Men’s T20 World Cup: Marsh, Warner power Australia to maiden title

That’s a wrap for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup... it wasn’t the greatest of tournaments to get going, but the knockouts were quite the ride. Not long from now, New Zealand will be playing a T20I series in India. Spare a thought for them. But the night belongs to Aaron Finch and Co!

Aaron Finch: This is big for us, to be the first Australian team. Can’t believe David Warner was written off, it was like poking a bear. Player of the tournament for mine, Adam Zampa.

Player of the match: Mitch Marsh

Player of the tournament: David Warner (That’s a little bit of a surprise?)

A word for New Zealand: ODI World Cup final in 2019, Test World Champions in 2021 and now T20I World Cup final in 2021. Some run in the last two years! The wait for a white-ball World Cup continues for Kane Williamson and Co but they have once again been terrific.

All yellow in the UAE this year.

Zenia D’Cunha: Australia win their first ever men’s T20 World Cup title. Both the Australian women’s and men’s team are world champions in the shortest format now. Technically, in the same edition. Kinda like the 2016 version, where West Indies won both trophies on the same day.

Ashish Magotra: Toss ka boss! Aaron Finch won six out of seven tosses in this World Cup, chased in all six of them and won each one. England thrashed them in that one game he lost the toss.


 A reverse from Maxwell past short third and they have won the world title they waited for. 

T20 World Cups till date:

Women’s: Seven editions, Australia won 5 out of 6 finals.
Men’s: Seven editions, Australia won 1 out of 2 finals.

The wait is finally over for Aussie men’s team

Australia 162/2 after 18 overs: 3 runs from Milne’s over, delaying the inevitable now. 11 needed off 12 balls.

Marsh is Mitch of the match. Not an easy award to win either, mind you. There are four really high quality Mitchells on the field.

Australia 159/2 after 17 overs: Phew, almost at Boult’s forehead as Marsh strikes one back. HE is a sensational fielder off his own bowling but he couldn’t hold on there. 4-0-18-2 for the pacer. Been superb.

Australia 149/2 after 16 overs: And we are down to run-a-ball. Superb from Maxwell in that Southee over, with a four and six. The timing is just enough to find gaps and clear fielders at the moment. When it’s going your way...

Watson and Doull speaking about the Mitch Marsh journey in T20Is this year. The promotion to No. 3 has been great for him, more than 600 runs and counting this year.

Australia 136/2 after 15 overs: Milne on... and it’s all going Australia’s way. A good shot by Maxwell to pierce the gap in the deep behind square on the leg side and the next ball is a top edge over keeper.

Australia 125/2 after 14 overs: Marsh not slowing down. A tough night for Sodhi. NZ need a miracle here.

HALF CENTURY! Finch is pumped up in the dressing room. A brilliant sweep down the ground for six and it is a 31-ball half century. He has outdone Williamson and Warner.

Australia 109/2 after 13 overs: Ish Sodhi time... two RHBs in the middle.

A really animated celebration for Boult, not that frequent a sight. Maxwell comes in.

WICKET! Australia 107/2 after 12.2 overs: Bowled by Boult! Boult back into the attack for NZ and he gets the breakthrough. Warner walking back but he might have done enough. NZ desperately needed that though.

Australia 106/1 after 12 overs: Easily one of the brutal shots of the tournament... Marsh smacks a short ball from Santner, races to the boundary for four.

Australia 97/1 after 11 overs: A six at the start of that Neesham over for Marsh and then Warner finished things off in style. This is an Aussie cruise at the moment.

HALF CENTURY: A 51 off 34 balls! David Warner, folks. Remember when SRH thought he might not do a job for them and had him waving flags? He’s on fire at the moment. Gets to the landmark with a six over midwicket.

Neesham on, after the break... expect cutters.

Australia 82/1 after 10 overs: At this stage, if that even matters, NZ were 57/1. Huge contrast! NZ need another strong second half but this feels like Australia’s match. A finger or two on that trophy.

Australia 77/1 after 9 overs: HUGE OVER! And the Aussies have taken charge of this run-chase. Warner smashes Sodhi straight over his head for six. Two fours earlier in the over. Superb batting this. Ensuring that the equation doesn’t get out of hand.

Australia 60/1 after 8 overs: Well, worry about Warner and Marsh hits the six that Australia needed in that Santner over. Talk about adapting. Superb sweep, goes a long way. Santner then gets one to turn after gripping. Good battle.

Santner does get the ball. No hiding him against LHB for now. Good to see, Ashwin is smiling somewhere.

Australia 50/1 after 7 overs: Sodhi with a tidy start... we should see a lot of googlies as long as Warner is around (and to Marsh too, in fact).

Finely poised wasn’t a cliche after all... the model agrees with me.

Will be interesting to see if KW does go to Santner with Warner still out there?

Australia 43/1 after 6 overs: Much like against India, Milne was off to an expensive start but he has come back strongly after those first three deliveries to Marsh. Just one run off the bat in that over. A decent powerplay for Australia and NZ haven’t let this slip either. Finely poised as the cliche goes.

Australia 40/1 after 5 overs: This is anything but like NZ’s approach. Going hard, going early are the Aussies. Another 10-run over and Warner smacks one over midwicket as he reads the shorter slower ball early from Southee.

Australia 30/1 after 4 overs: Marsh was waiting for the hard lengths, and punishes Milne big time at the start of that over with 6, 4, 4. Milne finishes the over with one run off the next three.

Mitch Marsh might just relish this situation in the powerplay, with a target that demands pretty much one approach.

Australia 15/1 after 2.3 overs: WICKET! Finch is gone! The Aussie skipper stepped out and lifted one straight over for four, but he tried to be aggressive again but his mistimed pull went to the fielder in the deep. A superb catch by Mitchell as Boult strikes. Finch departs for 5 off 7 as Marsh comes to the crease.

Australia 11/0 after 2 overs: Back-to-back fours for Warner! Southee pitches it full and wide, Warner cracks it over cover. The pacer then drops it short and Warner cuts it over point. The left-hander, in sublime form, making it look easy. Finch gets off the mark to end the over.

Australia 1/0 after 1 over: Boult gets one to shape away and Warner gets a thick edge to third man for one. Finch then takes guard, over a yard outside the crease, to face Boult and negate the in-swinger. The last ball strikes the right-hander on the pad but Williamson decides to not take a review. Southee to bowl the second over.

9.20 pm: Warner and Finch are out in the middle, Boult has the new ball in hand. Warner has been in fine form and if he gets going, the chase will become a lot more comfortable for Australia. Here we go!

New Zealand finish with 172/4: Starc finishes with a 10-run over, not bad given how it went before this. It is the highest team total in a World Cup final but will it be enough?

Mitch Starc vs New Zealand.... 

In the 2015 ODI WC final: 8-0-20-2 

In the 2021 T20 WC final: 4-0-60-0 

 Exactly thrice as many runs in exactly half as many overs. Speak about contrasts!

Break in play, NZ 167/4 after 19.4 overs: A four to start that over for Seifert but Starc has come back well.

Zenia D’Cunha: Kane Williamson departs for 85 off 48 after a slow start. Irrespective of the dismissal & result, this should be an innings to always remember. In a format that often demands batting violence, Williamson scored runs like he’s playing the violin.

Starc to bowl the last over. 0/50 for him from three. He started the 2015 World Cup final on fire... can he finish this one well?

New Zealand 162/4 after 19 overs: Some hit by Neesham down the ground! Short of length, he just smacks it straight back, flat six. But that over apart, been a tidy night for Cummins, 0-27 in his 4.

New Zealand 149/4 after 18 overs: May still not be enough to win the match for NZ, who knows for now, but that was joy from Williamson. And Hazlewood meanwhile finishes off 4-0-16-3. That dropped catch might be on his mind at the moment, but great bowling.

WICKET! New Zealand 148/4 after 17.5 overs: He’s gone! No century but that is just a milestone... The NZ captain finds the fielder at long off, not long after a lovely paddle scoop for four. What an innings. This is Kane Williamson with a dodgy elbow and not enough practice in recent times because he couldn’t load it too much. 85 off 48 balls. Mad.

WICKET! New Zealand 144/3 after 17.2 overs: Hazlewood returns, strikes right away. Phillips falls to a catch at deep midwicket, seemed like a knuckle ball. Indeed it is.

New Zealand 144/2 after 17 overs: Cummins has been asked one over spells through the innings so far and he has done really well. Ones and twos in that over, hard lengths from Cummins.

Aditya Chaturvedi: We talk about there not being a safe spot for bowlers when the likes of ABD are in the mood. Safe to say, same goes for KW. Highest class.

New Zealand 136/2 after 16 overs: What an over. 8-0-20-2 for Starc in the 2015 final. Has conceded more in 6 deliveries against Williamson here. 22 runs from that over that started with two outside edges for four but then the most delightful pick up shot for six over fine leg.

