Australia has shocked the cricket world to win its first ever T20 World Cup title after Mitch Marsh smashed New Zealand in the final on Monday morning.
Australia's men's Twenty20 drought is finally over after Marsh lifted them to an emphatic eight-wicket win in Dubai.
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Chasing 173 for victory, Marsh was the hero for Australia as he muscled an unbeaten 77 from 50 balls to set up the win with seven balls to spare.
David Warner, who also hit 53 from 38 as part of a 92-run second-wicket stand with Marsh, was named player of the tournament after entering it with questions over his own form.
The triumph helped end a 14-year wait for Australia to claim the one trophy that has eluded them.
"I just wanted to get out there and have a presence," Marsh said.
"What an amazing six weeks ... World Champs."
As Kane Williamson was smashing them for 85 from 48 balls, the trophy looked some way off for Australia.
And when captain Aaron Finch fell early, Australia needed a man to stand up in the chase.
Enter Marsh, who produced his finest hour as an Australian cricketer to be crowned man of the match in a World Cup final.
He put Adam Milne into the crowd at backward square the first ball he faced, and sent the next two deliveries to the boundary.
He made a clear statement of force against each of the Black Caps' bowlers, dispatching Jimmy Neesham and Mitch Santner for six off the first balls they bowled.
The right-hander also took another Ish Sodhi over for 16, as the leg-spinner lost his way and the game got away from New Zealand.
Out of the picture in international cricket months ago and after only playing 15 T20s for Australia in the 10 years before 2021, the tournament has been a coming of age for Marsh.
The West Australian averaged 61.66 in the UAE at a strike-rate of above 145, while his year is now the most prolific of any Australian in the T20 format.
He finished Sunday night with 10 boundaries - including four sixes - as Australia made light work of the biggest chase in T20 World Cup final history.
Cricket world in shock over Australia's World Cup triumph
Australia's triumph came after they entered the tournament as rank outsiders, after five straight series losses.
But by the time Glenn Maxwell (28 from 18) produced a switch hit to finish the job, they were on top of the T20 world for the first time.
"This is huge," captain Aaron Finch said.
"To be the first Australian team to be able to do it. So proud of the way the guys went about the whole campaign."
Cricket fans and commentators were left stunned by Australia's victory, considering they came into the tournament with very little backing.
#Australia just too powerful. What a player Mitch Marsh has become. Hopefully his body becomes a partner in his future because he is too good to be playing as little he has. Brilliant today
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 14, 2021
This is some World Cup win for the Aussies .. From the defeat to England they have been so powerful .. Mitch marsh is one of the great guys so he deserves this .. he will probably now have a big affect on the Ashes as well .. @FoxCricket #T20WorldCupFinal Well done Australia !!
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) November 14, 2021
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) November 14, 2021
Congratulations to both teams on a terrific #ICCT20WorldCup final and tournament !!! In the end the Aussies peaked at the right time & just had to many match winners for NZ. Congrats to @AaronFinch5 & all the Aussie boys ! Very happy for M Marsh too - Great stuff ✅👍
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) November 14, 2021
World Champions eh. Sweet. 🇦🇺
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) November 14, 2021
Blimey, that was brutal. Outstanding from Australia. NZ played T20 for the last 30 overs of that match. Australia played T20 from the outset. These are the ‘fine margins’ or 25 per cents, that make the difference. #T20WorldCupFinal
— daniel norcross (@norcrosscricket) November 14, 2021
The greatest Test batsman of the 21st century but one of the rare captains of Australia who never won any ICC trophy as captain. Hard to believe. Heart goes out for him. #AUSvNZ #T20WorldCupFinal pic.twitter.com/AGLmOLGjlT
— Riot-su (@kankeneeche) November 14, 2021
— tapan kumar gogoi (@gogot2017) November 14, 2021
— Aman Rana (@theamanrana) November 14, 2021
The big chase came after Josh Hazlewood had earlier been Australia's best with the ball, on a night where a dropped catch in the field threatened to leave him as the villain.
Hazlewood's figures of 3-16 included 14 dot balls in the powerplay, after he also claimed Daryl Mitchell early with a slower ball.
But his bad drop of Williamson threatened to prove costly, when he put the New Zealand captain down on 21 off as many balls at fine leg.
It prompted an explosion from the Black Caps, as Williamson took 19 off that Starc over and 22 off another with the left-armer struggling to hit his length and finished 0-60.
Hazlewood, Pat Cummins (0-27) and Adam Zampa (1-26) were in comparison miserly, allowing Australia's batters to create history.
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