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29 March 201508:10

The 5 Key Match-Ups that will decide the #cwc15 Final

The final CWC game will have mouth-watering clashes between star players

The 5 Key Match-Ups that will decide the #cwc15 Final - Cricket News

Will Daniel Vettori trump Steve Smith in the 2015 World Cup final?

The battle for one-day cricket’s greatest prize has come down to a show down between trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand.

The tournament co-hosts played out a thrilled when they met in Auckland earlier in the tournament, with the Black Caps inching home by one wicket.

The final, played on Australia’s home turf at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, could go either way and will rest on the performances of these players.

Trent Boult v David Warner

Trent Boult has been a revelation for the Black Cups throughout the tournament. His opening combination with Tim Southee has struck fear into the hearts of the world’s best batsmen and they will hold the key to early wickets for New Zealand.

Boult has taken 21 wickets at 15.76, including 5-27 against Australia and 4-44 against West Indies, and kept a tidy economy rate of 4.41.

His 2-53 against South Africa in the semi-final included the key wickets of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock.

He will be targeting the wicket of David Warner. With 300 runs at 50, Warner has been Australia’s third-most productive batsman and was at his best in Perth against Afghanistan when he powered his way to 178 off 133 balls.

Warner’s World Cup output has been mixed. Against England, he scored 22, before being dismissed for 34 against New Zealand.
He rounded out the group stage with nine against Sri Lanka and 21no against Scotland, before reaching 24 in the quarter-final. Warner was an early scalp for India in the semi-final, out for 12.

Daniel Vettori v Steve Smith

Having returned to the New Zealand ODI team after a break, Daniel Vettori has been brilliant for the Black Caps throughout the tournament.

Backing up the opening bowling partnership of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, Vettori has claimed 15 wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of 3.98.

Vettori was exceptional at Eden Park against Australia, brought on by skipper Brendon McCullum to halt the flow of Australia’s top order and executing the job with aplomb while also snaring the key scalps of Shane Watson and Steve Smith.

His best figures for the tournament were 4-18 off 10 over at an economy rate of 1.80 against Afghanistan.

His spin will be put to the test in the final however, with Australia’s man of the moment Steve Smith known for his skill playing a turning ball.

Smith’s semi-final century added another chapter to a brilliant summer and he leads the runs tally for Australia with 346 from six knocks at 57.66.

His World Cup has featured three fifties and a century, including a crucial 65 against Pakistan in the quarter-final before his 105 in the semi-final.

Brendon McCullum v Mitchell Starc

The Black Caps skipper has stated he will not stray from his aggressive game plan, so expect fireworks when Brendon McCullum strides to the crease.

He will go hard from ball one and if it comes off, it could be the match-winner. McCullum’s explosive 59 off 32 balls against South Africa made all the different to the Black Caps’ run chase in the semi-final, while he also scored the fast World Cup fifty of all time earlier in the tournament.

On that occasion, he took England opening bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad to task to reach fifty from 18 balls.
McCullum has 328 runs for the tournament at 41, including scores of 77 against England, 65 against Sri Lanka and 50 against Australia.

One man hoping to capture his wicket will be Mitchell Starc. Sitting second on the World Cup wicket taker tally, Starc has been brilliant for Australia this tournament, with 20 wickets at an average of 10.20 while maintaining a miserly economy rate of 3.65.

He was devastating for Australia against New Zealand in Auckland when he took 6-28, while against Scotland he collected 4-14.
Starc has been consistent through the tournament, picking up two wickets in each of his five other outings.

Corey Anderson v Glenn Maxwell

Explosive with the bat and more than handy with the ball, Corey Anderson and Glenn Maxwell have a lot in common.

Anderson has been a consistent performer for the Black Caps this tournament, starting with a man-of-the-match performance in New Zealand’s tournament opener.

The allrounder is capable of scoring rapid runs – as evidenced by his 36-ball century last year – and he has scored 231 runs at 38.50 in seven innings this tournament. He has also collected 14 wickets at 16.21 with an economy rate of 6.45.

Arguably his best performance was in the semi-final when he scored 58 and took 3-72, while he also picked up 3-18 against Scotland earlier in the tournament and scored 75 against Sri Lanka in the tournament opener.

Meanwhile, Maxwell has also risen to the occasion this tournament.

After a lean summer, he started the tournament with a bang, scoring 66 against England. He followed up with a quick-fire 88 against Afghanistan and followed up with his first ODI century in Australia’s clash with Sri Lanka.

On that occasion, he came within a ball of posting the fastest-ever World Cup hundred.

Maxwell currently has the third-highest strike rate in the tournament behind Brendon McCullum and Andre Russell, and is second the Australian runs tally with 324 at 64.8.

Mitchell Johnson v Kane Williamson

Johnson came into his own in the World Cup semi-final when he took 2-50, including the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

His best performance for the tournament so far was against Afghanistan, when he collected 4-22, while his 12 scalps for the tournament have come at an average of 24.66 with an economy rate of 5.43.

Johnson will be targeting the wicket of Black Caps danger man Kane Williamson, who headed into the World Cup in a rich vein of form but has struggle to replicate his consistently high-scoring antics through the tournament to date.

His best knock was 57 against Sri Lanka in Christchurch, alongside innings of 38, 9no, 45no, 33, 1, 33 and 6.

Williamson has 222 runs at 37 for the Cup so far.

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