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HomesportsCalm Australia beat favourites India for sixth Cricket World Cup crown

Calm Australia beat favourites India for sixth Cricket World Cup crown

Australia have pulled off an upset by beating hosts and undefeated tournament favourites India by six wickets to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in Ahmedabad and extend their staggering record of title wins to six.

The calm but experienced Australian side sailed to a comfortable win despite losing three early wickets in their run chase at a packed Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday evening.

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Middle-order batter Travis Head scored 137 runs from 120 balls and Marnus Labuschagne scored 58 from 110 balls as Australia cruised home.

It brought a trophy to captain Pat Cummins and his team, who were not deemed favourites to win when the tournament began more than six weeks ago.

Indeed, Australia and India opened their campaigns against each other in Chennai on October 8, when star India batter Virat Kohli combined with KL Rahul to steer his team’s chase of a moderate total and get their first win of the tournament.

India were in a similar situation in Ahmedabad, where Kohli (54) and Rahul (66) once again came together for a rescue act. However, India’s batting collapse on the biggest stage saw them put up a paltry target of 241 at the end of 50 overs.

Australia’s bowlers, led by Mitchell Starc’s brilliant display of fast bowling with figures of 3-55 in his 10 overs, kept the Indian batting powerhouse at bay with regular dismissals. Captain Cummins ended with figures of 2-34 in 10 overs, while fellow seamer Josh Hazlewood had 2-60 in his 10 overs.

Rohit’s India ‘tried everything’

India’s captain Rohit Sharma began the innings in his typically attacking fashion, scoring 47 runs from 31 balls. But apart from Kohli and Rahul, no other Indian batter threatened the Australian bowlers on a pitch that offered a balance between bat and ball.

Following the loss, Rohit said his team “tried everything” but fell short.

“When KL [Rahul] and Kohli were batting, we were looking at 280 [runs].”

“Australia stitched up a good partnership to win the game and took the game away from us.”

Rohit refused to blame the pitch for his side’s batting display, though he said it “definitely improved under the lights”.

‘Top of the mountain’

Australia last won the title at home in 2015. Their sixth title widens the gap between the rest of the title-winning countries, including India, who have two, along with the West Indies.

Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England have each won the title once.

Australia captain Cummins said his team saved their best for last, as “a couple of big-match players stood up”.

He heaped praise on Labuschagne and Head, saying they “showed some character” to lead the chase on the biggest stage.

“He [Head] takes the game on and put some pressure back on India,” he said.

The win marks the end of an incredible year for Australia, who beat India in the World Test Championship final in England before retaining the Ashes.

Cummins said his team were brave and took the game on at times.

“This year will be a year we remember for a long, long time,” he said.

“We’ve pretty much spent the whole Australia winter away from home … [We] have had a lot of success, but this pips it all – this is top of the mountain.”

Source: Al Jazeera

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