Australia lift their fourth U-19 World Cup trophy
Australia defeated India by 79 runs in the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup at Willowmoore Park, Benoni on Sunday. The Aussies put up a clinical performance with both bat and ball to deny India their record sixth titleAustralia, thus, became four-time champions.
Batting first, Australia posted a challenging total of 253 for 7 in 50 overs, thanks to some fine contributions from their top and middle order. Harjas Singh was the top scorer with 55 off 64 balls, while Hugh Weibgen (48), Oliver Peake (46 not out) and Harry Dixon (42) also chipped in with valuable runs. For India, Raj Limbani was the most successful bowler with 3 for 38, while Naman Tiwari took 2 for 63.
India’s batting collapses under pressure
Chasing 254, India got off to a shaky start as they lost opener Arshin Kulkarni for just 3 in the second over. Adarsh Singh tried to steady the innings with a 77-ball 47, but he kept losing partners at the other end. India slumped to 91 for 6 in the 23rd over, as none of the other top-order batsmen could reach double figures.
Murugan Abhishek showed some fight with a 42-run knock, but it was too little too late for India. They were eventually bowled out for 174 in 43.5 overs, handing Australia a comprehensive victory. Mahli Beardman was the star of the show for Australia with the ball, as he claimed 3 for 15 in seven overs. He was well supported by Raf MacMillan (3 for 43) and Callum Vidler (2 for 35). Beardman was also adjudged the player of the match for his brilliant spell.
India’s U-19 World Cup journey comes to an end
India, who had won the U-19 World Cup five times before, were aiming for a record sixth title in South Africa. They had been dominant throughout the tournament, winning all their matches before the final. They had beaten Bangladesh, Ireland, USA, New Zealand, Nepal and hosts South Africa in their road to the summit clash.
However, they met their match in Australia, who had also been unbeaten in the tournament. Australia had overcome England, West Indies, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan to reach the final. The Aussies showed their class and experience in the big game, as they outplayed India in all departments.
The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for India, who had high hopes of emulating their senior team’s feat of winning the World Cup at home in November last year. It also reminded them of the 2003 World Cup final, when they had lost to Australia by 125 runs in Johannesburg.
Indian cricket fraternity lauds India U-19 team despite loss
Despite the loss, the Indian U-19 team received praise and support from the Indian cricket fraternity. Former and current players, coaches and fans took to social media to congratulate the team for their performance in the tournament. They also encouraged them to learn from the defeat and bounce back stronger.
Former India pacer Ishant Sharma hailed the team as champions, saying they had made the country proud. He also praised Australia for their display in the final. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who had led the team in the 2003 World Cup final, also congratulated the team for reaching the final and wished them luck for the future.