Cricket World Cup 2015: Australia crush New Zealand in final

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport in Melbourne
Australia celebrate with Cricket World Cup trophy
Australia have won five of the last eight Cricket World Cups
World Cup final, Melbourne:
New Zealand 183 (45 overs): Elliott 83, Johnson 3-30, Faulkner 3-36
Australia 186-3 (33.1 overs): Clarke 74, Smith 56*
Australia win by seven wickets

Australia overwhelmed New Zealand to win the World Cup for a fifth time at an ecstatic Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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.

Cricket World Cup 2015: Australia beat New Zealand in Melbourne final

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.

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 when he was bowled by Matt Henry with eight required.

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 triumph four years ago.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan
"It was a brilliant performance. Australia were the best team in the tournament, fantastically led by Michael Clarke. Today they were just too powerful and strong for New Zealand, who have been great throughout the tournament. They've had everything you'd need in a one-day side, with the left-arm pace of Johnson and Starc. They've got everything covered."

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.

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
"Australia's depth of fast bowling has an Englishman quaking in his boots when thinking about what might happen in the Ashes."
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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 2015: Fitting end for Michael Clarke - Michael Vaughan

New Zealand clung on without progressing, but when Glenn Maxwell's off-spin got through a lazy Martin Guptill stroke and Kane Williamson patted back to Johnson, they seemed in disarray.

However, from 39-3, they painstakingly rebuilt through semi-final hero Elliott and Ross Taylor.

Elliott, who successfully overturned a Maxwell lbw decision on 15, scored almost exclusively through the off-side to become only the fifth man to register a half-century in the semi-final and final of the same World Cup.

Taylor made 40 in a stand of 111 provided a platform for the batting powerplay.

Yet it was the powerplay that began New Zealand's slide, as Faulkner returned to have Taylor athletically caught behind by Brad Haddin and bowl Corey Anderson two balls later.

When Luke Ronchi played an awful waft to be caught at slip off Starc, three wickets had been lost for one run in eight balls.

Cricket World Cup roll of honour
World Cup winsTeamYears
5Australia1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015
2West Indies1975, 1979
2India1983, 2011
1Sri Lanka1996

There was no support for Elliott, who was caught behind attempting to heave Faulkner and, when Maxwell superbly ran out non-striker Tim Southee with a direct hit for the final wicket, it was the perfect demonstration of Australia's dominance. In all, New Zealand lost seven wickets for 33 runs.

Though Aaron Finch inside-edged on to his pad to be caught and bowled by Trent Boult, David Warner's brisk 45 gave Australia's chase early momentum.

After he was caught hooking Henry, there began a period of pressure that Clarke and Smith battled to absorb, the latter needing the fortune of seeing the bails stay unmoved as a Henry delivery trickled on to the base of the stumps.

It would be New Zealand's last chance, as Clarke's cuts and drives down the ground accelerated Australia towards victory.

He could not see the job through, but Smith became the first man to score five successive World Cup half-centuries then pulled Henry for the winning runs.

Listen to highlights from Test Match Special's and 5 live Sport's 2015 Cricket World Cup coverage

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum was bowled for a duck in the first over of the game
Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc ended the tournament with the best ever World Cup bowling average (min 15 wkts): 22 wickets at 10.18
Grant Elliott & Brad Haddin
Grant Elliott and Brad Haddin exchanged words in the New Zealand innings
Trent Boult (centre)
Trent Boult finished the tournament with 22 wickets
Steve Smith & Michael Clarke
Steve Smith & Michael Clarke both scored fifties in Australia's successful run chase

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