(CNN)Australia won the battle of the hosts to lift cricket's World Cup for the fifth time with a seven-wicket win over New Zealand in Melbourne Sunday.
Australia triumphs in cricket World Cup
Chasing a modest 184 for victory in front of a world record crowd at the MCG, Steve Smith hit the winning runs with over 16 overs to spare.
Smith had shared a partnership of 112 with his captain Michael Clarke, who was dismissed for 74 with victory assured.
Clarke, making his final one-day international appearance, was given a standing ovation the crowd of 93,013 as he walked off after being bowled by Matt Henry.
An emotional Clarke looked to the sky in silent tribute to his close friend Phillip Hughes, who died after being hit by a cricket ball in a match last November.
The tragedy cast an pall over the season and overshadowed the build up to cricket's 50-over showpiece, which was staged in New Zealand and Australia.
"We played this World Cup with 16 players and tonight is dedicated to our little brother Phillip Hughes," said Clarke at the trophy presentation.
New Zealand, which had topped its group after a narrow victory over old rivals Australia, was unable to repeat the feat on Australian soil and its fate was almost sealed from the very first over.
Its captain and talisman Brendon McCullum was clean bowled for a duck by the outstanding Mitchell Starc and the Kiwis never full recovered from the early body blow.
The Australia pace attack of Starc, Mitchell Johnson and James Faulkner shared eight wickets between them, with only Grant Elliott (83) and Ross Taylor (40) offering much resistance.
They shared a fourth wicket stand of 111, but the loss of three wickets for one run wrecked the recovery and New Zealand lost its last seven wickets for 33 runs to be bowled out for 183 runs in 45 overs.
Kiwi paceman Trent Boult took the early wicket of Aaron Finch, but David Warner (45), Smith (56 not out) and Clarke clinched the latest triumph for Australia in the World Cup, which is staged every four years.
Its victory over defending champions India set up the final showdown, while New Zealand beat South Africa in its semifinal.
Boult ended as joint top wicket taker with Starc on 22, while Martin Guptill became the leading runs scorer when he reached 10, surpassing Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka, but it was little consolation for the beaten finalists.