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Live Commentary: Australia vs. New Zealand- as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Australia's World Cup triumph courtesy of their seven-wicket win over New Zealand in Melbourne.

Australia won the 2015 World Cup with a seven-wicket win over fellow co-hosts New Zealand this morning.

The Black Caps disappointed with the bat as they slumped to 183 all out after winning the toss.

Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner shared six wickets for the Aussies, while Grant Elliott top scored for New Zealand with a well-made 83.

However, Australia eased to victory as they reached their target in the 34th over. Captain Michael Clarke hit a fine 74 in Melbourne, in what was his last ever one-day international.

Relive how Australia became five-time champions courtesy of Sports Mole's over-by-over updates below.

After 43 long days, we have finally reached the end. Good morning, hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of the Cricket World Cup final between co-hosts Australia and New Zealand at the MCG. It's going to a thrilling contest between these bitter rivals, and we'll have news from the toss in a matter of seconds...


New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum wins the toss and bats first. He'll be out in just under half an hour to face the Aussie fast bowlers. The pitch looks perfect for batting, and Australia skipper Michael Clarke admits that he wanted to make first use of it.

TEAM NEWS: Both teams are, unsurprisingly, unchanged from their semi-final victories. It means that a host of stars are on show today, including Mitchell Johnson, David Warner, Trent Boult and Martin Guptill.

AUSTRALIA: Finch, Warner, Smith, Clarke (c), Watson, Maxwell, Haddin (wk), Faulkner, Johnson, Starc, Hazelwood.

NEW ZEALAND: McCullum (c), Guptill, Williamson, Taylor, Elliott, Anderson, Ronchi (wk), Vettori, Southee, Boult, Henry.

Australia are the favourites to win their fourth World Cup, but New Zealand have already beaten them in this tournament. On that day, they bowled Australia out for 151, but limped over the line for a one-wicket win. If it is that close today, then we're in for a treat.

However, that match was played in New Zealand whereas Australia return to one of their fortresses today. At the MCG, they are unbeaten since 2012, while they have won 24 of their last 26 one-day matches...

One of today's key battles will be between fast bowlers Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc. Both men have been in fine form so far, and have chipped in with buckets of wickets. Boult will be hoping that it swings later on, while Starc's pace will be difficult for New Zealand's top order to handle in the first innings.

Win or lose, Australia captain Michael Clarke has said that today will be his last one-day match for his country. The 33-year-old has battled against injuries for the past few years, and he will now focus solely on his test career. Can he join Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting in lifting the World Cup for Australia?

It's a glorious day in Melbourne and the MCG is almost packed. They are expecting around 90,000 for today's match. The teams will be out shortly for the national anthems.

In fact, here they are. Michael Clarke and Brendon McCullum lead their men out into the middle of this vast playing area. There are a few New Zealand flags in the crowd, but there is no doubt over who the majority want to win...

Time for the anthems. New Zealand are up first...

Michael Clarke doesn't look comfortable singing the national anthem, and who can really blame him with the TV cameras so close? David Warner doesn't mind though as he belts it out with gusto. Right then, the umpires and players are in the middle and we're about to begin.

Martin Guptill will face the first over of the match from Mitchell Starc...


So, here we go! Starc charges in and flashes the first ball across Gutpill, who calmly leaves it alone. But it doesn't take him long to get off the mark with a nudged single. Here's the hard-hitting McCullum...almost out! The skipper swings hard, totally misses the ball and it's inches away from his off-stump. Next ball, he charges down the pitch and misses again...crazy stuff. A wicket is on the cards here and BANG! There it is. Starc bowls full and straight and McCullum misses again. His stumps are scattered and he's gone for a duck.

So how will New Zealand recover? Kane Williamson is at the crease, but Gutpill starts the over facing Josh Hazelwood. He gets another single, and puts the new man on strike. Hazelwood hasn't got his line right, and he's flicked for four down to fine leg for the first boundary of the match.

Starc is being a menace early on, as he swings the first ball of the third over back into Guptill's pads. The opener got some bat on it though, which may have saved his skin. A couple of dot balls follow, before Guptill slaps him through cover for four. It was too full from the left-armed bowler, and he was rightly punished. A single finishes the over, and Guptill keeps the strike.

