Shreyas Iyer marked his Test debut with 75 not out as India held the upper hand by reaching 258-4 at stumps on day one against New Zealand.

Following 54 appearances in limited-overs internationals for his country, Iyer was given the opportunity in the long format and showed he has what it takes in this first game of a two-match series.

The 26-year-old shared an unbroken 113-run fifth-wicket partnership with Ravindra Jadeja, who scrambled a single in the fading light to end the day on 50 not out.

Their commanding batting meant India did not lose a wicket after tea, scoring 104 runs in 28 overs, with Iyer striking a six off William Somerville in the final over of the day.

It was his second maximum of the innings to go with seven fours, giving India a strong platform from which to build on Friday.

Kyle Jamieson was the pick of New Zealand's attack with 3-47 and said India were "maybe a fraction ahead".

He bowled India opener Shubman Gill for 52, having earlier had Mayank Agarwal (13) caught behind, then got lucky when India captain Ajinkya Rahane played on to go for 35.

Cheteshwar Pujara was caught by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell off Tim Southee for 26, but Iyer and Jadeja's solid union meant India finished the day on top at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium.

Jamieson told Sky Sports: "Hopefully the new ball swings a little in the morning and we can take a few, but at the same time there's two really classy guys in the middle and there's still some batters to come, so we'll have to be on our game tomorrow morning.

"I think we've hung around pretty good. To have them four down, certainly we'd have liked another one or two more, but if we have a good start early tomorrow morning we're still in a pretty good position."


Iyer in good company

As he navigated his way three quarters of the way to a century, Iyer found capable and experienced company at the other end. Jadeja is one of just five India players to have reached 200 Test wickets and 2,000 runs in the long format, and he now has 17 fifties alongside a lone Test century. Iyer became India's 63rd debutant to post a half-century, and he could become the 22nd newcomer to make three figures.

Not the only new face

As Iyer caught the eye, India Test debutant Rachin Ravindra found it altogether more tricky to make an impact. In seven overs of his left-arm spin, the 22-year-old Ravindra failed to make a breakthrough, giving away 28 runs.

Kane Williamson insists New Zealand will not be favourites when they start the defence of their World Test Championship title against an under-strength India side in Kanpur on Thursday.

The Black Caps beat India by eight wickets in the inaugural World Test Championship at the Ageas Bowl in June, so India will be out for revenge in the two-match series on home soil.

Virat Kohli has been rested for the first Test, so Ajinkya Rahane takes charge of a team that will not include Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Rishabh Pant.

Rohit, Bumrah, Shami and Pant have been given a rest for both games, while Rahul misses out due to a thigh strain.

India have plenty of strength in depth, though, and you have to go back 33 years for the last time they lost a home match against the Black Caps in the longest format.

New Zealand captain Williamson sat out India's 3-0 T20I whitewash of the tourists, which came so soon after his side had been beaten by Australia in the T20 World Cup final in Dubai.

The prolific batsman knows the Black Caps face a huge challenge, particularly without the opportunity to play any warm-up games.

He said: "I don't think we are favourites. One of the key strengths of Indian cricket is its depth. India has great knowledge of their own conditions, we know the challenge is a big one."

Williamson added: "As we have seen in this part of the world, the spin component has been very large and it has played a big role in changing the complexion of the game.

"I am sure throughout the whole series, the spin component will be a factor and it will be no different in Kanpur. It will be all about assessing the conditions as quickly as possible."

 

Opportunity knocks for Iyer

Shreyas Iyer will make his debut after Rahul was ruled out and is set to come into the middle order, with Shubman Gill to open with Mayank Agarwal.

The 26-year-old right-hander averages 52.18 in first-class cricket, scoring 12 centuries and boasting a strike-rate of 81.54.

Rahane hinted that India may play three spinners, stating: "We are not too sure of the combination. But in India you generally get spin-friendly wickets, the ball generally keeps slightly low and slow.

"We expect that but not too sure how the wicket will play. We will have to wait until tomorrow and assess from there."

Refreshed Jamieson closing in on half-century

Kyle Jamieson joined Williamson in missing the T20I series as the Black Caps managed his workload.

