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New Zealand may have lost, but the good guys still won

It was the first delivery of the 18th over in New Zealand's chase against England in the semifinals of the T20 WC. Jimmy Neesham punched the ball towards mid-off but Mitchell refused to take a single as he had obstructed Adil Rashid in getting to the ball.


In the second semifinal, David Warner came down the track and hit a six off Mohammad Hafeez who split the ball.


These two instances epitomize New Zealand and Australian cricket. Mitchell could have easily gone for a single but he didn't even though his team needed 34 off the last three. Warner's gesture, though created a little controversy, signified the "play hard but play fair" mentality of the Aussies.


This was really the first time ever that an Australian triumph in an ICC event has been met with so much cheer. No one expected them to win the tournament. No one ever expected them to even qualify from their group which had previous winners in England, West Indies and Sri Lanka. It had suffered two embarrassing 4-1 defeats at the hands of the West Indies and Bangladesh.


Head Coach Justin Langer was under intense scrutiny after the test series loss against India and their following T20 series losses. Talisman David Warner had been stripped of the captaincy and left out of the Sunrisers Hyderabad side. There were a lot of doubts about this Australian team in T20 cricket.


All of these reasons combined made this win even more of a greater achievement than it already was. One of the main reasons for the support that the Australians had received was the element of surprise. The fans and the media love a good underdog story as well. There were some stories of redemption and proving the doubters wrong as well.




David Warner, who was getting the most amount of cheer, was in horrible form coming into the tournament. He had been left out of the Sunrisers squad. Everyone thought he was too old and past his best. But he made a brilliant comeback to become the highest run-scorer of his team. He won the Man of the Tournament award as well and proved you can't keep him down for long.


Mitch Marsh had a horrible time with injuries all his career and never played the amount of cricket that he should have. He even said he didn't feel accepted by the Australian fans. He did something to remedy that by playing the defining innings of his career in the final. Matthew Wade too who worked as a carpenter after being dropped from the side in 2017, played a superb cameo to win the semifinal.




What makes this victory special was the number of players that contributed at various stages of the tournament. It was truly a collective effort from the whole team. You can see what this victory means to all the Australian players. This was the event that has been eluding them for a long time.


We can see it from their celebrations. Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis ran into the ground in elation even before the ball crossed the boundary. Both Marsh and Maxwell were in tears and Stoinis and Warner were very emotional as well. Stoinis talked after the match about how tight-knit the group is. "This group of boys, we actually love each other. It's beautiful - this team. I can't wait to play with this team. I am so proud of them. You won't find bigger supporters of Mitch Marsh than here and probably his family. We are so happy for him."




New Zealand may have lost a third ICC final in a row and Kane Williamson may have been denied a trophy yet again but it was good to see Australia win again.




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