Hazelwood isn't quite as threatening as Starc early on. His line is abit awry, and Guptill almost gets him through the covers for four. The fast bowler hits back though with a sharp bouncer, which Guptill spoons up in the air. However, his top edge flies for six. Lucky boy!

Michael Clarke has two slips in position for Williamson, who is yet to get off the mark. He almost follows McCullum back to the pavilion as he follows a wide one and almost edges it. Starc beats the bat again with his next ball, and Williamson doesn't look comfortable. He gets a thick edge on the final ball, and it flies over backwards point for a single. A taller man than David Warner may have caught that, but it brings a run instead of a wicket.

Williamson and Guptill are being very watchful so far, which must be quite welcome after McCullum's madness. Williamson dabs a single down to third man, before Guptill earns one off a thick edge. Two more follow from the final ball, as Williamson stokes him through square. That's his first confident shot.

Starc continues to be hostile, but his first ball is called as a wide. He bowls a beauty next time though. Full, and drifting across the right-handed Guptill, who almost edges it. Good bowling. Good fielding is as equally important to Australia, and they'll be happy to see Mitchell Johnson dive low to his right to save a Guptill clip going for two or three. New Zealand should see more of Johnson shortly, when he comes on to bowl.

Hazelwood may not be threatening too much, but he's keeping things tight at the other end. Williamson is struggling to get him away for any runs and the bowler completes a maiden over. Much better from the right-armer.

Starc's brilliant spell is brought to an end, as Mitchell Johnson comes on. Johnson is as fast and as hostile as Starc, but he hasn't been at his destructive best so far in this tournament. He starts well today though, with two sharp dot balls which pitch back of a length. He follows that up with two fuller deliveries on off-stump, which Guptill can only block. A wide down the leg side is all New Zealand get, and Johnson has started impressively.

Runs! I thought New Zealand had forgotten about the scoreboard, but Williamson strikes a crisp four through mid-off. That's easily the best shot of the game so far. He follows that up with an aggressive pull shot for two, and a single to third man. Guptill sees the over out, and the first powerplay comes to an end. Australia will definitely be the happier team, but New Zealand have done well to only lose one wicket.

Johnson tempts Williamson will a short ball to start the 11th over, but he, wisely, leaves it alone. Two balls later, he bowls a cracker which beats Williamson and almost clips the top of off-stump. Brilliant stuff. He repeats the trick with his next ball, before Williamson works him away for a single into the deep. Guptill also claims a single, and he keeps the strike. Johnson is on it today.


Spin alert! Josh Hazelwood is replaced after five economical overs, and Glenn Maxwell is on. The off-spinner starts with a horrible delivery which is short and wide, but it doesn't get punished. That doesn't matter though as he gets a wicket with his next ball! Guptill plays down the wrong line and the ball hits the off stump. Disaster. It was nothing special from Maxwell, but Gutpill tied himself in knots. Ross Taylor is the next man in, and he starts with a boundary through the off side, and New Zealand have to regroup.


New Zealand are in real trouble here as Williamson follows Guptill back to the pavilion. Johnson has been outstanding so far, and he has his reward with a simple catch from a mistimed shot. Did it get stuck in the pitch a bit? I think Williamson throws the shot too early and he taps it back at waist height for Johnson to snatch. Grant Elliott is the new batsman and he gets a single straight away. Johnson is all over him though, and he looks like taking a wicket with every ball he bowls.

Maxwell's over is a one-off as Hazelwood comes back. Clarke will hope to strangle New Zealand here, and Hazelwood has been very tight so far. Sure enough, he continues to keep it on off-stump and Taylor just can't get him away. He needs to be patient out there and stay in. But he almost edges the final ball through to the keeper. It's a maiden from Hazelwood, and it's all smiles for the men in green and gold.

Superb from Johnson, who opens his fourth over with a brilliant short ball which Eliiott sways away from. The right-hander then gets away with a single from a defensive block to bring Taylor on strike. The number four is naturally aggressive, and he gets three with a sweet shot through the off-side. Two more follow at the end, and that's New Zealand's best over for a while.

