U19 WC final: Australia dash Indian dreams with 79-run victory
Benoni: 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 on Sunday.
Batting by choice, the Aussies posted a healthy 253 for seven 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 the furious Mahli Beardman (3/15) and the crafty off-spinner Raf MacMillan (3/43) did not give them any breathing space.
This was Australia’s fourth U19 title and first since 2010 and, in a way, they also washed away the pain of losing to India in two 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 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 (22) 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. Murugan Abhishek (42, 45b) tried gamely in the company of Naman Tiwari adding 46 runs for the ninth wicket, highest of the innings, but the task proved
beyond his reach.