “New Zealand win! The dream is diminished for Carlos Brathwaite here in Manchester!”
This is the turning point of the tournament. New Zealand go to the top the table. They qualify for the semi finals due to net run-rate despite losing 3 against Pakistan, England, and Australia. West Indies lose momentum and would eventually crash out at 9th place.
If Carlos Brathwaite had managed to hit the ball a yard further, or if Boult had lost his balance, what would have happened?
48.6 – Neesham to Brathwait, SIX!
Has he done it? Yes! Boult tips the ball over the boundary at long on for six. West Indies wins.
West Indies wins, joins the middle-muddle in the Points Table, and sprints to the semi-finals. New Zealand lose momentum and fail to qualify for the semi-finals.
It is England vs West Indies in the finals. Stokes batting vs Brathwaite bowling final over—a reversal of fortunes from 2016. Stokes attempts to take his revenge. 15 needed from 6.
49.1 – Six, 49.2 – Six. He wants to finish with 3 sixes and complete the revenge.
49.3 – OUT! One shot too many. Still 3 needed from 3.
49.4 – 1, 49.5 – 0, 49.6 – Run OUT!
West Indies win by one run! West Indies have won by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins.
Brathwaite’s dream is realized. Carlos Brathwaite is the Man of the Match. He is hailed as the best all-rounder of the century. Stokes is dropped from the England squad. Eoin Morgan plays out the rest of his career for Ireland.
Jofra Archer returns to the Barbados. He spearheads the West Indies attack.
West Indies returns to its glory days.
Inspired by Conversations with Vandit Trivedi and ESPNCricinfo’s Alternate Universe series.