Finally, Hazelwood concedes some runs as his line strays and Taylor clips him for three through the leg side. That brings up 50, and it's been a long, hard slog so far. A quick shot of Mitchell Starc shows him warming up again, and it looks like he'll be back for a second spell after the drinks break.

Another left-armer is indeed on for Australia, but it's James Faulkner rather than Starc. Elliott opens the face of his bat and directs his first delivery down to third man for a single, before Taylor works him into the leg side. Faulkner lacks the pace to cause serious damage in this over, and New Zealand cope with him well.

Maxwell is back after his wicket-taking over earlier on. A second full toss from the Australian is flicked for two by Taylor, who looks in good touch for a man who has struggled in this World Cup. Is today his day? It's almost over for Eliiott, who is beaten on the outside by a fine flighted delivery. Maxwell concedes runs, but he's shown that he's dangerous so far.

Taylor and Elliott will see Maxwell and Faulkner as a chance to build a partnership. The field is sparse now, and the singles are easier to come by. Elliott earns three runs from wayward balls, before Faulkner tightens up to Taylor. We've reached the part of the game where things to start to drift.

That is very bold from Elliott, who sweeps the ball with the back of the bat for a couple. Surely, he didn't mean that? I've never seen anything like it before. Taylor then tries a big slog off Maxwell, but he's missed it. Maxwell appeals for lbw...OUT! The umpire raises the finger. Maxwell was the only Aussie who appealed. Taylor reviews it....and he's a lucky boy! DRS shows that it is missing leg stump, and he gets a reprieve.

Starc does return and Elliott tries to hit him out of the MCG with an almighty swing. He misses the ball though and almost edges it to the keeper. A much better push through the covers would go for four on most other grounds, but the MCG is so vast it only earns two. New Zealand are showing signs of a more positive approach.

Wonderful foot work from Taylor, who makes room for himself on the off side before carving Maxwell behind square for four. That's the first boundary in ten overs! Three singles follow, and you can feel that Taylor and Elliott are settled now.

Elliott goes after Starc for the second straight over but, again, almost gets himself out with a pull shot that is inches from being dragged on to the stumps. Excellent keeping by Brad Haddin, who dives to keep it from going to four. Elliott finds the boundary with the next ball though as a mistimed hit flies off the top edge for six. Starc warns how dangerous he is with his next ball, as a deadly yorker almost sneaks through Elliott's defences.

Faulkner has changed ends and replaces Maxwell, who went for seven runs in his previous over. However, Elliott moves across his stumps and lifts the left-armer over the infield for four through cover. That brings up the 50 partnership, and it's vital that this pair don't stop anytime soon.

Clarke rotates his bowlers again as Shane Watson stretches his limbs. The all-rounder never looks like he wants to bowl but it's not that long ago that his bowling was valued higher than his batting. He starts strongly here with three dot balls, before Elliott works him behind square for two. However, he's almost out two balls later as he deliberately plays Watson over the fielder at point for a couple. It was a little to close for comfort though, and groans go round the MCG.

Brilliant from Elliott, who is rapidly nearing his 50. He drives an over-pitched Faulkner delivery through mid-off for four. That is his fourth boundary off 45 balls. It's otherwise solid stuff from Faulkner, who is doing a decent job in these tactical middle overs.

Elliott brings up the 100 for New Zealand, with another dab down to third man for a single. Watson almost gets Taylor out with his next ball, but the batman's edge goes past Haddin and races to the boundary. Taylor could do with sparking into life a bit, but he's struggling to find any rhythm. Some more fine fielding in the deep from the Aussies saves another boundary, as Eliiott's thick edge was stopped by a diving Hazelwood. This is good progress from the Black Caps though, and they'll still be thinking about 250 from here.

FIFTY! Maxwell replaces Faulkner as Clarke tries to mix things up a bit more. It doesn't work though, as New Zealand find all sorts of holes to place the spinner into. Elliott brings up his fifty with a mistimed chip down the ground off the final ball, and the stadium breaks into warm applause.

