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Australia lift the World Cup after 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand

Australia lift the World Cup after 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand

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Australia's captain Michael Clarke (C) lifts the winning trophy of 2015 Cricket World Cup after beating New Zealand in the final

Australia's captain Michael Clarke (C) lifts the winning trophy of 2015 Cricket World Cup after beating New Zealand in the final

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The Australian Team celebrate after the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand

The Australian Team celebrate after the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand

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Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch of Australia celebrate with the trophy after the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand

Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch of Australia celebrate with the trophy after the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand

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Australia lift the World Cup after 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final match between Australia and New Zealand

Australia are world champions for the fifth time. Their long, rarely interrupted dominance of the one-day game was re-affirmed in the most emphatic fashion yesterday with irresistible fast bowling of the highest class.

It was complemented by supremely athletic fielding and a strident approach to their work which overwhelmed New Zealand.

The 184 runs this left Australia needing to win were acquired straightforwardly and the seven-wicket margin properly represented the difference between the sides.

From the first over, when New Zealand's talisman Brendon McCullum was removed, it was an unequal contest.

The bowling, especially of the two Mitchells, Johnson and Starc, was compelling: rapid, accurate with a hint of swing and entirely fitting for a World Cup final.

New Zealand simply had no answer. Although they had won a tense pool match between the sides, this was a different ball game.

They tried everything they knew to stay in touch but might as well have chased shadows.

From 39 for 3 in the 13th over, New Zealand embarked on a vigilant recovery operation, marshalled by their semi-final hero Grant Elliott.

Meekly

But, just as it seemed they might compile a challenging target, they succumbed meekly, not initially to speed but to the cunning slower balls of the all-rounder James Faulkner, whose intervention surprisingly made him man of the match. The last seven wickets fell for 33 runs in nine overs.

Australia were all but guided home by their retiring captain, Michael Clarke, and his certain successor, Steve Smith.

Clarke, who had caused a stir the previous day by revealing that this would be his last one-day match, strode purposefully to the wicket in the 13th over and followed it with batting to match, his jaw set, his bat straight.

There was nothing flashy about him. He just wanted to get the job done and, though he did not quite manage it, bowled for 74 with nine still required, he follows Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting (twice) as victorious Australian World Cup captains.

Clarke dedicated the victory to Phillip Hughes, who died on the cricket field in Sydney last November.

Australia's response was rudely interrupted when Trent Boult swung one in to Aaron Finch and, when David Warner pulled to mid-wicket at 63, there was still just a glimmer.

Clarke and Smith extinguished it with uniformly confident batting. There were 16.5 overs left unbowled when victory duly arrived. (© Independent News Service)

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