Australia defeats India handily to win the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Australia defeats India handily to win the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup.

A dominant Australian team defeated a strong Indian team in a thrilling final match at Willowmoore Park, Benoni, on Sunday, securing their fourth ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup title with an outstanding all-around performance.

Australia, led by Hugh Weibgen, produced a spectacular show in the thrilling conclusion. They first set a record for the highest total in an U19 Men’s CWC final and then bowled well to destroy India’s chase and won by 79 runs.

Following in the footsteps of Pat Cummins and his more experienced teammates in India a few months prior, the youthful Australian squad won their nation’s first U19 championship since Mitch Marsh’s squad did it in 2010.

In their sixth consecutive final appearance in the U19 Men’s CWC, India, the defending champions going into the competition, finished second.

India lost to Australia by 79 runs.

India 174 (43.5 overs) vs Australia 253/7 (50 overs)

In Benoni, Australia won the toss and chose to bat under a cloudy sky, and they got off to a furious start right away. In the second over, Harry Dixon set the tone for a scorching innings by hitting Naman Tiwari for two fours and a swivelled pull for six, living up to his growing image as a David Warner knockoff.

The Indian bowling team, who had appeared so strong before the final, was led by Raj Limbani, who produced a terrific inswinger to go past Sam Konstas’ defense.

India tried to take advantage of any weakness Hugh Weibgen might have had against left-arm spin by bringing Saumy Pandey into the assault early on. Before the tournament final, the Australian captain had been removed from three matches by left-arm spinners and once by Pandey during a warm-up in January.

However, with Dixon, a left-hander, at the other end of the pitch, the Australian duo effortlessly rotated strikes against the Indian bowlers. Pandey’s overs were saved by Captain Uday Saharan turning to left-arm spinner Musheer Khan, but Webgen and Dixon’s partnership gained confidence.

Spin was introduced, and while it did slow down scoring for a while, it did not result in wickets. As a result, India went back to speed following 11 consecutive overs of spin. The benefits were felt right away. Weibgen made a mistake that cost him 48 hours of driving straight to Musheer after Tiwari tricked him.

In his subsequent over, Tiwari struck once more, luring Dixon to loft a high ball with a deceptively disguised knuckleball. India managed to get back into the game with two quick wickets, but Harjas Singh, who had not played well in the tournament before, rose to the occasion with a vital blow.
Harjas led the Australian innings along with Ryan Hicks. With Arshin Kulkarni’s medium pace and just two frontline quicks at their disposal, India was forced to switch back to spin. Still, the Australian duo managed to rack up runs at a low risk.

Harjas demonstrated his authority over the bowling assault by smashing Priyanshu Moliya for a six and a four in his opening over. He persisted in applying maximum pressure to the spinners, and Hicks used any openings to consistently rotate the strike.

After Limbani came back, the partnership was broken when the seamer trapped Hicks in front for 20 runs. Unfazed, Harjas carried on and finished with a superb half-century off 59 balls, his first of the competition.

After rejoining the attack in the 38th over, Pandey trapped Harjas in front for 55 runs, giving India a significant victory. With the scalp of Raf MacMillan in the 40th over, Musheer pushed Australia’s score from 165/3 to 187/6.

Charlie Anderson and Ollie Peake, fresh off a game-winning blow in the semi-finals, slowly built before Limbani claimed his third wicket in the 46th over by catching the latter in front.

Peake ended the U19 Men’s CWC final with the best score of 253, while Australia finished with a perfect 46.

India faced a difficult task up against a strong pace attack. Following a maiden over by Callum Vidler, Anderson—who had claimed four wickets in the warm-up match against India—bowled another tight over with the new ball to begin the second innings.

As the pressure built, Vidler got the first wicket when Kulkarni edged behind a one that sailed away. Australia launched their attack, forcing India to go into defensive mode as Adarsh Singh and Musheer Khan tried to withstand the Australian quicks’ new ball spells.

Early on, Musheer displayed some impressive shots that showed promise, including a smooth punch down the ground for four. When Mahli Beardman entered the game, though, a hole in the batter’s defense was revealed by the faster tempo of an angled delivery to the right-hander.

Uday Saharan, the captain of India and their most dependable batter in the competition, joined Adarsh in the middle as his team was in serious difficulty. They were two wickets down and facing a daunting task because the scoring rate had not increased.

After a cautious start, Saharan tried to break free, but Beardman struck for the second time in short succession and an ambitious drive produced a thick edge that found its way to Weibgen at backward point.

India’s problems worsened when their best batsman, Sachin Dhas, was out of the game after MacMillan’s opening delivery. Dhas was caught behind by the off-spinner for nine runs, putting India at 68/4 and in serious trouble.

When Adarsh top-edged a pull off Anderson, the opposition was broken. Adarsh found some company from Moliya, and the stand brought India into the nineties.

In the next over, Aravelly Avanish gave MacMillan a return catch, putting India six down.

Adarsh, feeling the need to score more runs, tried to pick up the pace of his quiet innings by hitting two fours and a six against Vidler. But in the end, he stole a short ball from Beardman and went to the ‘keeper, leaving with 47 after a calm stand at the crease.

Although Murugan Abhishek contributed some fireworks towards the end, India was unable to make a significant comeback since they were too far away from the mark. He made 42 in the end, misplaying a pull in Vidler’s last over.

India finished second best, bowled out for 174, to an efficient Australian side that saved their best performance for the competition final. After bowling three for fifteen from his seven overs, which turned out to be the game-winning innings, Beardman was declared the Player of the Match.

Hugh Weibgen, the skipper for Australia, expressed his pride with his team’s work, particularly that of the quicks, and offered some words of encouragement to India.

“Our plan was to bat first and try and get runs on the board. We backed ourselves. A quality innings from Harjas [Singh]. Full credit to the coaches for sticking with him. They [pacers] can go far as a unit, they know their roles so well. I’ll be surprised if the four of them don’t go a long way in their careers. India are a class side, they dominated the whole tournament, just came out on the wrong side.”

Indian captain Uday Saharan commended the fighting spirit of his team and hoped to learn from the experience.

“I’m proud of the boys, they played very well and showed good fighting spirit. We played a few rash shots and didn’t spend time in the middle. We were prepared but couldn’t quite execute well. There are a lot of learnings from the tournament. We learnt a lot from the coaches and support staff and more importantly from the games themselves.”

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