Watson's spell lasts just two overs as Mitchell Johnson comes back to shake things up. It's hard work out there for the bowlers in this sweltering heat, and Clarke is keen to keep them all fresh. Johnson's fifth over is largely uneventful, as Elliott and Taylor each score a single along with an earlier leg bye.

Close! Just after Elliott collects two off Maxwell, the spinner almost gets him out with a tossed up delivery outside the off stump. Elliott is too tempted to resist, but his flailing drive misses the ball by inches. Maxwell keeps it tight to Taylor, who is still struggling for any real fluency.

Johnson's pace has dipped in his second spell, and his deliveries are lacking bite. Three singles come from the first three balls, before Elliott leaves a wider one alone. Taylor slices an ever wide ball down to third man for a single, which prompts Johnson to move round the wicket. That brings another single, and this run-rate has increased a lot in the last ten overs.

Elliott looks so confident out here. He moves down the pitch to chip Maxwell for two, before a gentle flick goes for a single to third man. Two more singles for each man sees six more come off the spinner, and Clarke will be content with that.

The ever enthusiastic Watson is back to bowl, and he's bang on the money from the off. There is nothing Taylor can do with deliveries that are that accurate. A sharp bouncer fails to tempt the former captain into a hook, before he finally earns a single with a shot into the leg side. Elliott gets another single down to third man, and he'll keep the strike.

Can Josh Hazelwood continue to be so economical? Not so far, as Elliott cleverly flicks his short ball down to third man for four. A single off the next ball brings up the 100 partnership, before Taylor cuts the right-armer for one. The Black Caps may call for a powerplay shortly, to ramp up this run-rate before the final ten overs start.

Almost a run out! Ross Taylor thought a single was on the cards, but as soon as he got three or four steps down the wicket he gets told a firm "no". This leaves him in danger, but Clarke misses the stumps. He may have been safe anyway, but it would have been close. Elliott frustrates Australia even more, as a late cut goes inches past Haddin's gloves on its way to four. Things are starting to get interesting again, and here comes the powerplay.



James Faulkner has turned the screw on New Zealand, and all their hard work is in danger of being undone. First, he serves up a wide ball to Ross Taylor, but the batsman can't quite get to it and appears to hit the ground. Australia think he's out though, and replays show that he did indeed edge the ball, as well as hit the ground, and Haddin, diving low to his right, took a superb catch. Outstanding. Corey Anderson replaces him, but he lasts just two balls before a Faulkner yorker hits the stumps. Luke Ronchi sees the over out, but the damage has been done.


New Zealand are collapsing here as Luke Ronchi becomes the next man to get out. Starc found the edge of the right-hander with a tossed up delivery and the batsman pushed way too hard. Michael Clarke held on to a neat catch at first slip, and New Zealand are six down. Australia are into the New Zealand tail now as Daniel Vettori comes to the crease. He looks shaky, but he survives Starc's attacking over.

Faulkner comes round the wicket to Elliott, and he almost traps him lbw with his first ball of the over. Fortunately for the batsman, the ball is going down the leg side. Vettori strikes his first boundary with a fine drive down the ground three balls later. The left-hander is an under-rated batsman and is very capable of causing damage if he stays in for long enough.

Starc has entered yorker/bouncer mode in this powerplay, and they're accurate, fast and deadly. Vettori does a good job of keeping them out, but runs are hard to come by against such express bowling.

Faulkner's new angle is causing Elliott all sorts of problems. His first ball comes back into the right-hander and wraps him on the pads. Faulkner is convinced it's out, and Australia appeals. The replays show it's on line but there is some doubt over whether or not it will hit the stumps and Elliott survives. He cashes in on the next ball, with an accurate shot down to third man for four. A single brings Vettori on strike, and he blocks for the rest of the over.


One Mitchell is replaced by another, as Starc moves aside for Johnson. His first ball beats the edge of Vettori, but the veteran gets a single with his next shot. Elliott blocks a couple, before he steers a loose ball to point which brings Vettori back. However, he won't face another delivery as Johnson hits the stumps with a vicious yorker. It looked like a little bit of reverse swing was involved, and Johnson has his man.