The paceman has made an outstanding start to his Test career and was man of the match when New Zealand beat India in the final in Southampton, having claimed match figures of 7-61.

Four wickets shy of 50 in the longest format, it would be a surprise if Jamieson does not come straight back into the team, particularly with Trent Boult not involved in the series.

New Zealand, who are unbeaten in nine Tests and have never gone 10 without defeat, must decide who replaces Devon Conway (broken hand) at the top of the order, with Will Young appearing set to get the nod.

India sealed a T20I series 3-0 clean sweep over New Zealand as Rohit Sharma and Axar Patel guided the home side to a 73-run victory in Kolkata.

The hosts had already dominated against visitors who were beaten by Australia in the T20 World Cup final just a week ago, cruising to consecutive victories to guarantee a series triumph before Sunday's final game.

India opted to bat first at Eden Gardens and raced to 69-0 at the end of the powerplay – their highest score in the first six overs of the series - before Ishan Kishan (29) fell two balls later.

New captain Rohit carried on imperiously, blasting three sixes in his 31-ball 56 to not only become just the second batter to hit 150 maximums in T20I cricket but also to place him top, above Virat Kohli (29), for the most 50-plus scores in the format.

The hosts eventually concluded on 184-7 from their 20-over allocation after Deepak Chahar clubbed 21 from eight deliveries as India collected 50 runs from the final five overs.

New Zealand's response began brightly with 16 taken off Chahar in the second over, but Axar (3-9) removed Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman and Glenn Phillips cheaply to leave the visitors 37-3 after their first six.

Martin Guptill (51) offered the only serious resistance for the tourists, who capitulated to 111 all out to hand India their eighth consecutive match win in T20I bilateral series against New Zealand.


Santer shines as Kiwi bowlers falter

Mitchell Santer (3-27) was the only New Zealand bowler to go for an economy under seven.

While picking up the key wickets of Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant, the left-armer bowled tightly after the powerplay and, with more support, could have limited India to a lower total.

Almost perfect from Axar

Tasked with operating in the powerplay, Axar struck with his first delivery in the match and that set the tone for the rest of the game.

As well as picking up a trio of wickets in quick succession, the off-spinner produced 13 dot balls to concede just nine runs from his three overs.

New Zealand were beaten for a second week in a row after losing 40-25 to France in an exhilarating final game of the Autumn Nations Series for both teams.

Fabien Galthie's men matched the effort of Ireland, who beat the All Blacks last week 29-20 in Dublin, and once again the visitors did not have an answer to an intense showing against northern hemisphere opposition.

Three converted first-half tries at the Stade de France put the hosts in a commanding position at half-time, and despite a better second-half effort from New Zealand, they were unable to overcome a determined Les Bleus side.

France began with a bang by scoring their first try after just two minutes as a driving maul gave Peato Mauvaka the chance to place the ball down.

Two penalties from Jordie Barrett brought New Zealand back to within one point before 10 minutes had even been played, but just two minutes later France had their second try.

Determined work from Romain Ntamack saw him burst through a wobbly All Blacks defence to cross the line, which Melvyn Jaminet converted with ease.

A French penalty made it 17-6 after 25 mins, before another try from Mauvaka followed. It was the 24-year-old's fifth try in his last three games and meant that France led 24-6 at the break.

The 18-point deficit was the most New Zealand have ever trailed by in a Test, so it was no surprise to see them determined to fight back in the second half.

Barrett managed to work a try for New Zealand in the corner six minutes into the second half, though was unable to convert from out wide, but the comeback looked on four minutes later when Rieko Ioane raced down the right to score closer to the posts, which Barrett this time converted to cut the lead to six points.

Jaminet put another penalty through the posts shortly after to extend the French advantage, but a third All Blacks try from Ardie Savea, also converted by Barrett, brought the game to within two points with 20 minutes still to play.

The drama continued shortly after as Ntamack sensationally began a counter-attack after saving the ball from behind his own try line, leading to another French penalty - which Jaminet converted - and a yellow card for Savea.

France stretched the lead further with 12 minutes to go as a sloppy pass from David Havili was intercepted by Damian Penaud for a simple try under the posts, and a final Jaminet penalty with the final kick of the match to take his total to 20 points rounded off a famous win.