WOW. Just wow: 4-4-6! Williamson taking Starc to the cleaners. 2021 NZ captain getting revenge for 2015 NZ captain against Mitchell Starc.

Starc back on. 0/28 for him in 2 overs. Will KW keep going after him?

50 in the final 5 seems plausbile now, but NZ will want to get closer to 170.

New Zealand 114/2 after 15 overs: A terrific shot down the ground, flat and hard for six and then a lofted one over cover... Phillips spoils Zampa’s figures a bit but 1/26 in 4 overs in a final is no mean feat.

New Zealand 102/2 after 14 overs: Cummins for his 2nd over and New Zealand keep things simple in that over. The 100 comes up... they perhaps need to keep the foot on the pedal throughout from here.

Big over for NZ thanks to KW. Power-packed.

HALF CENTURY! That Hazlewood drop is getting to be quite costly! The NZ captain goes to his half century off just 32 balls, after starting slowly for the first half of those. Two sixes off two balls from Maxwell, the first of those with a single-hand on the grip. Pantesque.

New Zealand 81/2 after 12 overs: Terrific stuff from Zampa yet again. Phillips is the new batter in.

WICKET! New Zealand 76/2 after 11.1 overs: And just when you thought NZ was on the charge, the big wicket of Guptill. Not his night... 28 off 35 balls! Zampa strikes in the middle overs again, big celebration from the Aussies.

New Zealand 76/1 after 11 overs: *Making a mental note to revisit 11th over of this innings if NZ win tonight* A big over for Black Caps. It starts with a full toss from Starc that is hit straight to Hazlewood by Williamson at long leg, but the pacer parries it over the crossbar like a GK for four. That is followed by a couple more boundaries, one of them a delightful drive past long off and the next a full toss no ball. Free hit is not costly but the over from Starc was.

Kane Williamson 18(19). Martin Guptill 27 (33). Something’s gotta give.

New Zealand 57/1 after 10 overs: Six singles in the Zampa over... wouldn’t usually be a bad thing if NZ were getting their big overs elsewhere. But not happening. That’s one half of the innings done and Australia must feel like they are in dreamland. Even 10 an over from here should feel winnable for the men in yellow.

Zampa on for his 2nd. Drinks break around the corner.

New Zealand 51/1 after 9 overs: Well, New Zealand at least didn’t let Mitch Marsh get away with a quiet over here. Williamson with two superb shots for four, back-to-back, either side of the wicket. Lovely use of the feet.

Australia hoping to sneak in an over from MMarsh here.

New Zealand 40/1 after 8 overs: Nothing too dangerous from Zampa there but feels like NZ are saving everything they can for the later part of the innings.

Time for some Zampa magic? There’s turn on offer. The second leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 4 behind Wanindu Hasaranga.

New Zealand 37/1 after 7 overs: Five singles from the Maxwell over. Maybe New Zealand could use a strategic timeout of some sorts here. Australia will be thrilled with how this is going.

New Zealand 32/1 after 6 overs: The Powerplay overs are done. Australia will be pretty happy with the start to their bowling effort. Five dot balls from Hazlewood to Williamson and a lofted shot for two to avoid a maiden. Not ideal, Black Caps.

First session has been seen off with just one wicket by NZ after a good new ball spell by Hazlewood.

Hazlewood will bowl a third to finish the powerplay

New Zealand 30/1 after 5 overs: Terrific first over from Cummins, Aussies not giving an inch at the moment. A short point right in line with the crease for Williamson to stop him from cutting the ball. The field placements have been spot on from the men in yellow so far.

Cross-seam delivery, and the fingers were rolled ever so slightly. Mitchell fell for it. That is a lovely, subtle change up from Hazlewood. Williamson in the middle.

WICKET! New Zealand 28/1 after 3.5 overs: Speed gun says 131kph but that stopped almost like it was a cutter from Hazlewood. Mitchell gets an outside that almost dies down on Wade but he dives forward to take it. A couple of dot balls preceding that thanks to some clever field placing and it pays off.

New Zealand 23/0 after 3 overs: Six, chance, turn! An eventful over from Maxwell. Mitchell goes down the ground first ball for a six but Maxi comes back well. There is definite turn on offer, one is good enough to get the bottom edge from Guptill. Wade cannot hold on. Those are never easy, keepers will tell you but the deflection wasn’t huge. Wade will be disappointed.

