MELBOURNE, - Australia dismissed New Zealand for a paltry 183 from 45 overs in the cricket World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday after Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum was bowled for a duck in Mitchell Starc's opening over.
Only Pakistan, who succumbed for 132 against Australia at Lord's in 1999, have scored fewer runs in the first innings of a 50 overs World Cup.
The Australian pace attack, adroitly handled by Michael Clarke playing in his last one-day international, bowled with sustained accuracy and hostility and only Grant Elliott with a composed 83 offered any serious resistance.
McCullum was beaten by the first two balls he faced and bowled off stump by the third, a late inswinging yorker, after he had won the toss and elected to bat on a perfect late summer's day in Melbourne before a capacity crowd of more than 91,000.
The departure of New Zealand's most destructive batsman electrified the Australian supporters and elated the home team with Starc moving the ball both ways off a full length in an excellent opening spell of four overs costing only eight runs.
Martin Guptill cover drove the first boundary of the day off Josh Hazlewood and top-edged a six before Clarke turned to Mitchell Johnson's pace and Glenn Maxwell's off-spin.
The move was immediately successful when Guptill was bowled by Maxwell's second ball for 15, making room to punch off the back foot a ball which turned less than he anticipated.
Kane Williamson off drove Hazlewood stylishly to the boundary but had made only 12 when he pushed a simple catch back to Johnson.
Ross Taylor and Elliott consolidated in a fourth-wicket partnership of 111 from 137 balls with the latter successfully reviewing a leg-before decision after scoring only 15 given to Maxwell which replays showed would have missed the leg stump.
Elliott, the man-of-the-match in the semi-final win over South Africa, played two assured cover drives to the boundary and a less convincing top-edged hook for six on his way to a half century off 51 balls.
Taylor played a more restrained role, content to push the ball around for singles, before he was caught by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 40 off the first ball of the batting powerplay delivered by James Faulkner.
The potentially dangerous Corey Anderson was bowled two balls later in the same over for a duck and Luke Ronchi followed in the next over from Starc, also for a duck, caught at slip by Clarke.
Elliott survived another lbw review on 73 against Faulkner, this time called by the fielding side, before he was caught behind off the left-armer after hitting seven boundaries and a six from 82 deliveries.
The tail succumbed cheaply with Johnson (three for 30) and Faulkner (three for 36) the most successful of the bowlers.
2nd over - New Zealand get the early breakthough they desperately needed when Australian opener Aaron Finch went for a fifth ball duck, caught and bowled by Trent Boult. AUS: 2-1.
4th over - David Warner releases the pressure when he scores Australia's first boundary, driving Boult through the covers. AUS: 18-1.
5th over: Warner smashed the first three balls of Tim Southee's over to the rope for boundaries, signalling his intentions to attack. AUS: 33-1.
6th over: Steve Smith, who scored a century in Australia's semi-final win over India, picks up his first boundary when Boult drops one in short and he pulls him away for four. AUS: 38-1.Suggest a correction