France finally beat New Zealand on home soil

Les Bleus had lost their last 14 games against New Zealand – only against Wales had they lost more consecutive Tests (15 between 1908 and 1927), and this was their first home win against the All Blacks since November 2000.

The French were fully deserving of their win, with fewer bad passes (3-8) and handling errors (5-10).

All Blacks defence all over the place

New Zealand have now lost three games in 2021, and it is the first time they have lost to three different nations (South Africa, Ireland and France) in a calendar year since 2000 (Australia, South Africa and France).

They have conceded 69 points in their two defeats to Ireland and France, leaving their often devastating attack far too much to do at the other end.

India captain Rohit Sharma played a central role as his team clinched a T20I series win over World Cup finalists New Zealand with a clinical seven-wicket victory in Ranchi.

After making a valuable 48 when India won the first game in the three-match series by five wickets on Wednesday, Rohit – who took over from Virat Kohli as T20 captain for this series and seems set to be handed the role on a full-time basis – added a rapid 55 on this occasion as he and KL Rahul produced a century opening partnership.

Chasing New Zealand's 153-6, Rahul plundered 65 from 49 balls and Rohit's runs came from just 36 deliveries, before India withstood a slight stumble to get over the line with 16 balls to spare.

Rishabh Pant finished it off with two sixes at the start of the 18th over, with India getting the job done emphatically at JSCA International Stadium Complex.

New Zealand captain Tim Southee's inspired bowling had accounted for both openers and Suryakumar Yadav, but by that point India were almost home and hosed. Pant and Venkatesh Iyer both finished on 12 not out.

The visitors paid the price for being unable to build on a strong platform of their own, having been 79-1 in the ninth over. Martin Guptill thrashed 31 from 15 balls, perishing to a top edge off Deepak Chahar after striking the same bowler for six from the previous delivery.

Harshal Patel had a strong debut for India and his 2-25 included the wicket of middle-order dangerman Glenn Phillips, who hit three sixes, taking his total to 97 in T20 matches at all levels in 2021, making 34 in 21 balls.

The three-match series concludes in Kolkata on Sunday, with India eyeing a clean sweep.

Rohit and Rahul take game away from Kiwis

Trent Boult dropped Rohit on 29 after he sliced into the on side. A wicket at that point, in the 10th over, might have made a difference, but India's opening pair went on to put on 117 and such a foundation meant the outcome became a foregone conclusion. It means the India openers have equalled the most century partnerships in T20I matches, joining Pakistan's Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan on five.

Super Southee efforts in vain

Southee's salvo came too late to majorly affect the outcome, but his bowling was terrific and figures of 3-16 from four overs matched his fifth-best T20I performance, in what was his 92nd appearance in the short format for the Black Caps.

Rohit Sharma led by example as India started a new era with a five-wicket win over New Zealand in Jaipur on Wednesday.

Three days after losing to Australia by eight wickets in the T20 World Cup final, the Black Caps went down in the first match of the three-game series.

With captain Kane Williamson missing the T20 series to prepare for the Tests, Tim Southee stepped up to lead New Zealand, though it was his counterpart Rohit – taking charge of India in the shortest format for this series after Virat Kohli stepped down – who came out on top.

It went down to the wire, with Martin Guptill (70 from 42 balls) and Mark Chapman (63 off 50), who hit his first T20 half-century for the Black Caps, leading New Zealand to 164-6, with Ravichandran Ashwin taking 2-23 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2-24.

Rohit's brilliant 48 and an outstanding 62 off 40 balls from Suryakumar Yadav put India into a strong position in the chase, and with five overs remaining the result looked to be sewn up.

Yet Suryakumar's dismissal at the hands of Trent Boult saw some nerves set in for India, with Shreyas Iyer (five) and debutant Venkatesh Iyer (four) falling in a cagey finish.

Ultimately, Rohit and new coach Rahul Dravid got the win they craved with just two balls to spare when Rishabh Pant (17 not out) sliced a shot over mid-off and to the boundary.

 

Rohit up and running

Replacing Kohli as skipper is not an easy task, but Rohit showed his usual proficiency with the bat as he knocked off 48 from 36 deliveries, including five boundaries and two sixes.

