Brendon McCullum calls heads and it's heads. New Zealand win the toss and will bat first
Three runs off the over so far. None off the last, NZ 62/3 after 19 overs.
Great run from Taylor, dabs to mid off and sets off, sharp throw but doesn't hit the stumps.
James Faulkner to bowl
Outside off, Elliot drives and then stops his shot, Haddin flicks off the bails but Elliott was fine. NZ 59/3 after 18 overs.
Driven down the ground for Ross Taylor.
Maxwell is back.
Played down to third man for one. NZ 51/3 and its drinks.
Good shot from Taylor, on off stump and plays through midwicket. two runs, 50 up for NZ.
Can Australia get another before drinks?
NZ 47/3 after 15 overs.
Elliott drives through the off side and gets two. NZ
Three runs. Cover drive from Taylor, perfectly done, brilliant shot.
Taylor plays and misses, maiden over. NZ 41/3.
No run off three balls, though Taylor gets all three in the middle off the bat.
Ross Taylor drives outside off, hits point but gets a single. NZ 41/3
Grant Elliott, hero of the semifinal, comes in. If he gets out, the game could be over quickly now.
OUT! Slower ball on middle, Williamson plays early, and straight back to Johnson!
On the hips and tucked away for two to long leg.
Good fielding in the covers, NZ 38/2 after 12
FOUR. Juicy full toss outside off and Taylor drives wide of mid off for four.
Ross Taylor is the new batsman. This is his day now. It's everything.
OUT! Guptill is gone, short length but spinning on off, Guptill backs away and tries to drive on the backfoot, and the ball meets his off stump.
Short and wide, batsman slaps hard but straight to point.
Glenn Maxwell comes into the attack.
Now a single to third man and NZ are starting to purr again. NZ 31/1 after 10.
Two runs, short ball from Hazlewood and Williamson pulls to long leg.
FOUR. Good shot by Williamson, between good length and half-volley, he drives past mid off for four.
Kane drives down the ground but stopped by the bowler.
One run from the over, off a wide. NZ 24/1.
Wide ball, as Johnson's line goes awry outside leg. NZ are stuck here.
Short ball, climbs into Guptill's chest, he fends it loosely. Great first delivery.
Mitchell Johnson, first change.
On the pads, Williamson is struggling, can't get it away. Maiden over, NZ 23/1.
Deadly short ball from Hazlewood, Williamson arches back as much as his body can allow, and the ball cuts the space where Williamson would have been!
NZ 23/1 after 7 overs.
Late swing outside off from Starc, stays low as it reaches Haddin.
Fuller length on middle, Guptill drives but finds a diving Mitchell Johnson at mid on.
Full ball just outside off, Guptill drives but misses. They key is that it didn't swing back because of the differing seam position.
Short ball, Guptill ducks and its called a wide.
First confident shot from Williamson, on the pads and he flicks it for two through square leg. NZ 22/1 after 6 overs.
Single to third man, not an edge this time. Williamson back on strike.
Edged, down to third man for a single.
Williamson misses out on a good length ball on the pads. 1 off 14.
In the air, wide of David Warner at backward point! NZ 18/1 after 5 overs.
Short ball, doesn't rise, Williamson ducks and sways.
Another ball outside off, good length, closer to the stumps, and Williamson hangs his bat out.
Williamson drives outside off, no feet and misses.
NZ 17/1 after 4 overs
SIX! Short ball, fast, Guptill hooks and gets a top edge, flies for six behind the wicket! #MCGsobig
Slightly short outside off, Guptill can't beat a diving cover point and point, both wanted to stop it.
Tucked away for a single, NZ 11/1 after 3 overs.
Searing short ball, Guptill sways out of the way with haste. Would have got him in the chin otherwise.
FOUR. Great shot from Guptill, drives through covers, splits cover and point, easy four. Even if the #MCGsobig
Huge LBW appeal, Starc brings the ball in again from a fullish length, but there was an inside egde onto pad.
Outside off, left alone, NZ 6/1 after 2 overs.
Good return ball, straight on off and defended to off.
FOUR LEG BYES. Hazlewood goes off line, on leg and away for four byes.
There is a fine line between being cool and being foolish. McCullum crossed it today.
New Zealand 1/1 after 1 over.
OUT! McCullum is gone, huge strike for Australia. Full ball on off, comes back in and McCullum was all around with the shot. McCullum is gone without scoring, NZ 1/1.
Down the track, McCullum gives room, Starc follows him and misses again.
Swing and a miss. Full, swings in just a touch, McCullum with a huge bat swing straight down the ground, very close to off stump as well.
First runs for NZ, to third man, beats point. Huge cheer at the ground.
Outside off and Guptill leaves with ease. Good ball, good leave.
Mitchell Starc to Martin Guptill
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5........1
McCullum and Guptill come out to bat. Huge cheer around the MCG. Strong support for New Zealand.
8:48 IST Sunday, 29 March 2015
The pitch is rock hard, and the outfield is lightning fast says Shane Warne. He says the average score batting first in 290. Clear sunny skies.
8:30 IST Sunday, 29 March 2015
It's time for the toss. Brendon McCullum calls heads and it's heads. New Zealand win the toss and will bat first
7:47 IST Sunday, 29 March 2015
MCGsobig has produced some really funny tweets over the days. Here's a nice collection. Mind you it's still kind of trending.
— Mallikarjuna (@mallikarjunagk) March 29, 2015
6:45 IST Sunday, 29 March 2015
Welcome to the LIVE coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand, to be held in Melbourne. The match will begin at 9 am IST.
We have come to the last game of a six-week long tournament. New Zealand and Australia have reached the finals after playing some outstanding cricket. So outstanding have been their performances that when these two sides met in a league match, New Zealand bowled Australia out for 151 and Australia took 9 wickets before a six finished off the game. Thus, we are certainly looking at the two best teams in the competition, in a grand finale.
New Zealand have been unbeaten in all of their 8 games so far, and challenged only by Australia in the league stage and South Africa in the semifinal. Australia on the other hand have laid waste to all opposition with the exception of the Kiwis. It couldn't get closer than this. Here's the match preview
Truth be told, one hopes it gets really close, because New Zealand will be playing for the first time on an Australian wicket, having played all their games in New Zealand. Melbourne is a huge ground, one of the biggest in the world and it will take some long hits to clear the fence. Moreover, the Kiwis have rarely played in Australia in six years, so the Kangaroos go in as favourites to lift the trophy for a fifth time. But New Zealand have no fear.
For both teams, there are several motivations to win the big finale, apart from the lure of being World Champions. For Australia, there is the retirement of Michael Clarke, which he announced on Saturday. Then there is the death of Phillip Hughes on a Sydney pitch last November.
For New Zealand, this is the first World Cup final and a chance they must not let go abegging. Then there is the terminal illness of legend Martin Crowe, and the retirement of Daniel Vettori. Emotion plays as much a role in this final as hard skills, though Michael Clarke thinks otherwise.
Michael Clarke though is emotional when he thinks teammates' opinions are the most important to judge his legacy.
Speaking of emotion, Brendon McCullum has asked Indian fans to support his team enthusiastically in the final, in a letter. He also thinks New Zealand have a 50-50 chance.
Martin Crowe for his part has written a moving tribute to his Black Caps team.
The banter was consistent ahead of the final, with both teams' players chirping in. For example, here's Tim Southee's take, and here's the legend Richard Hadlee.
Here are the key match-ups which will decide the final, according to us at dnaindia.com.
Also, here is some trivia from the World Cup 2015, before the final.
For complete coverage of the World Cup, you can visit dnaindia.com's special page here.