Australia defeated New Zealand convincingly in the final, an eight-wicket victory set-up by Josh Hazlewood (3-16) and Adam Zampa (1-26) before David Warner (53 off 38) and Mitch Marsh’s (77* off 50) century-run stand put Aaron Finch’s men on course. Pat Cummins, meanwhile, bowled economically and bowled the penultimate over, finishing with 0-27.
Australia made it through to the final off the back of a brilliant partnership between Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade against Pakistan, who brought their side back from the death.
It was not their only crucial partnership, with the duo combining early on against South Africa after the top order struggled.
Spinner Zampa was Australia’s best player, bowling economically and taking wickets right throughout the tournament while Hazlewood was one of the surprise packages and made it an incredible 2021 in the shortest format of the game.
It was a fitting end to a tournament dominated by teams batting second, with all 10 of the night matches played in Dubai won by the team chasing.
The toss once again played a critical role in the match, as it had throughout the tournament, with the Australians opting to field first. It was a tournament that exceeded and defied all expectations, including the coin toss. However, Kane Williamson admitted that they were outplayed by a better team. New Zealand have had a fantastic season, and they are a team that’s improving in all formats under Williamson.
It was little wonder then that captain Finch was grinning earlier in the evening after winning his sixth toss in seven games at this tournament, unsurprisingly taking the advantage of bowling first.
New Zealand made a promising start but the metronomic Hazlewood (1-9 off his three Powerplay overs) and Pat Cummins pegged them back, the former removing semi-final hero Daryl Mitchell (11 off eight) as just nine runs came off the second half of the Powerplay.
Kane Williamson – The Lone Warrior
Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson waged a lone battle with the bat scoring 85 off 48 balls in the final against Australia. It was his effort that took the Kiwis to 172/4. However, that did not prove to be enough as Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell played defining knocks, to help Australia win their first T20 World Cup title.
The right-hander attacked Australia’s auxiliary bowling options in Marsh (11 off one over) and Maxwell (28 off three), but dished out his harshest punishment to Mitch Starc, who he pasted for 19 and 22 off his second and third overs.
The left-armer (0-60) was the biggest victim of the onslaught, returning the most expensive figures of the tournament, as Williamson helped his side slam 115 from their final 10 overs.
The Kiwi skipper had some fortune – he cracked back-to-back boundaries off thick edges off Starc, in addition to Hazlewood’s dropped catch – but then displayed supreme touch to find the off-side boundary off the left-armer twice more by opening the face of his bat.
Warner Smashes, Especially Ish Sodhi
New Zealand leggie, Ish Sodhi, has been their standout bowler. So Warner’s strategy was simple – he would not allow him to settle. He was having some fun with Ish Sodhi. The first two balls he faced from Sodhi weren’t bad, but he wasn’t about to let the legspinner settle as he transitioned into the offensive mode. He smashed the wide-ish length straight past the bowler for four runs. Sodhi straightened his line on the next ball, and Warner reverse-paddled him for a nice double past backward point. Warner hit a quick fifty as the Australians thrashed Sodhi for 40 runs in three overs.
Mitchell Marsh: Australia’s Hero
Australia had benefited greatly from the addition of Mitchell Marsh at number three. Explosive openers allow Marsh to settle and pace his innings, but in the Final, Marsh was at his explosive best. While Warner took his time to settle down and pace his innings, Marsh scored 14 runs off his first three balls, transferring the pressure back on the New Zealand bowlers. His ability to hit boundaries never allowed the required run rate to rise. He scored 77 runs from 50 balls, including 10 boundaries. Harsha Bhogle perfectly summed up Marsh’s career, which has so much caliber and quality to offer but is also decimated by injuries, on Twitter, he said “Hopefully, his body will become a partner in his future because he is far too talented to be playing with what little he has.”