What might have been for Boult

Boult had figures of 2-31, with 21 of those runs coming from his second over. To further compound his frustration, the paceman dropped Suryakumar on 61, not only failing to take what should have been a relatively simple catch, but also seeing the ball go to the boundary to boot.

He did at least end Suryakumar's stint at the crease in the next over, though those runs proved costly.

New Zealand have had little to time to dwell on their T20 World Cup final heartbreak as they prepare to face India in Jaipur on Wednesday.

The Black Caps missed out being crowned world champions in the shortest format for the first time when they suffered an eight-wicket defeat to Australia at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

A 15-man T20 squad arrived in Jaipur less than 24 hours after that loss and they will look to take their frustration out on India in a three-match series.

Tim Southee will captain New Zealand, with Kane Williamson missing the T20s as he prioritises preparing for a two-Test series that starts on November 25.

It is the beginning of a new era for India after Rahul Dravid replaced Ravi Shastri as head coach and Virat Kohli's reign as T20 captain came to an end.

Rohit Sharma leads India for this series as they look to put the disappointment of missing out on reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals behind them, starting with a first men’s T20I at Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Kohli misses the series along with Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan are among the players to come into the squad.

New Zealand hammered India by eight wickets in the World Cup, with the Black Caps having lost the previous five T20 matches between the two nations.

 

 

Black Caps set to rotate, Ferguson on the mend

Southee said such an intense schedule and spending so long in bio-secure bubbles has taken a toll on some Black Caps players, revealing how it "weighs you down".

The stand-in skipper suggested the tourists would make full use of their squad and paceman Lockie Ferguson is set to make a welcome return from a calf strain.

He said on Tuesday: "It's [squad rotation] something we have to look at throughout this series of three games in five days, with travel days in between and then a couple of days and then go into a Test series.

"The guys have to be managed throughout the series and we've got a squad of 15 here that were involved in the T20 World Cup which I'm sure we'll use throughout the T20 series."

 

Rohit wants 'fearless' approach

Rohit has never been afraid to take an aggressive approach and the skipper wants the side to take more risks with the bat at the start of a new era, with another T20 World Cup to come next year.

He said: "It's important, especially in this format, that sometimes you just need to go out there and play fearlessly and while doing that, there are chances that you might not always be successful, because it's a short format and you're always challenged.

"The pressure is always there. We certainly will keep an eye on that aspect; that's where the entire set-up will play a big part that wherever that individual bats, and how we want him to bat, goes and does the job for us. If he doesn't then we instil confidence in him that we have full faith in you, just go and do the role for the team. As long as they're trying to do the role for the team, we are happy."

Rohit has scored 352 T20I runs against New Zealand, more than any other India batsman. He made 174 runs in five World Cup knocks at an average of 34.80.

David Warner, Jos Buttler and Babar Azam are among those to have been named in the Official ICC Men's T20 World Cup's Team of the Tournament.

The T20 World Cup came to a close on Sunday after Australia beat New Zealand by eight-wickets in the final in Abu Dhabi.

The team was selected by a panel of commentators and journalists.

"As with any team selection there will be varying opinions, and robust discussion on the final composition of the squad," one of those panellists, Ian Bishop, told the ICC's official website. "The panel respects that, and we encourage the strong debate that will ensue.

"This team was incredibly difficult to select over such a highly competitive tournament. Selections were based predominantly on the Super 12 onward to the final.

"We endeavoured to select players as close to their initial team position where possible. This intention was not always a reality, as some compromises had to be made.”

The team includes players from champions Australia, runners-up New Zealand, as well as England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa. 

 

David Warner (Australia)

Arguably the most obvious selection as the man who was the ICC's Player of the Tournament. Despite questions about his form before the World Cup, Warner scored an impressive 289 runs at an average of 48.16.

Although he did not top the table for most runs, highest innings or highest average, Warner's impact was unquestionable. His 65 against Sri Lanka, 89 not out against West Indies, 49 against Pakistan in the semi-finals and then 53 in the final were vital for the champions.

Jos Buttler (England)

The hard-hitting Buttler was the only player to score a century at the tournament, while he finished fourth in the list for most runs. His tally of 269 included a fantastic 71 from 32 balls in England’s Super 12 victory over Australia, as well as his 101 not out against Sri Lanka.

