Australia outplay India to clinch fourth U-19 World Cup title

Published February 12, 2024
Australian players celebrate with the U-19 World Cup trophy after beating India in the final at Willowmoore Park on Sunday.—courtesy ICC
Australian players celebrate with the U-19 World Cup trophy after beating India in the final at Willowmoore Park on Sunday.—courtesy ICC

BENONI: Australia clinched their fourth Under-19 World Cup title with a dominant 79-run victory over India at the Willowmoore Park on Sunday. Opting to bat first, Australia set a challenging target of 253-7. India, tasked with the highest chase in tournament’s final history, struggled, managing only 174.

Mahli Beardman (3/15) and Raf MacMillan (3/43) led Australia’s bowling attack, dismantling India’s batting lineup. Callum Vidler’s early dismissal of Indian opener Arshin Kulkarni set the tone for Australia’s dominance.

India failed to form meaningful partnerships, with key batsmen like skipper Uday Saharan and Musheer Khan falling cheaply. Beardman and MacMillan consistently troubled India’s batsmen, with MacMillan claiming crucial wickets including Sachin Dhas and Aravelly Avanish.

Despite a resilient effort from Adarsh Singh, who top-scored with 47, India couldn’t bridge the gap. Murugan Abhishek’s 42 and Naman Tiwari’s support provided some resistance, but it wasn’t enough to change the outcome.

Australia’s batting, anchored by Harjas Singh’s 55, supported by Harry Dixon and skipper Hugh Weibgen, set a competitive total. Despite facing challenges from Indian bowlers Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwari, Australia built crucial partnerships, with Dixon and Weibgen stabilising the innings with a significant second-wicket stand of 78 runs.

India fought back with Tiwari’s breakthroughs, but Harjas’ resilient innings and Oliver Peake’s late contribution ensured Australia reached a defendable total.

Australia’s comprehensive performance in both batting and bowling secured their victory, dashing India’s hopes of winning the title. This victory underscores Australia’s dominance over India, continuing their momentum from the previous year’s senior World Cup.

Scores in brief:

AUSTRALIA 253-7 in 50 overs (Harjas 55, Weibgen 48, Peake 46 not out; Limbani 3-68); INDIA 174 in 43.5 overs (Adarsh 47, Abishek 42; Beardman 3-15, MacMillan 3-43).

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2024

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