The wicket of Brendon McCullum and Virender Sehwag, during ICC World Cup 2011 final, were pretty similar © Getty Images

New Zealand crashed to a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, March 29. It was an anti-climactic finish to what has been a sensational tournament, especially since the final was expected to be an epic showdown between the hosts. Amit Banerjee sheds light on how the final of the 11th World Cup was similar to the finale of past editions of the mega-event.

Australia proved once again why they deserved to be at the top of world cricket when they trounced New Zealand by seven wickets to lift the Cricket World Cup for the fifth time. In what was expected to be a cracker of a finale with two evenly matched sides competing for the grandest prize in international cricket, the Aussies once again managed to beat their opponents to submission without much effort. Read: Australia beat New Zealand in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Final, win World Cup for fifth time

Despite the shattering defeat and the disappointment of not pulling off a miraculous victory for the terminally ill Martin Crowe, who perhaps saw the last game of his life, the Black Caps managed to hold their heads high during the presentation ceremony. Brendon McCullum, who was outstanding throughout the entire course of the tournament before getting dismissed for a two-ball duck in the epic final, had the strength to put on a smile on his face. Cricket World Cup finals XI: Players who were outstanding on the day of finals

The match however turned out to have a lot of similarities with the finale of the previous editions of World Cup cricket, especially ICC Cricket World Cup 1999 final between Australia and Pakistan. Following are all the similarities that one can draw from the game and its past counterparts:

1. Australia’s cakewalk of a chase: The 1999 World Cup final is perhaps the one that bears most similarities to the one-sided clash at MCG. Both matches were expected to be close battles among equals before Australia made mockeries out of both contests. Pakistan were brilliant in 1999 for the most part, barring a couple of hiccups. Much like New Zealand, they beat Australia in a close game during the group stage of the tournament. Their dominating nine-wicket victory over New Zealand in the semi-final gave all the more reason for their fans to hope for their second World Cup triumph. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: The CricketCountry XI

In the end Pakistan were shot out for 132, with Australia losing two wickets while on their way to chasing the target down with a little less than 30 overs to spare. A New Zealand fan however, will hope their team’s fortunes in the upcoming editions of World Cup cricket do not dwindle like the Pakistanis, who were faced first-round exits in the next two editions.

2. Co-hosts finishing as runners-up: This is the second instance in World Cup history that two co-hosts ended up in the final, with India and Sri Lanka creating history when they met in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final at Wankhede, where MS Dhoni and co. pulled off a six-wicket win against the Lankans. Incidentally, both India and Australia won the trophy in front of their home crowds, a thing which was unknown in the first nine editions of the tournament. Michael Clarke retires from ODIs: Battered, bruised but not beaten

The celebrations, however, were very different in the two cases. While Mumbai went into a state of frenzy following India’s second World Cup victory along with other Indian cities, Melbourne bore a relatively quiet look after Australia’s win.

3. Five players from losing side reaching double-figures: The New Zealand scorecard bore a dull look, with only five players — Martin Guptill (15), Kane Williamson (12), Ross Taylor (40), Grant Elliott (83) and Tim Southee (11) — scoring in double-digits. It was terrible day at office for the Kiwi batting line-up, who once again failed to tackle the Australian pacers after nearly losing the group stage encounter. The batting failure ultimately played a major role costing the Black Caps a chance of a victory. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Top 10 spells

The statistic of only five batsman from the losing side scoring 10 runs or more happened in the finals of the 1999 and 2003 editions featuring  Pakistan and India respectively, both getting pounded at the hands of the Aussies.

4. Opening batsman getting dismissed for a duck in the first over: Brendon McCullum was bowled by a brilliant Mitchell Starc delivery for a three-ball duck. It was a powerful jolt to the Black Caps, for their leader was prevented blowing the Aussie attack away with yet another whirlwind innings. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Top 10 innings

It was the third instance when an opening batsman  was dismissed for a duck in the first over in a World Cup final innings. The previous instances were Tim Robinson (1987) and Virender Sehwag (2011). Robinson was trapped leg-before off the bowling of Craig McDermott in the fourth ball of the first over to depart for a golden duck, with England going on to lose the final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata by seven runs. Sehwag was dismissed lbw off the bowling of Lasith Malinga for a two-ball duck off the second ball of the innings.

In the 2015 final, Aaron Finch was dismissed for a five-ball duck when he was caught and bowled by New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult. The only difference being that the wicket fell in the fourth delivery of the second over of the Australian innings.

5. Left-arm seamer taking two quick wickets to change the course of the match: New Zealand recovered from a couple of early blows and were going steady at 150 for three at the end of 35 overs. The partnership between Elliott and Taylor was worth 111, and the Australians were desperately looking for a breakthrough. Michael Clarke decided to reintroduce James Faulkner into the attack, with the all-rounder changing the course of the match completely thereafter. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: The Associate XI

Taylor was dismissed off the first ball of the over, getting caught by Brad Haddin to end the strong partnership. Corey Anderson, who had played a crucial role during the semi-final against South Africa, was dismissed two balls later Australia suddenly found them back in the game. All hell broke loose thereafter, as New Zealand were shot out for 183.

Wasim Akram played a similar role in the Benson & Hedges World Cup 1992 final against England, who were favoured to win the title. Setting a 250-run target, Pakistan reduced England to 69 for four before Neil Fairbrother and Allan Lamb resurrected the England innings. At 141 for 4 England seemed to have rebuilt themselves, before two peaches from Wasim cleaned up Lamb and Chris Lewis off consecutive deliveries. The dismissals turned the match around its head as England eventually collapsed to a 22-run defeat, with Akram bagging the Man of the Match award.

6. 183 all out: New Zealand collapsed to a 183-run total in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 final, much like the Indians at Lord’s in the Prudential World Cup 1983 final against Clive Lloyd’s West Indies. There was a difference: “Kapil’s Devils” had managed to pull off a historic 43-run victory against all odds to deny the mighty West Indians a World Cup hat-trick.

7. A seven-wicket victory: Australia ended up registering a comfortable seven-wicket victory against New Zealand. Sri Lanka had won by the same margin against Australia in the final of Wills World Cup 1996 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Aravinda de Silva had claimed 3 for 42 and took two catches to restrict Australia to 241 for 7 before smashing a 124-ball 107 not out to guide Sri Lanka to their only World Cup title.

(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)