Babar Azam (Pakistan)

The top run-scorer and only player to break the 300-run mark (303), Babar has been named as captain of the ICC Team of the Tournament. He scored four fifties at his first T20 World Cup, starting with his 68 not out against old rivals India, which helped lead Pakistan to a memorable 10-wicket victory.

Charith Asalanka (Sri Lanka)

Asalanka came fifth in the list for most runs, which is impressive when you consider Sri Lanka exited at the Super 12 stage. The 24-year-old scored 231 runs at an average of 46.2, including an unbeaten 80 off 49 balls against Bangladesh.

Aiden Markram (South Africa)

Moved to a middle-order role for this tournament, Markram seemed to thrive as his 40 off 36 balls nearly saw the Proteas beat Australia in the Super 12s. An unbeaten 51 from 26 balls against West Indies and 52 off 25 against England was, though, not enough to help South Africa progress.

Moeen Ali (England)

England's ever-reliable all-rounder took seven wickets from his 14 overs during the tournament, as well as hitting 92 runs at an average of 46.

Moeen's bowling figures included 2-17, 2-18 and 2-15 to heap pressure on opponents throughout, while his batting performances included a fine 51 from 37 balls against New Zealand in the semi-finals.

Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)

Leg-spinner Hasaranga was comfortably top of the wicket-taking chart with 16, three ahead of Adam Zampa and Trent Boult in joint-second.

This included a hat-trick against South Africa, but like Moeen, Hasaranga also contributed with the bat, striking a vital 71 against Ireland in the first round and a defiant 34 from 21 balls against England in the Super 12s.

Adam Zampa (Australia)

Another spinner who could not be left out, Zampa took 13 wickets and averaged just 5.81 runs against per over, often keeping the run rate down impeccably in the middle overs. The 29-year-old, who his captain Aaron Finch labelled as the player of the tournament, can also boast the best figures of the World Cup with a tremendous 5-19 against Bangladesh.

Josh Hazlewood (Australia)

Like his team-mate Warner, Hazlewood did not top any individual tables but came through with big performances when they were needed. His 11 wickets included a 4-39 against West Indies that played a big part in sealing a semi-final place, before the paceman took a ruthless 3-16 in the final.

Trent Boult (New Zealand)

Boult was the top wicket-taking seamer at the tournament (13) and played a huge role in getting the Black Caps to the final. His average of 6.25 overs conceded per over was impressive considering he was mostly used during powerplays and at the death.

Anrich Nortje (South Africa)

Nortje took a wicket in every match he played at his first T20 World Cup, taking nine overall at an average of 11.55. His most noteworthy contribution was an explosive 3-8 from 3.2 overs against Bangladesh to help skittle the Tigers out for just 84.

12th man: Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)

The 21-year-old burst into the World Cup with his pace bowling, removing Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in Pakistan's opening game against India. Afridi took seven wickets overall, earning him a spot as first reserve in this star-studded team.

Aaron Finch has hailed Adam Zampa as the player of the tournament after Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to claim a first T20 World Cup title.

David Warner claimed the official Player of the Tournament award after a scintillating performance with the bat, hitting 53 from just 38 balls in the final to finish as the second-highest run-scorer in the competition, his tally of 289 bettered only by Pakistan captain Babar Azam's total of 303.

However, Finch believes Zampa's contribution was even more important and heaped praise on the 29-year-old, who took 13 wickets in total.

Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga (16) was the only bowler to take more wickets in the tournament than Zampa, who also recorded the best figures in a single game (5-19).

"[Zampa was the] player of the tournament for me, controlled the game, got big wickets, super player," Finch said after the game. 

"Can't believe people wrote [Warner] off a couple of weeks ago, it was almost like poking the bear. Mitch Marsh, what a way to start, put pressure on from the start.

"Matt Wade came in under an injury cloud and got the job done. He came in in the semi-final alongside Marcus Stoinis and did the business."

Finch revelled in Australia's historic triumph and pointed to their eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh on November 4 as the turning point for their successful campaign.

"This is huge, to be the first Australia team to [win the T20 World Cup]," Finch continued. "So proud of how the guys went about the campaign.

