Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets to win the 11th ICC Cricket World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds on March 29, with a superb bowling attack.
Player of the Tournament Mitchell Starc (22 wickets) got Kiwi Captain Brendon McCullum in the first over of the game, and left arm bowler James Faulkner claimed three wickets to pick up the ‘Man of the Match’ title. All Rounder Grant Elliot was the highest scorer for the Black Caps with 83 runs, as the final seven Kiwi wickets fell for just 33 runs. Chasing 183 to win, Australia reached the target with 17 overs to spare. Australian Captain Michael Clarke top scored with 74, in his last One-Day International.
Unbeaten until the finals, the Black Caps had their best ever World Cup, with McCullum leading from the front. In Trent Boult (joint highest wicket taker at the event with 22 wickets), the team has found a world-class swing bowler. He and Tim Southee have the potential to be the best opening bowling attack for Black Caps.
Opener Martin Guptill reposed the faith shown by the team in spite of being out of form by becoming the highest scorer at the event (547 runs). Wellington’s Elliot got his name etched forever in the annals of great Black Caps cricketing moments, by scoring 84 in the semi-finals against South Africa.
India came into the event on the back of a winless tour of Australia. The team was written off before the event, but had a good run until losing the semi-finals by 86 runs to Australia in Sydney.
Captain M S Dhoni marshalled his resources well, and was aided in his endeavours by a very effective bowling unit, which bowled out all sides they played against until the semis. Despite losing the finals, the Black Caps cricket team gave a performance, which made New Zealand proud. The country got together to support the Men in Black.
New Zealand proved to be excellent co-hosts along with Australia. The event came to our shores after 23 years gaining widespread support.
The World Cup enhanced our New Zealand stature across the globe as a sport loving country. But the most abiding memory of this Cup has been a Cricket Team that has won the heart of every Kiwi, and of a Sport in great health.