Benoni (South Africa), Feb 11
A fresh chapter was added to the script of Australia’s domination over India in the ICC World Cup finals when they bagged the Under-19 title with a 79-run victory here today.
Batting by choice, the Aussies posted a healthy 253/7 as India were 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 pacer Mahli Beardman (3/15) and off-spinner Raf MacMillan (3/43) did not give them any breathing space.
It was a very good tournament. I am very proud of the boys, they all played very well. They all showed great fighting spirit from the start, very proud of them.
We played a few rash shots (in the final), couldn’t spend more time at the crease. We had prepared, but couldn’t execute. —Uday Saharan, India Captain
}It’s unbelievable. I am so proud of this group. A lot of work has gone in over the last few months. India dominated the tournament and they were on the wrong side today but they have a lot of class. —Hugh Weibgen, Australia Captain
This was Australia’s fourth U19 title and first since 2010. In a way, they also washed away the pain of losing to India in the title matches in 2012 and 2018.
Many would view this result as a continuation of Australia’s win over India in the senior World Cup last year at Ahmedabad.
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 simply failed to stitch together any meaningful partnership as frontline batters, including skipper Saharan (8), Musheer Khan and Sachin Dhas (9), departed without making any real contributions.
Beardman broke through the defence of Musheer (22) with a delivery that kept a tad low. The pacer then tempted Saharan, the tournament’s highest run-getter, with a slightly wide delivery and the batter’s slash ended in the hands of Hugh Weibgen at point.
Beardman later dismissed 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.
If the Indian batters could not cope with the hostility of Beardman, a disciple of the legendary Dennis Lillee, they could not counter the guile of MacMillan, Australia’s lone spinner today.
MacMillan was introduced in the 20th over and he dismissed Dhas off his first ball, a regulation catch to Hicks behind the stumps. India were reduced to 68/4 then, and the ouster of the free-flowing Dhas was a body blow to their chances.
The spinner also bagged the wickets of Aravelly Avanish and Raj Limbani, preventing any late Indian fightback. Murugan Abhishek (42 off 45 balls) tried gamely in the company of Naman Tiwari, adding 46 runs for the ninth wicket, but the task proved beyond his reach.
However, the Australian batters too can claim the right amount of credit for this triumph. No one really made a tall score but they fired collectively around Harjas Singh (55 off 64 balls) to give the Antipodeans a competitive total to defend amidst strikes by Indian pacers Limbani (3/38) and Tiwari (2/63). Harry Dixon (42 off 56 balls) and skipper Weibgen (48 off 66 balls) also made crucial contributions.
Brief scores: Australia: 253/7 in 50 overs (Harjas 55, Weibgen 48, Peake 46*, Dixon 42; Limbani 3/38, Tiwari 2/63); India: 174 all out in 43.5 overs (Adarsh 47; Beardman 3/15, MacMillan 3/43). — PTI
253 Australia’s total was the highest in the final of the U19 World Cup. This is Australia’s fourth U19 title and first since 2010. They avenged their losses to India in the title matches in 2012 and 2018
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