"[The Bangladesh game certainly was the turning point], backs were against the wall. We had to fight and certainly did that, had some great team and individual performances."

Kane Williamson conceded Australia did not give New Zealand any leeway as Aaron Finch's side cruised to their maiden T20 World Cup crown.

Williamson, who was dropped on 21 by Josh Hazlewood, struck 85 from just 45 balls to guide his side to 172-4 from their 20-over allocation in Sunday's final.

That was the joint-highest score in a T20 World Cup final – along with Marlon Samuels' knock against England in 2016 – and the fastest-half century ever scored in the showpiece of the competition.

However, Williamson held those records for a short time as Mitchell Marsh, who blasted his first ball over square leg for six, delivered a brutal unbeaten 77 from 50 deliveries to see Australia over the line.

After Australia completed their second magnificent run chase in four days, following victory over Pakistan in the semi-final, Williamson admitted New Zealand's trans-Tasman rivals never gave his side a chance in the chase.

"We were trying to get a bit of a platform and the surface was holding a platform," Williamson said during his post-match interview on the field.

"We got what we thought at the halfway stage was a good total, but it was chased superbly by Australia.

"We made every effort to get a good total. Guys came out and committed to their plans. We weren't far away but having said that, credit to the way Australia chased that total. They did not give us an inch.

"I'm really proud of our teams efforts throughout the tournaments. We came here and gave it our best shot, but it wasn't good enough tonight."

Trent Boult, whose figures of 2-18 proved in vain, provided New Zealand with the briefest glimmer of hope when he bowled David Warner (53) in the 13th over.

But Williamson appreciated that Australia were a class above as he looked back on yet another final loss, previously losing to England in the 2019 World Cup.

"Australia are a team full of amazing players," he added. "Today they really turned it on.

"We finish this campaign and such is life in the international schedule is you move your focus. No doubt we're feeling this one a little bit.

"We had high hopes coming into the game. It's never nice. You sign up to these sort of things. It's just a shame we couldn't get the job done tonight."

Mitch Marsh reflected on an "amazing six weeks" after he made a record-breaking unbeaten half-century as Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to win a maiden T20 World Cup title.

Australia pulled off another outstanding run chase to beat their trans-Tasman rivals at Dubai International Stadium, where Kane Williamson's outstanding 85 off 48 balls proved to be in vain.

The Black Caps posted 172-4 thanks to Williamson's masterclass, the skipper's knock equalling Marlon Samuels' record score in a T20 World Cup final for West Indies in their victory over England five years ago.

Australia cruised to their target with seven balls to spare, player of the tournament David Warner (53 from 38 balls) and Marsh starring with the bat.

Marsh finished unbeaten 77 not out off 50 balls, breaking a record Williamson had set earlier by making the fastest fifty in a T20 World Cup final from just 31 deliveries. 

The all-rounder has never really fulfilled his potential at international level due to injuries, but showed what he is capable on the big stage and revelled in a historic evening for Australia.

Man of the match Marsh said during the post-match interview: "I don't really have words, what an amazing six weeks with this group. Love them to death. World champs."

 

Marsh hit the first ball he faced for six, putting Mitchell Santner into the stand, and cleared the rope another three times, as well as hitting a further six boundaries.

He relished the opportunity to bat at number three and was determined to grasp his chance.

The 30-year-old said: "The coaching staff came up to me in the West Indies and said you're going to bat three for this tournament, and I jumped at it. I have the staff to thank for backing me and getting me up the top there.

"I just love playing for this team. I just wanted to get out there and have a presence, which big Marcus Stoinis always talks to me about. I can't believe it. It's unbelievable."

Questions had been asked about Warner's place in the team coming into the tournament, but the opener finished as the second-highest run-scorer with 289 behind Pakistan captain Babar Azam (303).

Warner said: "I always felt really well. I didn't get much time in the middle in the practice matches but it was about going back to basics and getting on some hard synthetic wickets and get hitting balls. I managed to do that and then I scored runs.

"This is definitely up there with 2015. Being part of the 2010 [World T20 final) defeat to England hurt, but the women winning made us a feel a bit of that. These guys are a great bunch of guys. We've got a great support staff and support around the world."

Mitch Marsh blasted a record-breaking 31-ball half-century as Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets to win their first T20 World Cup title.

