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PHOTOS: Clarke bows out on a high as Australia win 5th World Cup

Last updated on: March 29, 2015 17:00 IST
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Australia's captain Michael Clarke, centre, holds aloft the Cricket World Cup trophy

Captain Michael Clarke holds aloft the World Cup trophy as his teammates celebrate after beating New Zealand in the final at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Australia won the ICC cricket World Cup for a record fifth time when they beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

SCORECARD

WAGs, pitch invaders add drama to final at MCG

Chasing a paltry target, after the Kiwis were bundled out for 183 in 45 overs, the Aussies cruised home in 33.1 overs, finishing with 186 for 3.

The stage was set for the Australia captain Michael Clarke, who used the platform to the fullest with a stylish 72-ball innings as the hosts regained the trophy, ending an eight-year wait.

Steven Smith, Shane Watson

Australia's Steven Smith celebrates with Shane Watson after hitting the winning runs. Photograph: DQuinn Rooney/Getty Images

The moment Steve Smith (56) hit the winning runs, the entire Australian team was out on the ground celebrating the very special achievement.

All performers yearn for a stage as grand as the World Cup final and Clarke got his walking out as a hero with the entire MCG giving him a standing ovation once he was dismissed after getting his team to the doorstep of victory.

It was a touching sight to find all his teammates standing at the boundary line to greet him.

Steve Smith congratulates Michael Clarke after the skipper scored his half century

Steve Smith congratulates Michael Clarke after he scored his half century. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

There were 10 fours and two sixes in his final ODI innings. Clarke had the Herculean job of checking his emotions and carrying on with the business of guiding his team to victory after losing openers Aaron Finch (0) and David Warner (45). And the skipper was up for it.

James Faulkner of Australia celebrates getting the wicket of Corey Anderson

Australia's James Faulkner celebrates getting the wicket of Corey Anderson. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Earlier, Seamer James Faulkner's brilliant change-ups during the middle overs saw him end with impressive figures of 3/36 in 9 overs as the Black Caps collapsed from a decent 150/3 after 35 overs to 183 all-out in 45 overs in about an hour.

This was after Elliott along with Ross Taylor (40) had added 111 runs for the fourth wicket after the visitors were tottering at 39 for three.

James Faulkner of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Ross Taylor

James Faulkner of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Ross Taylor. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Faulkner was well complimented by the two Mitchells - Starc (2/20 in 8 overs) and Johnson (3/30 in 9 overs) – who had the opposition batsmen in trouble with pace and movement on a lively MCG track in front of 91,000 plus spectators.

Brendon McCullum of New Zealand

New Zealand opener Brendon McCullum looks dejected after being dismissed by Mitchell Starc. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Mitchell Starc bowled a brilliant delivery first up, to get rid of Brendon McCullum, who was out without scoring.

McCullum charged and missed out on a couple of balls dug short and the result was a full delivery at the base of off-stump which the batsman had no answer.

New Zealand's captain Brendon McCullum

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is bowled for a duck by Mitchell Starc. Photograph: Brandon Malone/Reuters

McCullum became the first captain to be dismissed for a duck in a World Cup final.

With 44 fours and 17 sixes in tournament already, McCullum's aggressive opening batting has been a major factor in New Zealand getting to their first final.

He was no match for Australia's left-arm pace gun, however.

 Martin Guptill of New Zealand walks

Martin Guptill walks off the field after being dismissed by Glenn Maxwell. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Guptill, at the other end, got a freak six when his intended pull off a Josh Hazlewood short delivery flew behind the wicketkeeper for a six. Before that, he had hit a copybook square drive.

Both Guptill and Williamson were cautious during the first 10 overs in which New Zealand scored 31 runs as they got rid of the impetuosity that brought about McCullum's downfall.

Clarke introduced Glenn Maxwell in the 12th over and it brought dividends immediately. Guptill (15) was bowled trying to cut a rather innocuous Maxwell delivery that was tossed up on the off-stump with not a hint of turn.

Kane Williamson of New Zealand looks dejected

Kane Williamson walks back after being dismissed by Mitchell Johnson. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Williamson's rather uncomfortable stay at the wicket ended when Johnson bowled a well disguised slower as the right-hander failed to check his shot. The result was a simple return catch which Johnson gleefully accepted. Williamson scored 12 off 33 balls.

Grant Elliott of New Zealand

Grant Elliott celebrates after reaching his half century. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Elliott and Taylor then started the repair job. While Elliott was the aggressor, the normally attacking Taylor was ready to hold one end up while nudging and pushing for singles and twos.

Elliott started with a cut off Maxwell and a mistimed hook shot fetched him a six. There were a couple of flowing cover drives off James Faulkner as he reached his 50 off 51 balls. With Taylor for support, the fourth wicket partnership crossed the 100-run mark in 126 balls.

Glenn Maxwell of Australia and Grant Elliott of New Zealand exchange words

Glenn Maxwell and Grant Elliott exchange words after a review off the former's bowling. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

However, the New Zealand innings lost direction from that point. Taylor tried to steer a wide de livery from Faulkner as Brad Haddin took a fantastic one handed catch stretching to his right.

Corey Anderson (0) was fooled by a yorker as Faulkner suddenly cranked up the pace and the left-hander couldn't get his bat down.

From 150/3 New Zealand slumped to 150/5 and it soon became 151 for six as Mitchell Starc got Luke Ronchi (0) to flash hard as Michael Clarke took a nice catch at first slip. Daniel Vettori (9) was yorked by Johnson and Elliott, who looked good for a century was then taken by Faulkner as it became 171 for eight.

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