Australia win fifth World Cup title

(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Michael Clarke raised his bat to acknowledge the massive crowd, and nodded to a fallen teammate he credited for inspiring Australia's run to a fifth World Cup title that culminated with an emphatic win over New Zealand.

Clarke scored 74 and shared a 112-run partnership with Steve Smith (56 not out) as the skipper and the likely future captain spearheaded Australia to the winning target of 184 in the 34th over at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

It didn't end absolutely perfectly for Clarke, who also played in the winning team in 2007, when he was bowled by Matt Henry nine runs short of the target in his 245th and last one-day international. But it was close enough. Smith hit the winning runs as Australia reached 186-3 for a seven-wicket victory.


No fairytale finish for New Zealand

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) New Zealand whetted the appetite of the world for an underdog victory at the Cricket World Cup but couldn't conjure the last and longed-for victory, losing Sunday's final by seven wickets to Australia.

The story of New Zealand's unbeaten progress through the tournament to reach its first final enriched the Cup and charmed the cricket world, yet its ending was anti-climactic. (MORE)

Starc's perseverance pays off in style

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Months after being labeled "soft" by one of Australia's cricket greats and getting dropped from Australia's test XI, Mitchell Starc has been deservedly voted the player of the World Cup.

Starc's worth to the Australian team was never more evident than when he dismissed New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum in the first over of Sunday's final. The New Zealand innings never fully recovered and Australia went on to claim an emphatic seven-wicket victory. (MORE)

MCG final may signal end for Vettori

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) With a seven-wicket loss to Australia in the World Cup final, New Zealand allrounder Daniel Vettori likely called time on an international career which has occupied half his lifetime.

In ending after 18 years a career that began when he was 18, Vettori gave symmetry to a body of work which contained 113 tests and 295 one-day internationals - both New Zealand records. (MORE)

Record MCG crowd watch World Cup final

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The World Cup came to an end in a carnival atmosphere as supporters for co-hosts Australia and New Zealand made up a raucous, record crowd for the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 93,013 fans who packed into the famous arena on Sunday set an Australian attendance record, eclipsing the previous mark of 91,112 for a day of cricket set at the MCG in 2013. (MORE)

Clarke to retire from ODIs after final

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Michael Clarke's retirement decision overshadowed the eve of the Cricket World Cup final, with the Australian captain using a pre-match news conference to reveal Sunday's tournament decider against New Zealand would be his last one-day international.

Clarke, who turns 34 next week, said he told his teammates of his retirement about 10 minutes before announcing it to a packed news conference on Saturday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. (MORE)

Australia, New Zealand set for showdown

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) After 48 matches involving teams from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe cricket's global showcase has distilled itself into a local derby.

Australia and New Zealand welcomed 12 other nations to the Cricket World Cup but saved the final for themselves, ensuring Sunday's championship match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground will feature the tournament's two best teams and will be permeated by one of world sport's most heart-felt rivalries. (MORE)

Calm, aggression key to Kiwis success

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The secrets of New Zealand's success at the Cricket World Cup at first glance seem contradictory: calmness and aggression.

But New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum stressed on the eve of Sunday's final against Australia that those contrasting elements will be at the heart of his team's attempt to win the world title for the first time. (MORE)

World Cup final highlights NZ comeback

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) As Brendon McCullum's lineup approaches the Cricket World Cup final with an appearance of relaxed confidence, urged on by support from home and viewed with admiration around the world, it seems hard to believe that only two years ago the New Zealand team, in fact the whole sport in New Zealand, was thought to be dysfunctional and in decay.

On Jan. 10, 2013 the Cricinfo website offered a panel discussion of the question "Is New Zealand cricket at its lowest point?" That's quite an assertion in considering the many troughs in the history of a national team that took 26 years to win its first test match and still holds the record, of 26, for the lowest score in test cricket. (MORE)

Kiwis ready for one more big push

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Fast bowler Tim Southee says that after reaching the Cricket World Cup final for the first time and with its most well-rounded limited-overs team ever assembled, New Zealand is ready for "one more big push" to beat Australia and to write a new chapter in its history.

Southee said New Zealand had allowed itself a day to celebrate the dramatic semifinal win over South Africa which carried it into Sunday's final in Melbourne, and had now "parked" the memory of that match. (MORE)

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