Kane Williamson made a majestic 85 from only 48 balls after being dropped by Josh Hazlewood on 21 as New Zealand posted 172-4, after being put in by Aaron Finch in the trans-Tasman showdown at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

That was the joint-highest score in a T20 World Cup final, with Marlon Samuels having been 15 short of a hundred in West Indies' victory over England five years ago. It was also the fastest half-century ever scored in the final of the competition for a short time, until Marsh's heroics.

Williamson reached his fifty from 32 deliveries as Mitchell Starc endured a nightmare, the left-arm quick's four wicketless overs going for 60. The outstanding Hazlewood was the pick of the Australia bowlers with brilliant figures of 3-16.

Australia produced another magnificent run chase on the back of a stunning semi-final win over Pakistan, Warner and Marsh putting on 92 for the second wicket.

Warner made a superb 53 from 38 balls and Marsh was unbeaten on 77 from 50 deliveries as Australia were crowned champions with seven deliveries to spare.

Marsh raced away to his half-century, taking spinner Ish Sodhi (0-40 in three overs) apart as Trent Boult's brilliant figures of 2-18 were in vain.

All-rounder Marsh had not fully realised his potential in an injury-hit career but showed he can be a world-class performer on a historic Sunday night for Australia as New Zealand endured heartbreak in their first T20 World Cup final.

World-class Williamson the man for the big occasion

New Zealand were only 32-1 at the end of the powerplay, with Daryl Mitchell caught behind off Hazlewood, but Williamson shifted through the gears in a masterful innings with sweet timing and power.

The skipper was put down by Hazlewood in the deep in the 11th over from the expensive Starc before hitting Maxwell for back-to-back sixes to reach his half-century - the first of those with one hand coming off the bat as he hoisted the ball into the stand.

Martin Guptill (28) fell to star spinner Adam Zampa (1-26) after being dropped by Matthew Wade on 10, but the boundaries continued to flow for Williamson, who hit three sixes and 10 fours before holing out off Hazlewood.

 

Marsh and Warner make light work of run chase

Boult got an early breakthrough when he sent Finch on his way, but Warner and Marsh swung the game in Australia's favour with clean striking and great running between the wickets.

Marsh struck the first ball he faced from Adam Milne for six, while Warner looked increasingly ominous, taking a liking to the spin of Sodhi and hitting Jimmy Neesham for a huge six to reach a 34-ball half-century.

The excellent Boult returned to clean up Warner and the left-arm paceman dropped a tough chance to dismiss Marsh when Australia were almost home.

Glenn Maxwell (28 not out) struck Tim Southee for four to win it, with Marsh still unbeaten after striking four sixes and another six boundaries in a stunning innings.

Aaron Finch claims there has been no talk in the Australia camp of securing an elusive T20 World Cup title ahead of the final against New Zealand on Sunday.

Australia have never been crowned world champions in the shortest format, losing to England in their only other final back in 2010.

The Black Caps stand in the way of Finch's side and a historic maiden title at the Dubai International Stadium after both sides pulled off brilliant semi-final run chases.

Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets and New Zealand defeated England by the same margin to set up an eagerly awaited trans-Tasman showdown.

Captain Finch revealed there have been no discussions between the players of Australia finally getting their hands on the trophy.

The opening batter said: "We haven't actually spoken about it as yet. We are just committed to turning up and playing some really aggressive and good cricket. 

"We understand that T20 cricket can be fickle in its nature at certain periods of time and you have to embrace the challenges of it, whether it's a final or whether it's a one-off game in any kind of series, I think they all mean a lot. We are just excited to get under way.

"I think the New Zealand side, they have got a huge amount of quality and they have shown that over a long period of time now. I think they have been the best powerplay performing team with the ball in this tournament, so that's going to be a challenge. 

"They have got obviously Daryl Mitchell, who played a great knock in the last game against England. Martin Guptill, class and power. And then you've got Kane Williamson, who is all class as well as a top three.

"They have got match-winners right throughout their innings, and with the bat and ball, Ish Sodhi and Mitch Santner have showed their class in the past as well. It's a game between two sides that are really similarly matched I think, and yes, it will be a great game."

