Cricket World Cup: Australia crush New Zealand in final

Australia overwhelmed New Zealand to win the World Cup for a fifth time at an ecstatic Melbourne Cricket Ground.

World Cup final, Melbourne:
New Zealand 183 (45 overs): Elliott 83, Johnson 3-30, Faulkner 3-36
Australia 186-3 (33.1 overs): Clarke 74, Smith 56*
Australia win by seven wickets

New Zealand lost influential captain Brendon McCullum to the fifth ball of the match and were bowled out for 183.

Grant Elliott resisted with 83, while Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner shared eight wickets.

Australia rarely looked troubled, sealing a seven-wicket win in 33.1 overs, with captain Michael Clarke scoring 74 and Steve Smith 56 not out.

Clarke, in his final one-day international, was given a standing ovation by the record 93,000 crowd and welcomed by his team-mates on the boundary when he was bowled by Matt Henry with eight required.

He was part of the Australia team that last lifted the trophy in 2007, with this success extending their record for most World Cups won. No other team has more than two.

Australia’s win was the second in as many tournaments by a host nation after India’s triumph four years ago.

It provided a joyous end to an emotional Australian summer which saw batsman Phillip Hughes die after being struck on the neck by a ball in Sydney in November.

In their first final, after six previous semi-final defeats, New Zealand were blown away.

Their path to Melbourne came with eight successive wins, all on home soil, and most of the pre-match speculation was of how McCullum’s men would deal with the change in conditions.

They won what was thought to be a crucial toss, but the life was sucked from their innings almost as soon as it began.

Read more at BBC Sport