Kangaroos beat black-caps by seven wickets to win Cricket World Cup in Melbourne as captain Michael Clarke bows out with 74.
Aaron Finch fell in the second over but Australia regained control through Steve Smith and David Warner who scored the decisive runs for Australia as they regained the trophy they last won in 2007.
New Zealand, who defeated Australia by one wicket in the pool phase, were always looking for a miracle after being bowled out for a below-par 183 in 45 overs, despite 83 from Grant Elliott – as Mitchell Starc bowled Brendon McCullum for a duck in the first over.
Elliott, the man-of-the-match in the semi-final win over South Africa, played two assured cover drives to the boundary and a less convincing top-edged hook for six on his way to a half century off 51 balls.
Ross Taylor and Elliott consolidated in a fourth-wicket partnership of 111 from 137 balls with the latter successfully reviewing a leg-before decision after scoring only 15 given to Maxwell which replays showed would have missed the leg stump.
Before being bowled by Matt Henry just before the finish, Michael Clarke hit a supreme 74 as the departing Australian captain led his country to World Cup glory against New Zealand with a seven-wicket victory in Melbourne on Sunday.
Australia captain Clarke, playing his last one-day international before he retires from white-ball, but not Test cricket, saw his side to the brink of victory before he was bowled for 74 in his 245th ODI, with the skipper walking off to a standing ovation from a record Melbourne Cricket Ground crowd of 93,013.
Steven Smith, who put on 112 for the third wicket with Clarke, made 56 not out – his fifth successive score of 50 or more this tournament – and hit the winning boundary as Australia finished on 186 for three with a huge 101 balls remaining.
World cup dedicated to Phillip Huges
Australia captain Michael Clarke dedicated Sunday’s World Cup final triumph to Phillip Hughes, the team-mate who died after being hit on the head by a bouncer last year.
“This victory is dedicated to our little brother Phillip Hughes. Hughesy used to party as good as any of them so I guarantee we’ll celebrate hard tonight.”
Australia’s previous titles came in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007 with coach Darren Lehmann, a two-time World Cup winner as a player, celebrating another success off the field.
It’s been one hell of a ride for us: McCullum
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said he had no regrets after “one hell of a ride” at the World Cup came to an end with a seven-wicket defeat by Australia in Sunday’s final in Melbourne.
“We played some outstanding cricket, but we ran into an outstanding Australia team tonight who continue to set the way in world cricket. Michael Clarke deserves to bow out as world champion.”
Turning to the ball that dismissed him, McCullum added: “It was quick one. It all unfolded not as we planned.
“We’ve got no regrets — as a cricketer this is the greatest stage you can ask for,” he added of a match played in front of an MCG record crowd of 93,013.”
“We’ve forged memories and friendships that will last forever. The brand of cricket we’ve is something we’re immensely proud of,” McCullum said. “It is the greatest time of our lives and that’s the way we’ve tried to play the game. I’m immensely proud of all the guys.”
New Zealand crumbled after going into the final as the only unbeaten team in the 14-nation tournament, their eight wins including a one-wicket success over Australia in a low scoring pool stage thriller.