About the Match
The world cup final will be a clash of the titans as co-hosts Australia and New Zealand lock horns and fight for the title on 29th March at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australia defeated reigning champions India by 95 runs to make it to the finals whereas New Zealand earned its maiden entry into the world cup final by defeating South Africa by 4 wickets with 1 ball to spare through the D/L method. The hosts have done well to reach the top and will now fight fiercely to lift the cup; the MCG will surely witness the most scintillating of matches ever as both sides are in stupendous form to come out all guns blazing on Sunday.
Grant Elliott’s stupendous unbeaten 84 off 74 helped the team register its maiden entry to the world cup final as they got the required 293 from 43 overs with 1 ball to spare. Elliott and Anderson put up a 103-run stand for the 5th wicket helping the team win the crucial match; Guptill, McCullum and Williamson are also in good form with the bat. They will need to be cautious of the Aussies as these conditions will be new to them, playing in Australia for the first time; Southee, Anderson, Boult and Henry have done well consistently picking up wickets but they will need to be disciplined against the hard-hitting Aussies. The Kiwis had earlier won the group stage match against Australia in a close contest but it was played back home; the team looks determined to do well and if they can handle the nerves on Sunday, they may well be on their way to register their first world cup win.
Smith’s 105 off 93 and Finch’s well-made 81 off 116 helped set up a 182 run partnership for the 2nd wicket, thereby taking the team to sweet victory; they built the foundation against India, which was further strengthened by Watson, Faulkner, Maxwell and Johnson who played an all-round role in getting 27 runs from 9 balls and also scalping 2-50 with the ball. The Aussies demonstrated the depth of their batting line-up and bowlers like Faulkner, Starc and Hazlewood demolished the opponents for just 233. The team has been exceptional throughout and the humiliating loss against New Zealand by 1 wicket would surely have taught them some lessons which they will put to use on Sunday. The top order form is performing brilliantly and hard-hitters down the order look well placed to put up a big total if batting first, which will surely be defended by the pace attack. If they have to chase a total, the Aussies look strong to take on the Kiwi pace and throw some fireworks across the park; overall, the team is very confident to flourish especially in front of the home crowd.
New Zealand has been unbeaten till now but they will be playing away from home for the first time here; the Aussies have suffered bitter defeat at the hands of the Kiwis earlier and will be better prepared this time around. While both teams have a well-balanced combination of deadly pace and stroke-masters, Australia has proven match-winners and the home advantage which gives them the edge over New Zealand to win the match and take the title after a fierce contest on Sunday.
Australia, 1.40 @ Bet365