Grant Elliott needs to be aggressive if New Zealand are going to set a competitive target, and he starts with a fine pull shot for four off Faulkner. The left-armer responds with a mixture of cutters and slower balls...OUT! Elliott has thrown his shot too early, and he's edged a slower one to Haddin. Big blow for New Zealand. This could be over very quickly...

Perhaps Mitchell Johnson should stick to fast balls, after an attempted slower one gets bludgeoned for six by new man Tim Southee. A single brings Matt Henry on strike, and it doesn't look he has too much ability with the bat. He drives a couple to the close fielders, before swaying out of the way of a snarling bouncer.

Southee has already shown that he can hit it along way, and New Zealand will be relying on him as they try and reach 200. Faulkner is bowling too well though, and Southee has no idea what is coming next. A heave over the off-side brings three, and Henry survives his one ball of the over.



Johnson has a slip in place as he charges in at Southee. A couple of yorkers bare no fruit, before a mis-hit pull shot runs for a single. That brings Henry on strike, and Johnson opts to go round the wicket. The move pays off brilliantly for him, as Henry slaps a yorker straight to Starc at cover. Johnson bowls a wide to new man Trent Boult, but Glenn Maxwell runs out Southee with a brilliant throw to the non-strikers end next time around. Southtee tried to get back, but the throw was too good. Just like Australia.

So, Australia require 184 to win the Cricket World Cup after a fine performance from their bowlers. James Faulkner and Mitchell Johnson were outstanding, while the Black Caps can thank Grant Elliott for their total. Australia are the heavy favourites, but New Zealand will feel victory is not impossible. Join us in around half an hour to find out if they can pull off a major shock.

Welcome back folks for the final chapter of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Can Australia knock off the 184 runs they require, or can Trent Boult lead New Zealand to glory. We'll find out shortly.

Aaron Finch and David Warner will open to batting for Australia, in what is probably the most destructive opening partnership in one-day cricket. Standing in there way is Trent Boult, who has 21 wickets so far.

New Zealand have emerged from the interval, looking like they are raring to go. Warner and Finch will be with them shortly, and this run chase will get underway.

The crowd go wild as Finch and Warner walk to the crease. There is a great atmosphere at the MCG, and a few early boundaries will see it only get louder.

We're ready, Tim Southee will start for New Zealand...

Southee charges in, and gets some early shape back into the left-handed Warner. The opener gets off the mark with a single from his second delivery which brings Finch on strike, and he plays a couple of neat forward defensive shots to get a feel for the ball. A terrific ball beats the outside edge, and it's a good start for the Kiwis.


Trent Boult shares the new ball with Southee, and he has three slips in place. Warner slashes hard at the first ball, but it misses the bat by inches. He tries the same with the second ball but, again, he only connects with air. A single brings Finch on strike and...OUT! Perfect start for New Zealand! Finch can't handle a Boult inswinger and a mistimed shot loops high in the air for the bowler to catch. New Zealand need wickets, and they've made a great start.

Warner finally connects with a short and wide delivery, but he'll be disappointed to see his mis-hit shot go for two. A flick to fine leg and a solid punch down the ground brings two more each, and it's a busy over for the destructive opener. He doesn't just deal in boundaries.

Another two off his hips gets Warner off to a productive start in the fourth over, before he finds the boundary with a fine drive through cover. Great shot. Another three runs follow down the leg side, as Boult's line goes awry.

Steve Smith has faced just two balls so far, but he won't be concerned as long as Warner continues to hit boundaries like he does against Southee here. He starts with a cut shot for four, before a unique pull shot over the bowlers head bounces once on it's way to the boundary. It was mis-hit, but it travelled a long way. A third boundary follows, as an edge narrowly beats the fielder at second slip. There's a lot of luck in that! Smith restores calm with a gentle end to the over, and a single means he'll face Boult in the sixth.

McCullum puts extra men back into the slip cordon as the less aggressive Smith faces Boult. It's a good start for the left-armer, who sends down four full and accurate deliveries, but he ruins it with a bouncer which is dispatched to the boundary by Smith. The number three is an excellent player of the short ball, and he shows it again here.

