Mitchell Marsh smashed an unbeaten 77 as Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to clinch their first T20 World Cup title in Dubai on Sunday.

Chasing 173 for victory, Australia depended on a 92-run second-wicket stand between David Warner, who made 53, and Marsh to achieve their target with seven balls to spare in Dubai.

T20 World Cup: Australia’s ‘risk-it-all’ aggressive approach was the key to their brilliant triumph

“This is huge, to be the first Australian team to do it. I am so proud of how the guys went about the campaign,” said Australia captain Aaron Finch.

Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade said victory showed why Australia should not be under-estimated.

“We felt like a lot of people wrote us off but we spoke about being the first team to do this for Australia and it feels really special,” he said.

The Warner signs: Australia’s main man turns his fortunes around in UAE

The seventh edition of the tournament was moved out of India due to the coronavirus pandemic to be staged in Oman and United Arab Emirates.

Here’s a look back at 10 standout moments of the tournament:

Awesome foursome

Fast bowler Curtis Campher took four wickets in four balls to help Ireland thrash the Netherlands by seven wickets in a qualifier.

Campher claimed a hat-trick and then struck again to return figures of 4-26 as the Netherlands were dismissed for 106.

T20 World Cup 2021: Curtis Campher becomes third man to take four wickets in four balls in T20Is

Campher became only the third bowler in T20 International history to claim four wickets in four balls after Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka in 2019.

Pakistan end India jinx

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan smashed unbeaten half-centuries as Pakistan crushed India by 10 wickets to register a first win over their arch-rivals in a T20 World Cup.

Chasing 152 for victory, Babar (68) and Rizwan (79) steered their team home with 13 balls to spare in Dubai.

Left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi set up victory – Pakistan’s first against their neighbours in six attempts in the tournament – with figures of 3-31 that restricted India to 151-7 despite a valiant 57 from skipper Virat Kohli.


De Kock makes a stand

Quinton de Kock withdrew from South Africa’s match against the West Indies after refusing to take the knee.

The 28-year-old’s shock decision came just hours after Cricket South Africa (CSA) had ordered all of their players at the tournament to take part in the anti-racism gesture.

T20 World Cup: From opting out to apologising, timeline of Quinton de Kock not taking the knee saga

De Kock apologised two days later and said he would be happy to join the rest of the team in making a stand.

“If me taking a knee helps to educate others, and makes the lives of others better, I am more than happy to do so,” he said.

Kohli anger at ‘spineless, pathetic’ trolls

India captain Virat Kohli launched a blistering attack on “spineless” and “pathetic” fans, reserving particular vitriol for the trolls who blamed Mohammed Shami, the only Muslim player in the squad, for the loss to Pakistan.

“There’s a good reason why we are playing on the field and not a bunch of spineless people on social media that have no courage to actually speak to any individual in person,” said Kohli.

“Attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing that a human being can do.”

Pre-tournament favourites India went on to lose to New Zealand and failed to make the last-four.

Buttler masterclass

England made it four wins in four after Jos Buttler hit the first century of the World Cup in a 26-run victory over Sri Lanka.

Buttler’s unbeaten 101 steered England to 163 for four.

Buttler smashed six fours and six sixes in his 67-ball knock as he achieved the feat of making centuries in all three formats.

Hasaranga – a star is born?

Sri Lanka may have been knocked out in the Super 12 stage but their youthful team are already being talked of as potential champions at the 2022 World Cup in Australia.

Wanindu Hasaranga, their leg-spinning all-rounder, stood out with 16 wickets at an average of under 10.

“Hasaranga is a special cricketer,” said coach Mickey Arthur.

‘End of Windies generation’

West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard lamented the “end of a generation” as Dwayne Bravo brought the curtain down on his international career with Chris Gayle almost certain to join him in calling it quits.

Defending champions West Indies were defeated by Australia by eight wickets in their final group game, their fourth loss in five matches.

Both Bravo, 38, and 42-year-old Gayle - who played in the 2012 and 2016 T20 title-winning teams – were given a guard of honour by the Australian players in Abu Dhabi.

Rizwan, hospital bed to semi-final

Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan top-scored with 67 in the semi-final loss against Australia despite spending two days in a hospital intensive care unit due to a chest infection.

“Mohammad Rizwan developed a severe chest infection after which he was admitted to the hospital. He spent two nights in the ICU recovering,” Pakistan’s team doctor Najeeb Somroo said.

“He made an incredible recovery and was deemed fit before the match. We can see his great determination and tenacity that shows his spirit of performing for the country.”

Conway punches out

New Zealand batsman Devon Conway was ruled out of the final after breaking his right hand when he punched his bat on his dismissal for 46 in the semi-final win over England.

“It’s not the smartest thing he’s done,” said Kiwi coach Gary Stead.

Aussies end long wait

Australia defeated New Zealand in the final to win their first T20 World Cup title with captain Finch describing the achievement as “huge”.

Warner and Marsh played starring roles with the bat after Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa delivered impressive spells again. New Zealand put up a decent total after being asked to bat first, but the Aussies chased it down in dominant fashion.

Australia now have a T20 crown to add to their five 50-over World Cups.

Teams bowling first won 12 of 13 matches played at the Dubai International Stadium.

Inputs from AFP