Clarke dedicates #CWC15 win to Hughes

Sport360 staff 29/03/2015
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Clarke (l) was very close to Hughes.

Australia captain Michael Clarke dedicated Sunday’s World Cup final triumph to Phillip Hughes, the team-mate who died after being hit on the head by a bouncer last year.

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Clarke, who made 74 in the seven-wicket victory over New Zealand in what was his last one-day international, described Hughes as the squad’s 16th man at the six-week tournament.

“I’m sure everybody standing on this stage will say we played this World Cup with 16 players,” said Clarke.

“This victory is dedicated to our little brother Phillip Hughes. Hughesy used to party as good as any of them so I guarantee we’ll celebrate hard tonight.”

Clarke will continue to play Test cricket and vowed to keep wearing a black armband in honour of his close friend.

“The band has got PH on it. I will wear it every game I play for Australia. It’s been a really tough few months.”

Australia batsman Hughes died on November 27 last year, two days after being hit on the head by a Sean Abbott bouncer in a first-class match in Sydney.

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Clarke sees Australia to fifth Cricket World Cup win as New Zealand crumble

Sport360 staff 29/03/2015
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Michael Clarke set his side up for victory in his final ODI game.

Michael Clarke marked his final one-day international with a fine 74 as Australia won their fifth World Cup, beating fellow co-hosts New Zealand by seven wickets in a one-sided final in Melbourne on Sunday.

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New Zealand, who defeated Australia by one wicket in the pool phase, were all but out of the match after being dismissed for just 183 following captain Brendon McCullum’s decision to bat first, having won the toss.

The writing was on the wall for New Zealand, appearing in their first World Cup final, when McCullum was bowled for a duck in the first over by impressive left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc.

Grant Elliott (83) and Ross Taylor (40) rebuilt the innings with a stand of 111 before New Zealand lost a trio of quick wickets, with Starc and fellow left-arm seamers Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner sharing eight wickets between them.

Australia captain Clarke, playing his last one-day international before he retires from white-ball, but not Test cricket, saw his side to the brink of victory before he was bowled for 74 in his 245th ODI, with the skipper walking off to a standing ovation from a record Melbourne Cricket Ground crowd of 93,013.

Steven Smith, who put on 112 for the third wicket with Clarke, made 56 not out — his fifth successive score of 50 or more this tournament — and hit the winning boundary as Australia finished on 186 for three with a huge 101 balls remaining.

The massive crowd, which broke the MCG record of 91,112 on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test against England in 2013, saw New Zealand lose their last seven wickets for 33 runs.

New Zealand crumbled after going into the final as the only unbeaten team in the 14-nation tournament, their eight wins including a one-wicket success over Australia in a low scoring pool stage thriller. Australia’s previous titles came in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007 with coach Darren Lehmann, a two-time World Cup winner as a player, celebrating another success off the field.

New Zealand raised hopes of repeating their amazing win in the league when they removed Aaron Finch for a duck in the second over, Trent Boult taking an easy return catch as the ball lobbed off the batsman’s bat and pad.

Left-hander David Warner slammed seven boundaries in his 45 off 46 balls, adding 61 for the second wicket with Smith. But the pugnacious opener was unable to build on his fine start as he pulled seamer Matt Henry down Elliott’s throat at deep square-leg.

Smith, who scored a century in the semi-final against India in Sydney last Thursday, continued his good form to help Clarke take charge of the match.

Clarke was bowled by Henry when just nine runs remained for victory and was given a standing ovation by team-mates and fans as he returned with his bat raised.

Smith sealed victory by pulling Henry for a boundary, sparking jubilant scenes in the stands as Clarke and the rest of the team ran on to the field to embrace Smith.

Starc’s two wickets in the innings took his tally to 22, enabling him to emerge with Boult as the joint highest wicket-takers in the tournament.

Martin Guptill surpassed Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara’s 541 runs to become the tournament’s leading run-getter when he reached 10, but he managed to add just five runs more. The tall opener, who hit a World Cup record score of 237 not out against the West Indies in the quarter-finals, was bowled trying to cut Glenn Maxwell’s second delivery.

Taylor and Elliott settled in to build a strong partnership and had taken the total to 150-3 when the batting powerplay began after the 35th over.

Both sides fielded unchanged teams from their semi-final wins where Australia beat India and New Zealand downed South Africa in a penultimate-ball thriller.

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#360LIVE: Relive Australia’s World Cup final win over New Zealand

Sport360 staff 29/03/2015
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Will it be Australia's Michael Clarke or New Zealand's Brendon McCullum lifting the Cricket World Cup trophy on Sunday?

Sport360 brings you live coverage of the Cricket World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand at the MCG.

Can the Black Caps with their first crown or will it be a record-extending fifth for the Baggy Green? 

PLAY: World Cup Stick Cricket – win the trophy NOW

– VIDEO: Clarke confident ahead of #CWC15 final at MCG

 

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