BY STEVE NJUGUNA
The International Cricket Council (ICC) cricket World cup was this year held simultaneously in Australia and New Zealand from 14th February to 25th March. Both hosts made it to the final match after knocking out India and South Africa respectively in the Semi-finals. Australia went into the tournament as favorites to bag the trophy with a record 4 ICC Cricket World cup titles. They, however, had to face New Zealand whose furthest previous venture was a few Semifinal appearances.
The fact that New Zealand unexpectedly toppled the South African National team ( The Proteas) in the Semi Finals of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup gave the notion that Australia would not have it easy in the final. However, the Australians sailed through the final easily as they beat their neighbors by bowling them out for only 183 runs.
In all fairness to New Zealand, a score of 183 was not unheard of in a World cup final. In 1983 India battled against West Indies bowling them out for 140 runs in one of the world cups best finals. However the game has evolved on the last 32 years and any batting total below 300 is running the risk of getting an instant knockout. New Zealand learnt this the hard way.
New Zealand suffered terribly, first, they lost their inspirational captain and opening batsman Brendon McCullum after only 5 balls .This seems to open the floodgates for the dismissal of batsman after batsman and at 39 there was cause for concern as 3 wickets had already been taken. It was thought that Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott had steadied the ship as they batted a combined 111 but when both were bowled out, the next few batsmen were bowled out in quick succession.
When Australia stepped out to bat the odds were increasingly in their favour.They were given a slight shock as Aaron Finch was knocked out almost immediately but they managed to stabilize the innings for a comfortable seven wicket win for their 5th ICC Cricket World Cup title, A truly commendable record.