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Australia's young team defeated India in the final match of the U19 Cricket World Cup, showcasing their strength and tenacity.
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Australia’s young team defeated India in the final match of the U19 Cricket World Cup, showcasing their strength and tenacity.

The young cricket players from Australia have replicated their older counterparts by defeating India and earning the title of world champions.

On Sunday, Hugh Weibgen’s team won the Under-19 World Cup with a dominant 79-run victory over the current champions.

After compiling a daunting 7-253 off their 50 overs, the Australians, with their “ferocious” young quartet of fast bowlers and the artful spin of Raf MacMillan, skittled out India’s previously unbeaten side for 174 off 43.5 overs at Willowmoore Park in Benoni, South Africa.

The young players became the fourth Australian U19 team to win the tournament, which has a history of discovering future stars. This victory marks the first time since 2010, when Josh Hazlewood was on the team, that an Australian U19 team has won the tournament in New Zealand.

On this occasion, the victory was achieved through exceptional fast bowling by all four of Australia’s talented and highly promising bowlers. The risk of playing them all paid off as they were relentless and ultimately too much for the Indian batters, who were tasked with chasing a record-breaking score in the final.

Having won the toss and elected to bat on a humid, overcast morning, the accomplished Weibgen himself (48 off 66 balls) and the aggressive left-handed opener Harry Dixon (42 off 56) provided a fine launch pad.

Harjas Singh, who relocated to Sydney from India as a child, redeemed himself after a disappointing tournament in which he only scored 49 runs in six innings. He bounced back with a half-century, including three sixes.

During the cricket match, India took important wickets and posed a threat to the Australian team’s ability to continue batting. However, 17-year-old Ollie Peake, whose father Clinton Peake was a former Victoria player and also a talented teenage batsman who scored triple-centuries, played a remarkable innings as a finisher. He scored an unbeaten 46 runs off 43 balls.

Arshin Atul Kulkarni (left) nicks the ball and is caught out behind as Callum Vidler celebrates during the ICC U19 men's Cricket World Cup final between India and Australia in Benoni, South Africa on 11 February 2024

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India did not appear to have a chance at competing with Queensland’s dominant paceman, Callum Vidler, whose personal motto is “I will not listen to anyone who tells me to slow down.” In the third over, Vidler successfully caught Arshin Kulkarni, solidifying Queensland’s lead.

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Mahli Beardman was the standout among the fast bowlers, taking 3 wickets for 15 runs in seven overs. He made the crucial breakthrough by dismissing both Musheer Khan and captain Uday Saharan with his smooth and swift deliveries. Vidler also performed well, taking 2 wickets for 35 runs in his 10 overs, while Charlie Anderson, known for his swing bowling, took 1 wicket for 42 runs in nine overs.

Tom Straker, also known as ‘Monster Truck’, achieved a remarkable feat of taking six wickets in the semi-final against Pakistan. He continued his impressive performance in the final match, with wicketkeeper Ryan Hicks making his fourth catch to bring an end to the innings and spark jubilant celebrations.

MacMillan, the versatile player, successfully took the wicket of Sachin Das, who was a threat, with the first spin ball of the innings. He was caught behind and also managed to gain two more crucial wickets, contributing 3-43 off 10 overs.

Source: theguardian.com