2015 ICC Cricket World Cup

Australia claimed their fifth World Cup title beating New Zealand in the final.

After six long weeks of high-class cricket, we have our champion and once again it was Australia lifting the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy.

For long spells it seemed the Aussies would not be able to claim their fifth crown but under the lights of the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, Michael Clarke's team overcame New Zealand to send the home crowd into raptures. It was the fourth time in the past five tournaments and reinforced their position as the team to beat when it comes to one-day international (ODI) cricket.

As the fireworks went off, it signalled the end of a hugely interesting World Cup which has seen many twists and turns. Here's our recap of how and where the trophy came back into possession of the Aussies.


New Zealand and India set early pace

Co-hosts New Zealand and defending champions India seemed to have a point to prove as they flew out of their respective groups. In Pool A, New Zealand kicked off with some routine wins over Sri Lanka and Scotland before completely destroying England by eight wickets in Wellington.

The acid test would the first meeting with Australia in Auckland. In a truly pulsating match, the Kiwis were able to overcome their near neighbours by one wicket in Auckland. The win gave them huge confidence and wins over Afghanistan and Bangladesh gave New Zealand a 100 per cent record in the groups stages.

Reigning champions India arrived at the World Cup with question marks over whether they could repeat the feat of 2011. They responded well with an opening day 76-run victory over the old enemy Pakistan and didn't look back. India made light work of Pool B with South Africa and West Indies among the teams dispatched as they also finished the group stages unbeaten.

Australia finished second in Pool A and were part of the first-ever World Cup game to be abandoned when rain prevented their game against Bangladesh taking place.


Disappointing England

The World Cup was meant to be the dawning of a new era for England but once again ended in crushing disappointment. An opening day defeat to Australia was no real disgrace, but the collapse against New Zealand was unforgivable as the batting simply collapsed.

It saw Tim Southee become just the fourth man to take seven wickets in a World Cup match as Eoin Morgan's men were dismissed for just 123. Further defeats to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh saw England crash out in the group stages to send selectors back to the drawing boards.


Competition hots up in knockouts

The knockout rounds served up some truly memorable cricket most notably the performance of New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill in the quarter-final against West Indies. Guptill posted a record total of 237 not out as the Kiwis breezed past the Windies, his score was an unprecedented achievement in World Cup history.

It set up a semi-final with South Africa, who had beaten Sri Lanka in the quarters, which would prove one of the most exciting games in modern cricket. New Zealand's four-wicket win by D/L method only told half the story as the game swung back and forth keeping fans on a knife edge before the hosts eventually squeezed through.

Meanwhile, Australia were quietly working their towards the final with a quarter-final victory over Pakistan and then a surprisingly straightforward against India. It pitted the two hosts against each other in the final in Melbourne.


Australia dominate final

It was billed as New Zealand's chance to make history and win their first-ever World Cup but they wilted under the Melbourne lights. All the talk before the match was how Australia were going to stop the opening partnership of Guptill and Brendon McCullum but the pair failed to deliver the good with them being dismissed for 15 and 0 respectively.

The bowling of Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner tore the Kiwis' batting order and let them posting just 183. Australia only needed 33.1 overs to reach the total thanks to a 74 from captain Michael Clarke.

It handed the Aussies a fifth World Cup win and after the game Clarke dedicated the victory to his former team-mate Phillip Hughes who tragically died in November after being struck on the neck by a bouncer delivery.



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