Maxwell, again, in the powerplay with two right-handers in. Will NZ go after him?

New Zealand 13/0 after 2 overs: Four dot balls from Hazlewood and then he gifts a short ball to Guptill that is pulled fine for four. Finishes the over with another dot ball.

New Zealand 9/0 after 1 over: Good little start for NZ, a four for Guptill past point and a well-run three for Mitchell.

No Baz flashbacks for NZ fans: Four for Guptill in the first over from Starc. At this stage, New Zealand are doing better than they did in 2015.

National anthems done, Starc has the new ball i hand. Guptill and Mitchell to get things going.

It’s 1 am in Melbourne, 3 am in Auckland. Some tired employees on a Monday morning across the Tasman Sea tomorrow.

Ashish Magotra: With the toss giving just a huge advantage, it almost seems unfair to NZ. But they are used to being regarded as underdogs and overcoming the odds. Time for them to do it once more.

The pitch for the final is the one right in the middle, so there wouldn’t really be a shorter side to aim at. Shane Watson, who has had a great tournament as a commentator, also reckoned the pitch was dry. And spinners could have a big role. Batting first might not be the worst thing perhaps if there’s not much dew.

We have seen one team in yellow (not considered favourites before a tournament, the squad on the more experienced side) win a tournament in Dubai recently. Will it be another tonight?

Wade had said after the semifinal: I think experience really helps to be able to slow the game down a little bit and be able to dictate what we want to do a little bit more. I think T20 we all thought it was going to be a young man’s game when we came in. But certainly the more experienced players tend to have a little bit more success towards the back end of their careers.

We have seen some special pace bowling performances from left-armers in this tournament... and we have two world class practitioners of the act tonight. Starc vs Boult should be great.

STAT: All 9 night matches at Dubai this T20 World Cup have been won by chasing team. There’s a first time for everything though, eh? Williamson, if he so choses, can fire up his side to break the trend.

Team news

No changes for Australia and for New Zealand, a broken hand means a broken heart for Devon Conway and he is replaced by Tim Seifert who will keep wickets.

Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

New Zealand XI: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne, Trent Boult

TOSS: Aaron Finch might have had thoughts about batting first and all, but he opts to bowl of course.

The small matter of the toss coming up. Not like it has played a big role in the World Cup so far or anything! But on a serious note, Finch had said after the semifinal he wouldn’t have minded losing the toss and batting first... knockouts, scoreboard pressure, and all that. But he did win the toss and he did chase and they did win, so there’s that.

Eyes on the prize for Jimmy Neesham:

“We’ve got our sights set pretty firmly on the final. Personally, and we as a team, are not getting ahead of ourselves. One game to go and I’m sure there will be a bigger outpouring of emotion if we manage to get across the line.”

You don’t come halfway around the world just to win a semi-final: Neesham

Will Adam Zampa be the match-winner for Australia?

“Even as a 15 or 16-year-old growing up in the country, there was always a city guy that’s better than me or there’s always been someone that turns their leg-spinner more than I do. Even after this tournament, there’ll be another series that comes up and I’ll be underestimated again. I thrive off that.”

I’ve always been underestimated, I thrive off that, says Australia’s Adam Zampa

First T20 International meeting

February 17, 2005, Auckland

– Not only the first ever T20 between the two neighbours but the first ever men’s international to be played in the format.

Australia won by 44 runs in front of 30,000 fans at Eden Park after making 214-5 in their 20 overs.

Captain Ricky Ponting top-scored with an unbeaten 98 off 55 balls with eight fours and five sixes.

Michael Kasprowicz then took 4-29 to steer the Australians to victory despite a fighting 66 by Scott Styris.

“There’s obviously still a lot of work to do in terms of the marketing and where it (T20) fits into international cricket, but certainly from a players’ point of view it’s exciting to play,” said New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming of the new format.


06.40 pm: Hello and welcome to our coverage of the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final. Two great rivals... and there will be a first-time champion tonight.

For Australia, this is the second appearance in the men’s T20 World Cup final. The women’s team have dominated the T20 World Cups but while the ODI World Cup has often seen Australian men dominate, the shortest format has not been kind to them. So far.

For New Zealand, this is their third straight ICC event final across formats. An incredible record for Kane Willimason’s men... the 2019 ODI World Cup final that ended in heartbreak, the 2021 World Test Championship that saw them triumph against Virat Kohli and Co and now a shot at the T20 World Cup title for the first time.

Promises to be an intriguing battle!