McCullum is a high-risk captain, and bringing on left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori is a high-risk decision. Smith rushes down the pitch to attack, but his first shot finds the fielder. Three behind square on the off side brings Warner on strike, but he can't get the experienced Vettori away for any runs from the remaining deliveries. Good over from the spinner.

McCullum's attacking field is leaving plenty of wide open spaces, and it lets Smith punch Boult through the covers for three. He and Warner share singles, and Australia are already 25% of the way there. New Zealand need to break this partnership, or it could run away from them quickly.

Vettori is given just over, before youngster Matt Henry is introduced. The right-arm fast bowler is pulled hard by Warner for four from his first ball but he responds well and restricts the opener to blocking. Henry should be proud of his effort there.

Smith brings up 50 for Australia, with a dab down to third man and Warner follows that up with a drive through the covers for four. Brilliant shot. Boult darts the ball back into his pads and claims for lbw, but nothing is going there as it's going way down the leg side. New Zealand, you sense, are starting to get a little bit desperate.

The end of the powerplay means that McCullum can spread his field, although he still keeps two slips for Henry's second over. The impressive right-armer bowls straight at Warner, restricting all space on the leg side. This pitch looks like a batsman's paradise, and both men take a single.

Warner is lucky boy! Boult bowls his second ball of the over slightly back of a length, and his attempted pull shot almost rebounds on to the stumps. The fast bowler is still flying in and bowling at lightening speeds, but the Aussies look comfortable.


Henry and McCullum get their man, as Warner is caught in the deep. After crunching a short ball for four off the previous ball, he mistimes the second ball of the over and Elliott takes a good catch. That brings captain Michael Clarke to the crease for the final time in one-day cricket, and he fends off Henry for the rest of the over.

Boult continues to pound away at Smith, but the number three gets a single from the second ball of the over. That brings Clarke back on strike, and Boult almost gets him! Clarke tries to clip him through midwicket, but he gets a leaning edge and it flies just past the fielder for three runs on the off side. Smith earns a single through midwicket to complete the over.

Luck just isn't on New Zealand's side today! Smith mis-hits a drive off Henry and the ball hits his pads and rebounds on to the stumps. It only trickles back though and the bails are unmoved. Australia score just one single, through Smith to fine leg.

Boult gets a well deserved rest after seven consecutive overs. Tim Southee replaces him and Smith quickly scores a single down to fine leg. A wide is called for a short delivery, which Sulieman Benn would have struggled to reach in truth, before Clarke punches a fuller delivery back down the ground for one. Smith completes the over with another single, and this pair look happy to knock of ones and twos.

Smith has scored most of his 20 runs with a single into the leg side and he does the same again with the first ball after drinks. Henry is desperate to bang it in short to Clarke but, like Southee, he gets penalised for bowling way too short. Clarke looks neat and compact out here, and you suspect he intends to be there at the very end to see his side home.

The fielders are scattered now, and Smith can pick his spot anywhere on the pitch as he guides a short Southee delivery to square leg for a single. The bowler then tries to catch Clarke with a full ball outside off stump, but the captain connects with an almighty swing and a thick edge flies over the infield for four down to third man. Clarke then bites at a short ball and scores two more to complete a good over for the Aussies.

Superb stroke from Smith, who finds a gap through the offside field to pick up three, before Clarke dispatches another short ball by deflecting it over the wicketkeeper for four. New Zealand need a new tactic when they bowl at the captain. A wide delivery from Henry is also given the treatment, as Clarke slashes it behind square to the fence. Australia are accelerating again.

Off-spinner Daniel Vettori has been brought back to try and perform a miracle. The experienced left-armer has an injury problem with his leg, as he clearly isn't comfortable. However, his over is economical with just three gentle singles coming from it.

Matt Henry is into his seventh straight over, and McCullum has reverted back to his ultra-attacking field to try and take wickets. Clarke squeezes a single through point off the third ball, before Smith flicks another off his pads. That brings up the 100, and it's been a stroll so far for the three-time champions.

