Australia bully India to win the Under-19 World Cup

Australia’s Harjas Singh celebrates his 50 during the ICC Under-19 World Cup final against India at Willowmoore Park, Benoni, on Sunday
CAMEO PERFORMANCE: Australia’s Harjas Singh celebrates his 50 during the ICC Under-19 World Cup final against India at Willowmoore Park, Benoni, on Sunday

As if their dominance in the late nineties and noughties was not enough, the Australian cricket teams have built another chapter of supremacy.

Australia beat India by 79 runs at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Sunday to be crowned the ICC Under-19 World Cup champions for the fourth time since 1988. 

The global youth showpiece title became the fifth ICC trophy to be added to the Aussie cabinet since 2022 after the senior men’s World Test Championship, men’s Cricket World Cup and the women’s T20 and ODI World Cups.

Chasing 254, the highest-ever total in a Under-19 World Cup final, Indian openers Arshin Kulkarni and Adarsh Singh struggled to deal with the line and length of the Australia pace attack of Callum Vidler and Charlie Anderson in the early stages.

With pressure mounting, Kulkarni eventually succumbed to a perfect outswinger from Vidler to be caught behind by Ryan Hicks for just three runs.

Singh and Musheer Khan proceeded cautiously for their third-wicket partnership of 37 before player of the tournament nominee Khan was knocked over by Mahli Beardman for 22.

Beardman collected another big scalp in India skipper Uday Saharan for eight.

Things went from bad to worse for India as their hero from the semifinal, Sachin Dhas (9), fell cheaply, leaving India on 68-4 after 20 overs. 

Adarsh Singh tried to rescue Indians’ shambolic start but wickets kept tumbling at the other end.

Priyanshu Moliya (9), Aravelly Avanish (0) as well as the stubborn Singh (47) all fell in quick succession.

With India on 115/7 after 30 overs, the writing was on the wall.

The Australian bowling attack ripped through the India lower order of Raj Limbani, Murugan Abhishek and Saumy Pandey with ease, bowling out the Asians for 174 with six overs left. 

The Australians scored 253 for seven after skipper Hugh Weibgen won the toss and elected to bat first. 

Left-hander Harjas Singh top-scored with 55 off 64 balls for the men from Down Under.

The 19-year-old, who was born in Chandigarh, contributed a cameo that included three fours and three sixes against the country of his birth.

Aussie openers Sam Konstas and Harry Dixon got the day off to a fast start with Dixon taking 15 runs off Naman Tiwari’s first over before Konstas was bowled by India strike bowler Raj Limbani for a duck. 

Dixon and Weibgen helped Australia to 45/1 for the first power play as they manoeuvred their way through a tricky Indian spin attack that caused headaches for SA in the semifinals.

The watchful pair added 78 runs for the third wicket before Weibgen got a thick edge off the bowling of Tiwari and was caught at backward point by Khan for 48.

Dixon (42) quickly followed to the dugout and became left-armer Tiwari’s second victim of the day.

Singh and Hicks rebuilt for Australia with a patient stand of 66 off 68 balls and helped their side progress at a healthy run rate. 

Hicks (20) was trapped leg before wicket by Limbani with 15 overs to go.

Singh, who had scored just 49 runs in the tournament, notched up his maiden half-century of the 2024 edition. 

But his joy was short-lived as he was trapped leg before wicket by Saumy Pandey, who finished third on the wicket-takers’ list with 17, behind Pakistan’s Ubaid Shah (18) and SA’s Kwena Maphaka (21).

Raf MacMillan had a brief stay at the crease before being caught and bowled by Khan for two.

With the Australians in need of a flurry of runs in the last 10 overs, Ollie Peake’s positive intent helped his team craft their total past 200.

They added 66 off the last 10 overs.




Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.