World Cup Final 2015

Cricket score: Australia 64-2, need 120 to win... Warner out

New Zealand bowled out for 183 in 45 overs

From 24/7 Admin

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Australia will chase a victory target of 184 runs to secure their fifth World Cup after their fast bowlers made short work of New Zealand's batsmen in the final in Melbourne on Sunday.

Brendon McCullum won the toss and sent his team in to bat, but the New Zealand skipper was bowled for a duck in the first over and two further top-order wickets went cheaply as the co-hosts slumped to 39-3 by the 13th over.

Grant Elliott (83) and Ross Taylor (40) put on a 111-run stand before fast-bowling all-rounder James Faulkner crashed through the partnership with a three-wicket spell, and the tailenders quickly crumbled as New Zealand were bowled out for 183 with five overs to spare.

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Duck

New Zealand's hopes of winning the World Cup suffered a huge early blow on Sunday when their skipper Brendon McCullum was dismissed for a third ball duck by Australia's Mitchell Starc in the first over of the 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.

Brought onto strike by a single from his opening partner Martin Guptill on the second ball of the innings, McCullum swung and missed the first two balls he faced.

Another fullish inswinger from Starc again eluded the bat and took out McCullum's off stump to a huge roar from the crowd of 92,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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

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Toss 

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and elected to bat first in the cricket World Cup final against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

The MCG's drop-in pitch is expected to be batsman-friendly and McCullum will hope his side can put 300 on the board given no team has ever chased down such a total in one-day international cricket at the ground.

Both teams are unchanged from the lineups that won their semi-final matches. Australia thrashed India to reach the title-decider, while New Zealand edged South Africa in a cliff-hanger to reach their maiden final.

"I'm sure both teams will play great cricket and it's just a shame one team will have to lose really," McCullum said in a pitchside interview.

"We're gonna bat first, the wicket looks outstanding and we'll give ourselves to get the runs on the board.

"We've got the same team the guys were outstanding against a very good South Africa team so we'll give them the opportunity in the final as well.

"We'll know we'll play well today,  it doesn't guarantee success, but we know we'll be tough to beat."

Australia captain Michael Clarke, who will retire from one-day internationals after the final, said he would also have preferred his team to bat first on a glorious autumn's day in Melbourne.

"But the wicket looks fantastic so I don't think it matters much," he said. "I've told the guys to continue to play good, consistent cricket.

"We haven't done too much over the last couple of days. Just recovery to make sure everyone is as fresh as possible.

"I said the other day, mentally we're ready to go so the last few days physically we wanted to get ourselves right and we're looking forward to today.

"The Australian public have been so supportive ... hopefully we can play some really good, entertaining cricket for them today."

Australia, champions in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007, are bidding for their fifth World Cup trophy.

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Teams:

Australia 
- Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood

New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (captain), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult 

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Preview
Australia captain Michael Clarke has added a fresh edge to Sunday's blockbuster World Cup final against New Zealand in Melbourne by announcing the match will be his last one-day international.

"I think it's the right time for me and the Australian cricket team," the 33-year-old Clarke told reporters on Saturday.

"I made the decision 48 hours ago when I asked myself if I thought I would be playing in the next World Cup and I said to myself that 'I don't think I will be'," added Clarke, whose career has been blighted by back and hamstring problems.

Clarke has played 244 one-day internationals, scoring 7,907 runs with a highest score of 130 since his debut in 2003.

He intends to keep playing Tests, however, having already featured in 108 matches, with 8,432 runs and a highest score of 329 not out.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum struck the first psychological blow when he named his team 24 hours before the final.

Unsurprisingly, the Black Caps retained the same side which edged out South Africa in the semi-finals.

"It's captivated the country back home, it's immensely satisfying but we have to build on it. Gee it would be nice to win it," said McCullum at his pre-match news conference.

Best-attended


Meanwhile International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson proclaimed the 2015 World Cup to be the "most-followed and best-attended cricket event in history".

Among a plethora of statistics, the ICC cited a a crowd of 86,000 at the MCG for the India-South Africa pool match on February 22 - "a phenomenal result given that neither of the host teams were involved" - and that the official website had attracted 227 million page views as evidence of the tournament's success.

New Zealand go into their first title clash in cricket's 50-overs-a-side showpiece as the only unbeaten team in the tournament, having won eight games in a row.

One of those wins was against Australia in a low-scoring pool stage thriller in Auckland on February 28 when a Kane Williamson six off Pat Cummins helped them surpass a modest target of 152 with one wicket standing.

It was at the same Eden Park in Auckland that the Black Caps downed South Africa in a nerve-tingling semi-final on Tuesday with a penultimate-ball six by Grant Elliott.

Rugby-mad nation

New Zealand's first semi-final win in seven attempts left an enthralled rugby-mad nation backing their cricketers to take home a trophy that has so far eluded them in the World Cup's 40-year history.

Australia, the top-ranked side in ODI cricket, are bidding for a fifth World Cup title and will be favourites on home turf at the MCG, where New Zealand last played an ODI in 2009.

Clarke said the Black Caps may struggle to adjust to conditions at the 90,000 capacity ground after playing all their eight previous matches this tournament on their own grounds across the Tasman Sea.

"Conditions are a lot different to what New Zealand have been playing in New Zealand," Clarke said after his team's emphatic 95-run semi-final victory over defending champions India on Thursday.

However, New Zealand have defeated Australia in three of their last five ODIs at the MCG and their most recent appearance saw semi-final star Elliott's unbeaten 61 fashion a six-wicket win with seven balls to spare after Australia had been restricted to 225 for five from 50 overs.

Opener Martin Guptill, who hit a World Cup record score of 237 not out against the West Indies, is just 10 runs away from surpassing Sri Lanka star Kumar Sangakkara's tally of 541 to become the tournament's leading run-getter.

Left-armer Trent Boult is the leading bowler in this edition with 21 wickets, one more than Aussie paceman Mitchell Starc, while seamer Tim Southee and veteran spinner Daniel Vettori have 15 wickets each.

The 36-year-old Vettori is likely to end his international career after Sunday's final.

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