Australia are cricket's new world champions.

Captain Michael Clarke signed off from ODIs with 74 as a dominant Australia won their fifth cricket World Cup after crushing New Zealand by seven wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

World Cup winners
1975 - WI beat Aus by 17 runs
1979 - WI beat Eng by 92 runs
1983 - Ind beat WI by 43 runs
1987 - Aus beat Eng by 7 runs
1992 - Pak beat Eng by 22 runs
1996 - SL beat Aus by 7 wickets
1999 - Aus beat Pak by 8 wickets
2003 - Aus beat Ind by 125 runs
2007 - Aus beat SL by 53 Runs
2011 - Ind beat SL by 6 wickets
2015 - Aus beat NZ by 7 wickets

New Zealand, playing in their first final after succumbing six times in the semis, suffered a body blow in the opening over from Mitchell Starc when captain Brendon McCullum was bowled without scoring from the third ball he faced.

A fourth wicket partnership of 111 between Ross Taylor (40) and Grant Elliott (83) appeared to restore New Zealand's fortunes although runs came slowly against a hostile, accurate pace attack with Starc in outstanding form.

The paceman was ably supported Australia's two other left-arm fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner who picked up three wickets apiece.

The moment Australia won the World Cup [Getty Images]

Powerplay strikes

New Zealand had reached 150 for three with 15 overs remaining when Faulkner struck twice in the first over of the batting powerplay. He dismissed Taylor caught behind and bowled the potentially dangerous Corey Anderson for a duck two balls later.

The remaining wickets fell swiftly and New Zealand were bowled out for 183 with five overs remaining. It was the lowest first innings score in a 50 overs World Cup final since Australia disposed of Pakistan for 132 at Lord's in 1999.

Trent Boult raised New Zealand's spirits temporarily by holding a simple return catch from Aaron Finch before the Australian opener had scored.

David Warner responded by striking Tim Southee for three consecutive fours and raced to 45 from 46 deliveries when he hooked Matt Henry to Elliott.

Starc dismissed dangerman McCullum in the first over of the day[Reuters]

Clarke's presence

Clarke entered the arena to a standing ovation and attacking fields from McCullum who placed six players inside the circle on the off side.

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Both Clarke and his heir apparent Steve Smith played the bowling on its merits as McCullum, whose aggression with the bat and as captain have transformed the national side, switched his bowlers and field placings in an effort to conjure a wicket.

He reached his 50 from 56 balls and acknowledged another standing ovation from the crowd for his 58th and final one-day fifty.

After a final flurry of boundaries he was bowled by Henry giving Smith (56*) time to complete his half century as Australia won in 33.1 overs.

Scorecard:

New Zealand 183 all out in 45 overs (Elliott 83, Johnson 3-30)

Australia 186-3 in 33.1 overs (Clarke 74, Henry 2-46)

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies