After approximately seven years, 5,431 games (about six of which were actually important), the early hours of Sunday morning see the final of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. With the tracks flatter than the demand for U2’s last album and the batsman dominant, we’ve seen more balls sent flying than you’d get at a eunuch factory. Who cares if that’s not a thing, we’ve got the ideal decider – giving us a mouth-watering clash between the two host nations.
This is the 11th World Cup Final, and on Sunday morning we will see the might of Australia take on The Black Caps of New Zealand. Australia head into the game looking for their 5th World Cup – no team has won more than two. They have also played the most final matches, and just to make things a tad bit more daunting for New Zealand – Australia have won three of the last four finals.
In their semi-final against India on Thursday, Australia posted 328-7 – the highest ever score in a World Cup semi-final. Just on a side note, the dismissal of Glenn Maxwell was the 500th catch in this World Cup. It is the first time that there have been 500 catches in a World Cup. Well, in a World Cup that’s not fishing. The previous highest was back in 2003 with 449. Hashtag: snaffled.
You’ve had tremendous what? https://t.co/TFT1aCxE3a
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) March 27, 2015
Steve Smith has been a sensation over the last couple months. He became the first Australian to score a ton in a World Cup semi-final and the fifth overall to accomplish this surprisingly rare feat. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also the second Australian to reach at least 50 in four consecutive World Cup innings after David Boon and even more implausibly, he seems to be achieved the near impossible – being an Aussie cricketer who’s immensely yet actually quite likable.
But unlike me, the stats don’t lie… Becky of course you were different to all the others.
The Black Caps will be playing in their first ever World Cup final and they are worthy World Cup finalists. Not only that though, but Australia should be a little worried going into Sunday’s game.
Australia may have taken the most wickets between overs 11 and 20 in the tournament: 13 at 25.63. However a quick glance through the stats shows us that New Zealand are second with 12 at 31.41.
New Zealand are hopping and go into the final in red hot form. They’ve won their last 10 one-day internationals, which is the first time they have ever done that.
New Zealand are starting to break Australia’s records too. The highest successful run chase in any World Cup knockout game before New Zealand scored 299-6 at Eden Park on Tuesday, was Australia’s 289-4 vs New Zealand in Madras in the 1996 quarterfinals.
Australia hardly feature in the stat leader boards, so could we see the first eve New Zealand World Cup win?
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is a man with the chat to back up his Tinder matches and he’ll be hoping that Australia’s home advantage will count for nothing.
— Cricket Mentor (@Cricket_Mentor) March 15, 2015
Daniel Vettori announced that Sunday’s match against Australia will be the last of his international career after spending half his life in the NZ team after making his debut in 1997 at 18. Incredible for a man who always looked like he could back up and join a very trendy, but only fleetingly successfully electro-indie band at any point.
He will retire as New Zealand’s most-capped Test player – with 113 matches – and one-day internationals – Sunday’s match will be his 291st for New Zealand and he needs three more dismissals Sunday to finish with 300 ODI wickets.
This game is pretty much a coin toss. The Aussies’ home advantage will be negated by the Kiwis’ lingering sense of disdain for their more mouthy neighbours fuelled by their ‘little brother’ status in the relationship. And of course the better nickname for their team. Fairy-tale finish for me, and the slight underdogs New Zealand to head home as winners.