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T20 World Cup: Marsh and Warner lead Australia to first Men's T20 WC Trophy

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Dubai, Nov 14 (IANS) A clinical unbeaten knock from Mitchell Marsh (77 not out off 50 balls) along with a crucial half-century from David Warner (53 off 38 balls) led Australia to their first Men’s T20 World Cup trophy, defeating New Zealand by eight wickets in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium here on Sunday. Chasing 173, Australia reached the target with seven balls to spare.

Warner began by taking back-to-back boundaries off Tim Southee in the second over. In the next over, Aaron Finch chipped Trent Boult over long-off for a boundary. But Boult had the last laugh as Finch top-edged a pull to a running deep square leg for a diving catch. Mitchell Marsh welcomed Adam Milne by whacking pace-on deliveries for a six and two fours. But the right-arm pacer conceded just three runs in the final over as Australia reached 43/1 in Power-play.

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Post Power-play, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi kept things tight but Marsh and Warner were quick to thwart the plans of stemming the run-flow. While Marsh slog-swept Santner for a six over deep square leg, Warner slammed Sodhi for two fours and a gigantic six straight down the ground. Marsh welcomed James Neesham in the 11th over with a six over fine leg. It was followed by Warner reaching his half-century in 34 balls with a hoicked six over deep mid-wicket.

Boult provided a much-needed breakthrough in the 13th over, ending the 92-run stand by dislodging Warner’s stumps. In the next over, Marsh brought up his half-century in 31 balls with a flat slog over long-on off Sodhi, bettering Kane Williamson’s record for the fastest fifty in Men’s T20 World Cup final. Two balls later, he went on to smash Sodhi for a pull through mid-wicket.

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Glenn Maxwell took a brace of boundaries against Milne and Southee in 15th and 16th overs as Australia inched closer to the target. Marsh struck two more boundaries before Maxwell finished off the chase with a reverse-sweep past the third man to send Australia into the celebratory mood.

Brief scores: New Zealand 172/4 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 85, Martin Guptill 28, Josh Hazlewood 3-16, Adam Zampa 1-26) lost to Australia 173/2 in 18.5 overs (Mitchell Marsh 77 not out, David Warner 53, Trent Boult 2-6) by eight wickets

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–IANS

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