Australia displayed an all-department show to trounce India by 79 runs in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 final at Willowmoore Park here on Sunday.
India had a worst start as they lost four batsmen including Musheer Khan, Uday Saharan, and Sachin Dhas, inside 20 overs.
Arshin Kulkarni edged one behind the stumps. Adarsh and Musheer then put down their heads and scored only two boundaries in the first Powerplay.
Musheer started off aggressively but played on a Mahli Beardman ball for 22. He then removed big fish Uday Sharan for 8 as he tried to force the ball past offside, but the ball sailed into the hands of Hugh Weibgen at backward point.
India’s hopes were further shattered when Sachin Dhas (8) edged one behind the stumps off Raf MacMillan.
After the cheap dismissals of Priyanshu Moliya and Aravelly Avanish, the writing was on the wall for India.
Abhishek Murugan scored a feisty 42, but it was too late for his side.
Earlier, Oliver Peake’s late flourish took Australia to 253/7 after opting to bat first.
Harry Dixon was off to a belligerent start, taking 15 runs off Naman Tiwari’s first over. However, Raj Limbani got one to swerve in and castled his partner Sam Konstas in the third over. India soon switched to spin, and managed to stem the scoring rate in the first Powerplay.
Dixon and Hugh Weibgen were watchful against the spinners at the start of the middle overs, while also calmly milking runs to keep the scoreboard ticking. The overs 11-20 saw 42 runs come, with boundaries easing in towards the end of that period. A return to pace yielded immediate results in the 21st over, as Tiwari dispatched Weibgen for 48.
The left-armer struck again in his next over, this time getting the better of Dixon. The slower ball outfoxed the southpaw, and he popped it towards Abhishek Murugan.
Harjas Singh and Ryan Hicks then rebuilt for Australia with a patient stand. Harjas, who had scored merely 49 runs in the tournament thus far, opened his arms against the spin of Priyanshu Moliya, hitting a six and four in the 28th over. He hit a flurry of boundaries thereafter
Hicks was eventually trapped leg before by Limbani for 20, but Australia were progressing at a healthy run rate. Harjas punched a Tiwari full toss down the ground in the 37th over to bring his maiden fifty of the U19 World Cup.
Saumy Pandey struck back for India by getting Harjas soon after. The batter tried to sweep Pandey towards the on-side but missed and was trapped plumb leg before.
Ollie Peake’s positive intent helped Australia craft their total past 200 even as India bowlers kept chipping away. Australia eventually added 66 off the last 10 overs.
India and Australia will look to make an addition to their respective trophy cabinets with a win in today’s U19 World Cup final. If India win, it will be a record sixth title for them reaffirming their status as a major force in junior Men’s cricket. For Australia, it will be yet another major ICC trophy to their name after the recent success in the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023 and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
(With UNI inputs)