Friday, March 1, 2024

Australia beats India in another World Cup cricket final

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BOXSCORE: NEW DELHI, INDIA – February 12, 2024 – Australian dominance of major cricket events continued when they beat India by 79 runs in the Under-19 World Cup final at Willowmoore Park in South Africa.

 

The script remained the same as Australia’s senior men’s team won the World Test Championship and ODI World Cup in 2023 — beating India in the finals on both occasions.

The Australian women’s team is the current 50-over and T20 World Cup champions.

Batting on winning the toss, the Aussies posted a healthy 253 for seven as India was forced to mount the highest chase in a youth World Cup summit clash.

But Uday Saharan’s side floundered in the final step to glory, stumbling to 174 all out as the relentless Aussie bowlers led by the furious Mahli Beardman (3/15) and the crafty off-spinner Raf MacMillan (3/43) did not give them any breathing space.

This was Australia’s fourth U19 title and first since 2010.

Pacer Callum Vidler started Australia’s victory march by packing off Indian opener Arshin Kulkarni, inducing an edge to stumper Ryan Hicks.

From that point, India failed to stitch together any meaningful partnerships as frontline batters including skipper Saharan (8), Musheer Khan, who received a reprieve on zero, and Sachin Dhas (9) departed without making any real contributions.

Beardman broke through the defense of Musheer (22) with a delivery that kept a tad low, while the pacer tempted Saharan, the tournament’s highest run-getter, with a slightly wide delivery on off-stump, but his slash ended in the hands of Hugh Weibgen at the point.

Beardman later added the wicket of opener Adarsh Singh, who was India’s highest scorer on the day with a 77-ball 47, to bulldoze the Indian batting unit with pace and bounce.

India was reduced to 68 for four then, and the ouster of the free-flowing Sachin Dhas was a body blow to their chances.

For Australia, no one made a tall score but they fired collectively around Harjas Singh (55, 64b, 3×4, 3×6) to give the bowlers a competitive total to defend amidst strikes by Indian pacers Limbani (3/38) and Tiwari (2/63).

Limbani, who worked up a fair clip from the pitch, bowled opener Sam Konstas with a lovely in-coming delivery to deny the Aussies a quick start as they have done often in this tournament.

But the Australians found stability through Harry Dixon (42, 56 balls) and skipper Weibgen (48, 66 balls).

Dixon started blazingly, hammering left-arm pacer Tiwari (2/63) for 4, 6, 4 in the second over, but he settled into a more sedate rhythm in the company of Weibgen.

The hallmark of their second-wicket alliance of 78 runs in 18.1 overs, was the way they negated the Indian spinners.

Australian captain Weibgen said at the post-match presentation that his team’s bowlers had been the key to their success.

“With a bowling attack like ours, we had a lot of confidence with 250 runs on the board. As a unit, they bowl so well together. They know their roles and I will be surprised if all of them don’t go a long way in their careers.”

India captain Saharan said he was proud of his players despite stumbling in the final. “Our preparation was good but the execution didn’t go our way,” he said.

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