HomeWorld Cup FlashbackWorld Cup Flashback: 2015 Final

World Cup Flashback: 2015 Final

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After a successful World Cup in 2011, the tournament returned to Down Under after 23 years. Like 1992, this time also matches were played in Australia and New Zealand with the semi-finals scheduled at Auckland and Sydney and the final scheduled at Melbourne.

The Show Begins in World Cup 2015

It followed the same structure as 2011 with 14 teams were distributed in two groups with the top four qualifying from both the groups to play quarter-final, semi-final, and final. Along with the ten test playing nations, there were four Associates. Ireland played their third consecutive World Cup, Scotland made a return after 2007, UAE made a return after 19 years and Afghanistan qualified for their first-ever World Cup.
New Zealand topped Group A with six wins out of six. This included am awesome thriller against Australia which they won by just one wicket and a thrashing of England. Australia and Sri Lanka qualified as the second and the third team. With one of the biggest upsets in World cup, Bangladesh beat England in Adelaide and qualified for the knock out stage of the World Cup for the first time.
The other group was dominated by India who also recorded six wins in the group stage. Not only that, they also took all 60 wickets of their opponents in those matches. South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies joined India for the knockouts. Ireland was eliminated based on lower NRR despite having the same points as West Indies.

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The Journey to Finale

A couple of heated quarter-finals added to the excitement. The India-Bangladesh clashed was greatly hyped and created lots of controversies regarding a marginal no-ball decision of Indian batsman Rohit Sharma who scored a hundred. Also, the Australia-Pakistan affair saw a fiery spell of bowling from Wahab Riaz to Shane Watson. Ultimately, it was India vs Australia in one semi-final and South Africa vs New Zealand in the other one.
On 24th March, New Zealand and South Africa played a World Cup classic. A rain-affected match saw New Zealand given a target of 299 by the DLS method and they reached the target thanks to wonderful innings from Grant Elliott who was originally from South Africa. It was the highest chase ever at Eden Park, Auckland and the picture of a heartbroken Dale Steyn after the last over was an enduring image of that match.
The other semi-final saw an easy win for Australia. After seven good matches, Indian bowling faltered against Australia as Steve Smith scored a brilliant hundred. A 300 plus target was difficult to chase and once India lost Virat Kohli for just one, it was always a herculean task and despite a half-century from MS Dhoni, India lost the match by 95 runs.

The Final

The two hosts who were the Trans Tasmanian neighbors of each other played met each other at Melbourne to play the final. It was Australia’s 7th World Cup final appearance after an absence in 2011 which had occurred after four consecutive World Cup final appearances. On the other hand, it was New Zealand’s first World Cup final after countless semi-final exits.

The captain Brendon McCullum was one of the stars of this World Cup and he came to open with Martin Guptill after winning the toss. The 5th ball of the first over from Mitchell Starc saw McCullum getting castled as his off-stump was pegged back. It was a huge blow for New Zealand. They were soon 39/3 followed by a 111 run partnership between Ross Taylor and Elliott and although Elliott top-scored with 83, the Kiwis were all out for just 183. Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner ended with three wickets each.
Although India defended 183 in 1983 to win their first World Cup, the fairy tale did not repeat for New Zealand. Australia lost Aaron Finch for a duck but David Warner (45) and Steve Smith (56*) and the captain Michael Clarke (74) ensured an easy 7-wicket win for Australia. It was their fifth World Cup title and again proved their supremacy.

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