Australia Crowned Champions after England Dumped out in Semi-Final

A look into how Australia won their first T20 World Cup title.

Wil Morland
18th November 2021
Image credit: Twitter (@T20WorldCup)
Australia cruised past New Zealand to claim their maiden T20 World Cup on Sunday 14 November following clutch half centuries from David Warner and Mitchell Marsh.

New Zealand toppled tournament favourites England on Wednesday following a late onslaught from Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell to finish as unlikely winners. England posted a solid total of 166 after being put into bat, with Moeen Ali top scoring with 51* (37). New Zealand started their innings slowly after losing the two early wickets of Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, their most accomplished and experienced batters. Devon Conway and Mitchell stabilised the innings for NZ, but struggled to up their scoring rate after Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan bowled economically in the powerplay. England were well on top with the Kiwis needing 54 off 24 balls at the beginning of the seventeenth over, until Neesham struck a quickfire 27 (11) to put New Zealand back in the running. Adil Rashid dismissed Neesham, leaving the game in the balance with 20 runs needed off 2 overs. Woakes stepped up to bowl but was no match for the well set Mitchell, who finished off the chase with an over to spare, ending as player of the match for his 72* (47).

Wednesday saw Australia take on the new favourites Pakistan. Aaron Finch won a crucial toss and inserted Pakistan. Pakistan followed their usual approach of a cautious powerplay, conserving wickets ahead of an explosion at the end of the innings. Mohammad Rizwan, coming off the back of spending the previous night in hospital with a lung infection, hit his third half-century of the tournament and top scored with 67 (52) before Fakhar Zaman took down the Aussie pacers for an exhilarating 55* (32), including four massive sixes, with Pakistan finishing on a solid 177. Shaheen struck early, nailing Finch’s pads to remove him LBW for a golden duck. Warner’s return to form continued by hitting an aggressive 49 (30) to keep Australia in contention. However, Shadab Khan put Pakistan back in charge by taking 4-26, until the Aussies were bailed out once again by Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade, with Wade nailing 3 consecutive sixes to seal qualification for Australia.

Finch called correctly to win the vital toss and chose to field first. All but one of the games staged in Dubai following the Super 12 phase of the tournament have seen the team batting second take the victory and the final was no different. Guptill struggled to 28 (35) at the top of the order for the Blackcaps and set his team back. Williamson did the bulk of the work for the Kiwi’s with a potentially match-winning 85 (48), but it wasn’t to be. Despite losing the early wicket of Finch, Australia forged ahead to victory with Warner (53 off 38) and Marsh (77* off 50) doing the hard work in the chase. This allowed Glenn Maxwell to come in and finish in a flurry, sealing the victory with a reverse pull shot and giving his country their first men’s T20 trophy.

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