Vettori perseveres despite his injury, but he doesn't threaten Smith or Clarke in the 22nd over. The captain decides to take the aerial route for a single, but he almost mistimes it and sends it down a fielders throat. He won't make that mistake again.

Excellent shot from Clarke, who times a cover drive to perfection. However, it doesn't reach the boundary thanks to some fine fielding from McCullum. Smith chips in with another two singles, before Clarke lofts a fine drive back over the head of Henry for four. Inch by inch, they're getting nearer...

Corey Anderson is brought into the attack, but he bowls a wide with his first delivery. That brings up the 50 partnership between Smith and Clarke, and the second of the Australian innings. Clarke cracks three more through the off side, while Smith adds two more with a clip to fine leg. Anderson has good pace, but his line was too inconsistent.

Vettori can't stem the flow of runs as Smith and Clarke work him away effortlessly for ones and twos, before the skipper darts down the pitch and launches the bowler down the ground for four. Clarke is a fine player against spin, and he is showing that again here. Australia need 54 runs.

Trent Boult has three overs left, and he needs to produce some magic here for New Zealand. He decides to bowl around the wicket but Clarke seems to have some issues. He fails to put away at short and wide ball, and he swings at the next ball. Has he edged it?...No, Boult's ball beats the bat, which hits the ground as the ball passes by. He finishes the over with an unbelievable drive down the ground, which went like a rocket, and he's nearing his half century.

HALF CENTURY! Smith and Clarke exchange singles, before the captain flicks away a Vettori ball for the one which brings up his half century. Wonderful from Clarke, who is leading his team home in style.

Boult isn't giving up yet, as he continues to be hostile with his bowling. Clarke is forced to sway out of the way of a snarling short ball, while Smith's single is the only joy the Aussies's get.

Tim Southee replaces Vettori in a desperate last bid for New Zealand, but Smith carves him down to third man for four. It was controlled aggression from Smith, who also deserves a half century. An ugly hack earns him two next time round, while a full toss is worked through the leg side for a single. Clarke ends the over with a spooned lofted drive, which brings two more.

Boult starts his final over of the match, and he can be proud of his effort despite disappointing figures. Smith earns a single through backwards point, then Clarke drills a full toss square of the wicket for four. The captain scores another single, and the required target stands at 27.

There are 93,013 crammed into the MCG. And they will have all enjoyed Clarke's heave into the leg side for four to start the 31st over. A strong cover drive brings four more, and the skipper wants to end this one sooner rather than later. Can he hit another? He can! A flashing driver square of the wicket is hit with too much force for the fielders to stop, and he repeats the shot with the next ball and it, again, flies to the boundary for his fourth straight four. Can he get five in a row?...No, just a single to backwards square. Smith blocks the final ball, and they need just ten more...


HALF CENTURY! Matt Henry has hushed the crowd as Clarke's chops his delivery on to the stumps! The captain is out and he walks off to a standing ovation. What a player. Shane Watson comes to the crease to see the game home, and he gets off the mark with a pulled single. Smith hits two more though midwicket, and they need just six now. One hit will do it. Smith doesn't get carried away though as he calmly strokes two more and that brings up his half century.

Is this the over?? Watson blocks the first couple of balls, before he gets Smith on strike. He tries to squeeze a couple through the gaps, but nothing works. A single off the final ball means he keeps the strike...


Smith doesn't hang around this time, as he hits the winning runs through the leg side with a powerful pull shot to confirm the seven wicket win. Australia are the champions of the world again!

It was a brave effort from New Zealand, but they ultimately fell short of their best today. Defending 183 was always going to be tough, but Australia's run chase was so composed.

Michael Clarke leaves one-day cricket at the very top, and his 74 was the backbone of the run chase. It brings the curtain down on the one-day career of an Aussie legend. That concludes our live coverage of today's final, and the whole tournament. It's certainly been a World Cup to remember (unless your English) Thank you for following it all with Sports Mole, and make sure you check out the website for all the latest reaction during the day.

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Australian batsman Steve Smith raises his bat after reaching his century on the first day of the fifth Ashes cricket Test against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 3, 2014
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
-(578:50) NO SAVED VALID SPORT!!!!:3:

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