Michael Clarke
Clarke hit 10 fours and a six on his way to a 72-ball 74 at the MCG.Getty Images

Australia captain Michael Clarke dedicated his team's seven-wicket World Cup final victory over New Zealand to late friend and teammate Phillip Hughes.

Hughes sadly passed away in November 2014 after being struck in the neck by a bouncer while batting for South Australia, during a Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales.

But he was fittingly remembered at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after Clarke and Steve Smith dominanted to secure a fifth World Cup win for the Baggy Greens.

"As you can see, it's got PH on it," Clarke, who now plans to retire from one-day international cricket following the end of the tournament, responded after being asked about the black band tied to his upper left arm. "I'll wear it every game I play for Australia.

"I think for everybody in Australian cricket it's been a really tough few months and I'm sure I don't speak just for myself, I'm sure everybody standing on this stage tonight will say that we played this World Cup with 16 players and tonight is certainly dedicated to our little brother and our teammate Phillip Hughes."

"Hughesy used to party as good as any of them so I'll make sure we drink two at a time tonight, one for Hughesy and one for us."

Victory was never really in doubt for Australia after New Zealand lost skipper Brendon McCullum for a duck and were subsequently bowled out for a meagre total of 183 courtesy of a strong bowling attack led by Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and man of the match James Faulkner.

The hosts, led by Clarke's impressive 74 from 72 balls, needed just 34 overs to seal victory and a proud but disappointed McCullum conceded that his side could have no complaints after a positive tournament for the Black Caps ended on a sour note.

"It's never nice to finish second, but sometimes you have to doff your cap to the winners," he said. "Full credit, they stepped up at the crucial moments, but it was a convincing win in the end. They delivered on the big stage.

"In this tournament we've made some significant strides in the way we've played the game. The support has been outstanding. Never been more proud to be a New Zealander."