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Australia won the Cricket World Cup for the fifth time as they destroyed first-time finalists New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Kiwis saw talismanic skipper Brendon McCullum bowled out from the fifth ball of the match, and faced an uphill task thereafter as they limped to a modest total of 183 all out off 45 overs. Australia made short work of that target as they eased to 186-3 off just 33.1 overs to seal a convincing seven-wicket victory in front of an ecstatic 93,000-strong crowd.

New Zealand had reached the final by winning eight successive matches on home soil, and appeared to gain an advantage when McCullum won the toss and elected to bat. But the innings got off to a disastrous start as he immediately took two wild swings at the bowling of Mitchell Starc and was then bowled by a brilliant yorker.

Grant Elliott top-scored for New Zealand with 83, but Australia never looked in any danger as they chased 183. Skipper Michael Clarkes scored 74 in his final one-day international, and was given a standing ovation when he was bowled by Matt Henry with just eight runs still required. Steve Smith remained unbeaten on 56 not out - becoming the first man ever to score five successive World Cup half-centuries, and then pulling Henry for the winning runs.

Australia's fifth World Cup victory extended their record as the competition's most successive side -- no other side has won it more than twice. For the Kiwis, though, it was a bitterly disappointed end to a competition in which they have performed so well over the last six weeks.

 

 

 


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Australia cruise to fifth Cricket World Cup triumph
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