Michael Clarke ended his One Day International career on a high as he and his men were crowned World Champions after a seven wicket victory over New Zealand in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. After winning the toss and choosing to bat the Black Caps lost Brendon McCullum in the first over when he was castled by Mitchell Starc (2/20) without registering a score to leave them on 1/1. Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson were able to steady the innings and take their side to 33/1 before Guptill (15) was clean bowled by Glenn Maxwell (1/37) and Williamson (12) was caught and bowled by Mitchell Johnson (3/30) as the New Zealanders were in a pickle at 39/3.
The two new batsmen at the crease were Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott who were able to control the innings by putting on a helpful stand of 111 runs to see their side to the 150-mark but that was as far as the partnership went as Taylor departed the very next over when he nicked one from James Faulkner to Brad Haddin. Corey Anderson was the new man in but he faced two balls before he fell victim to Faulkner (3/36) too. A mini batting collapse ensued as Luke Ronchi (0), Daniel Vettori (9), Elliott (83), Matt Henry (0)and Tim Southee (11) departed with the Kiwis all out for 183 in 45 overs.
In reply the home side started similarly to their opponents losing the early wicket of Aaron Finch when he was caught and bowled by Trent Boult (1/40) to leave the Aussies on 2/1. David Warner and Steve Smith put on a partnership of 61 runs to take their side past the 50-mark before the established Warner fell five runs short of his half century. Smith was joined by his skipper Michael Clarke (74) with the Baggy Greens requiring a further 121 runs off 226 balls.
The skipper scored his 58th half century and put on a stand of 112 with the established Smith to see their side to 175/2 before the captain chopped one on from Henry (2/46). Smith continued on his way bringing up his half century and hit the winning runs as Australia was crowned champion with a seven wicket victory over its neighbours at the MCG.