U19 World Cup: India storm into final, lose to Australia

India U19 failed in their bid to win their sixth title at the ICC Men's U19 Cricket World Cup as they lost to Australia U19 by 79 runs in the final at Willowmoor Park in Benoni on Sunday.

This is India's third consecutive defeat to an Australian team in a premier tournament organized by the ICC after the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023 and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.

This is Australia's fourth title at the ICC Men's U19 Cricket World Cup, adding to the titles they have previously won in 1988, 2002 and 2010. Five-time winners India finished runner-up for the fourth time in their ninth appearance in the final.

Fast bowler Mahali Beardman and off-break bowler Rafe McMillan took three wickets each for 15 and 43 runs respectively, while Callum Vidler took two wickets for 35 runs from 10, as India chased down the target of 254 runs in 43.5 overs. Was out on 174 runs. Lost their first match at the event.

Australia dominated in all three departments of the game and recovered from a poor start to post 253/7 in 50 overs with Harjas Singh top-scoring with 55, while Wiebgen, Harry Dixon and Ollie Peake contributed vital 40 runs apiece.

Chasing the target, India had a very poor start and lost four batsmen within the first 20 overs.

Those dismissed included Musheer Khan, Uday Saharan and Sachin Dhas, their three top run-scorers in the tournament. Australia scored runs continuously and took four more wickets between overs 21–32. Despite a late charge from Abhishek Murugan (42 off 46), Australia's victory was a mere formality, and they sealed the game in the 44th over.

Chasing the target, India suffered an early setback when Arshin Kulkarni hit a single from behind the wicket. Adarsh ​​Singh (47 off 77 balls) and Mushir Khan, the leading run-scorer in the event with two centuries, then proceeded cautiously. Only two fours came in the first powerplay. After the first 10 overs, Musheer (22) started playing more adventurous strokes. However, he scored 22 runs off the bowling of Mahali Beardman.

Beardman suffered another major blow when he dismissed India captain Uday Saharan for 8 runs. The batsman tried to push the ball from offside but found his opposite number Wiebgen at backward point. India's hopes took another blow when Sachin Dhaas (8) bowled Raf McMillan behind the stumps.

Soon Priyanshu Moliya and Aravelly Avneesh were out without adding much to the total. When Adarsh ​​Singh, who fought back with a strong score of 47, was dismissed by Beardman, the writing was on the wall for India. Abhishek Murugan scored a strong 42 runs, but it was too late for his team.

Earlier, fast bowlers Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwary combined for five wickets each as India Under-19 restricted Australia to 253/7 despite a fighting half-century from middle-order batsman Harjas Singh.

Harjas scored 55 runs in 64 balls and helped Australia U19 reach 253/7 in 50 overs with the help of half-centuries from opener Harry Dixon (42), captain Hugh Wiebgen (48) and Oliver Peak (46 not out). Helped, which is the biggest score till date. In the U19 World Cup final. Limbani took 3-38 for India, while Naman Tiwary took 3-63 as India broke the Australian innings at opportune times.

Harry Dixon started aggressively and scored 15 runs in the first over of Tiwari. However, Limbani provided the first blow to India, swinging one and dismissing 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. Australia scored 42 runs 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 to Abhishek Murugan – Australia's score was 99/3 in the 23rd over.

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 they hit a flurry of fours and both added 66 runs for the fourth wicket.

Hicks was eventually trapped LBW by Limbani on 20, but Australia were moving at a good run rate. Harjas punched a full toss off Tiwary in the 37th over to complete his maiden half-century at the Under-19 World Cup – hitting three fours and as many maximum sixes in 59 balls.

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.

Brief Score:

Australia U19 253/7 in 50 overs (Harjas Singh 55, Hugh Wabgen 48, Oliver Peak 46 not out, Harry Dixon 42; Raj Limbani 3-38, Naman Tiwari 2-63) beat India U19 by 174 runs in 43.5 overs ( Adarsh) Singh 47, Murugan Abhishek 42; Mahali Beardman 3-15, Rafe McMillan 3-43, Callum Vidler 2-35) by 79 runs.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by OdishaTV.in staff)

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