Australia dominated in all three departments of the field to defeat India by 79 runs in the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 final in Benoni.
Hugh Weibgen called it right and elected to bat first in Benoni. Charlie Anderson came in for Tom Campbell for Australia. India were unchanged. Australia reached 253/7 at the end of the first innings. This was the highest-ever total in an U19 World Cup final. Harjas Singh top-scored with 55, while Weibgen, Harry Dixon and Ollie Peak contributed with important 40s. Raj Limbani starred for India with 3/38.
India’s chase was off to a shambolic start as they lost four batters within the first 20 overs. Among those dismissed were Musheer Khan, Uday Saharan, and Sachin Dhas, their three top run-getters in the tournament. Australia kept chipping away and picked four more wickets between overs 21-32. Despite the late charge from Abhishek Murugan, an Australia win was a mere formality, and they sealed the game in the 44th over.
India were rattled early in their chase, when Arshin Kulkarni nicked one behind the wicket. Adarsh Singh and Musheer Khan then proceeded cautiously. Merely two fours came in the first Powerplay. Musheer begun playing more adventurous strokes after the first 10 overs. However, he played on a Mahli Beardman delivery for 22.
Beardman had another big scalp when he dismissed India skipper Uday Saharan for 8. The batter tried to force the ball past offside but found his opposite number Weibgen at the backward point. India’s hopes were further dented when Sachin Dhas (8) edged one behind the stumps off Raf MacMillan.
Soon Priyanshu Moliya and Aravelly Avanish were dismissed without adding much to the total. When Adarsh Singh, who fought with a resilient 47, was dismissed by Beardman, writing was on the wall for India. Abhishek Murugan scored a feisty 42, but it was too late for his side.
How Australia’s innings played out
Harry Dixon was off to a belligerent start, taking 15 runs off Naman Tiwari’s first over. However, Raj Limbani got one to swerve in and castled his partner Sam Konstas in the third over. India soon switched to spin, and managed to stem the scoring rate in the first Powerplay.
Dixon and Weibgen were watchful against the spinners at the start of the middle overs, while also calmly milking runs to keep the scoreboard ticking. The overs 11-20 saw 42 runs come, with boundaries easing in towards the end of that period. A return to pace yielded immediate results in the 21st over, as Tiwari dispatched Weibgen for 48.
The left-armer struck again in his next over, this time getting the better of Dixon. The slower ball outfoxed the southpaw, and he popped it towards Abhishek Murugan.
Harjas Singh and Ryan Hicks then rebuilt for Australia with a patient stand. Harjas, who had scored merely 49 runs in the tournament thus far, opened his arms against the spin of Priyanshu Moliya, hitting a six and four in the 28th over. He hit a flurry of boundaries thereafter.
Hicks was eventually trapped leg before by Limbani for 20, but Australia were progressing at a healthy run rate. Harjas punched a Tiwari full toss down the ground in the 37th over to bring his maiden fifty of the U19 World Cup.
Saumy Pandey struck back for India by getting Harjas soon after. The batter tried to sweep Pandey towards the on-side but missed and was trapped plumb leg before.
Ollie Peake’s positive intent helped Australia craft their total past 200 even as India bowlers kept chipping away. Australia eventually added 66 off the last 10 overs.