Benoni, February 11 (UNI) Oliver Peak's brilliant performance led Australia to score 253/7 against India in the final of the ICC Men's Under-19 World Cup at Willowmoor Park on Sunday.
Hugh Wiebgen got it right and chose Benoni to bat first. Charlie Anderson came in place of Tom Campbell for Australia. India was unchanged. Australia reached 253/7 at the end of the first innings. This was the highest score ever in a U19 World Cup final. Harjas Singh top-scored with 55, while Wiebgen, Harry Dixon and Ollie Peake contributed efficient forties. Raj Limbani took 3/38 for India.
Harry Dixon made an aggressive start and scored 15 runs in the first over of Naman Tiwari. However, Raj Limbani dismissed his partner Sam Konstas in the third over. India soon turned to spin and managed to contain the scoring rate in the first powerplay.
Dixon and Wiebgen were alert against the spinners at the start of the middle overs, while also calmly scoring runs to keep the scoreboard ticking. 42 runs were scored in overs 11-20, with boundaries becoming easier towards the end of that period. The return to pace yielded immediate results in the 21st over, as Tiwary dismissed Wiebgen for 48.
The left-handed batsman again hit a four in his next over and this time got the better of Dixon. The slower ball outfoxed the southpaw and he edged it towards Abhishek Murugan.
After this, Harjas Singh and Ryan Hicks patiently made a comeback for Australia. Harjas, who had scored only 49 runs so far in the tournament, opened his arms by hitting a six and a four against the spin of Priyanshu Molia in the 28th over. After this he hit a series of boundaries
Hicks was eventually trapped LBW by Limbani on 20, but Australia were moving at a good run rate. Harjas completed his first half-century in the Under-19 World Cup by punching a full toss ball from Tiwari in the 37th over.
Soumya Pandey soon made a comeback for India by dismissing Harjas. The batsman tried to sweep Pandey towards the on-side, but missed and was out LBW.
Ollie Peake's positive intent helped Australia take their total past 200, while India's bowlers continued to score runs. Ultimately Australia added 66 runs in the last 10 overs.
India and Australia will be looking to add to their respective trophy cabinets with wins in today's U19 World Cup final. If India win, it will be a record sixth title for them, confirming their status as a dominant force in junior men's cricket. For Australia, this will be another major ICC trophy to their name after recent success in the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023 and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
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