 

Finch says he has no concerns about the former of Steve Smith, who only made five against Pakistan after being dismissed for only one in his previous knock in a loss to England.

 "No, not concerned one bit about his form," he said. "He's a world-class player and he's someone in big games has showed how valuable he is. He's been hitting the ball as well as I've seen for a long time, so no, no concerns there whatsoever."

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was delighted with his team's 29-20 victory against New Zealand and now wants "consistency" ahead of the match with Argentina next week.

Tries from James Lowe, Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris along with a penalty from Johnny Sexton and three from Joey Carbery saw the home side put away the All Blacks in a spirited performance from both the players and crowd in Dublin.

Ireland were on top for much of the match despite somehow going in 10-5 behind at the break after conceding a penalty and a sloppy try, but were able to come back in the second half to win.

"It was a fantastic day for Irish rugby and I'm so proud of the lads," Farrell said to RTE Sport after the victory. 

"I wanted us to make sure we stayed disciplined. I thought just before half-time we lost a little bit of that. We were going off our feet a little bit and [conceded] a few penalties because of it, but we refocused at half-time.

"We asked the boys to bring enough moments to the crowd to get them on song, and that was right throughout the game and it certainly helped us in the last 10 minutes.

"We wanted to back ourselves and see where we are at. It's a nice performance and we get the victory to go with it. We stayed nice and calm and the plan was executed nicely. We were brave to back it up as well.

"We'll soak this up tonight and enjoy it, but the main thing is to be consistent again next week. Argentina are a good side, nice and strong and physical and we'll get back to work next week."

One of Ireland's star performers on the day was appropriately New Zealand-born Lowe, who scored the opening try of the game before putting in a vital tackle to stop an All Blacks counter-attack with the score at 23-20 late on.

Speaking to Channel 4, Lowe said: "It's amazing. Never in a million years did I think this day would come. Since [I was] a kid I dreamed of being an All Black.

"I gave up that dream, I wasn't quite good enough, but to put up a performance against the best team in the world. To stand in front of the haka, it's a childhood dream."

Ireland produced an outstanding performance to beat New Zealand 29-20 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Andy Farrell's men, spurred on by a raucous home crowd in Dublin which relished an intense display from the hosts, overwhelmed the All Blacks.

New Zealand kept themselves within touching distance throughout despite being second best in most metrics but were unable to overcome a spirited Ireland side.

The visitors came within yards of the opening try on 10 minutes but Ronan Kelleher crucially intercepted, before Codie Taylor was shown a yellow card in the 13th minute for a high tackle on Johnny Sexton.

Ireland took full advantage as James Lowe scored the first try of the game in the corner just over a minute later.

Despite being largely on top, Ireland went in 10-5 behind at the break after a Jordie Barrett penalty and a converted try from the returning Taylor.

Ireland started the second half brightly with Kelleher forcing the ball over for their second try, though Sexton missed his conversion for a second time.

The home crowd did not have to wait long to see their team ahead though as Caelan Doris raced away to score Ireland's third try, and it was third time lucky for Sexton with the extra two points, before adding another penalty before the hour mark to stretch the lead to 10 after a 15-point swing.

A rare lapse in concentration allowed the All Blacks to add another converted try through Will Jordan's 15th score of 2021 - no other player from a Tier 1 nation has reached double figures - but Joey Carbery added an Irish penalty straight after replacing Sexton, who came off with a head injury.

A disallowed New Zealand try was followed by a penalty that briefly reduced the gap to three, but a Carbery kick from the halfway line soon restored the six-point advantage, and another three from the same man just before the end saw Ireland home for a famous win.

Ireland close to perfect in Dublin

This was as good a performance as Farrell could have hoped for, and it is testament to his team that they probably should have won by more.

Ireland had 66 per cent of possession, 72 per cent of territory, almost three times as many carries (68-23) and more than three times as many passes (175-57).

All Blacks a shadow of usual selves

Ian Foster will have been less pleased with what he saw from the world's number one team, though will surely concede that the quality of his opponents on the day was a bigger factor than his own team’s performance.

This was just New Zealand's third defeat from 41 Tests in Europe (W38), with those other losses coming at the hands of Ireland (16-9 in November 2018) and England (38-21 in December 2012).

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