A clinical bowling performance helped Australia beat India by 79 runs to lift the ICC U-19 World Cup 2024 on Sunday. The coveted trophy will now reach Down Under a fourth time.
Mahli Beardman (7 overs 15/3) and Rafael Macmillan (10 overs, 43/3) deflated the Indian batting lineup who were handed a target of 254 at South Africa's Sahaa Pak Willowmoore Stadium. Seamers Callum Vidler (35/2), Charlie Anderson (42/1) and Tom Straker (32/1) were the other wicket-takers for the victors.
Only Adarsh Singh (47 from 77), Murugan Perumal Abhishek (42 off 46) and Musheer Khan (22 off 33) could offer any resistance during the run-chase. Seven Indian batters including captain Uday Saharan were dismissed for one-digit scores.
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 partnerships as frontline batters including skipper Saharan (8), Musheer Khan, who received a reprieve on zero, and Sachin Dhas (9) departed without making any real contributions.
Beardman broke through the defence of Musheer with a delivery that kept a tad low, while the pacer tempted Saharan, the tournament's highest run-getter, with a slightly wide delivery on off-stump, but his slash ended in the hands of Hugh Weibgen at point.
Beardman later added the wicket of 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 legendary Dennis Lillee, they could not counter the guile of MacMillan, Australia's lone spinner this day.
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 for four then, and ouster of the free-flowing Dhas was a body blow to their chances. The strapping offie later also bagged the wickets of Aravelly Avanish and Raj Limbani, preventing any late Indian punch back
Opting to bat, Australia first posted 253 for 7, courtesy of Oliver Peake's enterprising 43-ball 46 and Harjas Singh's 55 off 64 balls, and then returned to bowl out the five-time champions for 174 in 43.5 overs. Raj Limbani was the most successful Indian bowler with figures of 3/38, while Naman Tiwari picked up two wickets for 63 runs in nine overs.
- With PTI inputs