Australia continued their historic dominance over India in ICC World Cup finals, adding another chapter with a commanding 79-run victory in the Under-19 title match held recently.
Opting to bat first, Australia set a formidable target of 253 for seven, placing India in the challenging position of staging the highest chase in a youth World Cup final.
Despite India's aspirations, Uday Saharan's team faltered in their pursuit of glory, crumbling to 174 all out under the relentless pressure from the Australian bowlers. Mahli Beardman, with figures of 3/15, and Raf MacMillan, claiming 3/43, led the charge with their fierce bowling, leaving no room for Indian batsmen to breathe.
This victory marked Australia's fourth U19 title, their first since 2010, and served as redemption for their losses to India in the 2012 and 2018 finals. Many observers see this win as a continuation of Australia's triumph over India in the senior World Cup the previous year.
The match began with Callum Vidler dismissing Indian opener Arshin Kulkarni early on, setting the tone for India's struggles. Despite efforts from key players like Musheer Khan and Sachin Dhas, who departed without significant contributions, India failed to build substantial partnerships.
Beardman's fiery pace proved too much for the Indian batsmen, while MacMillan's spin added further woes to their innings. MacMillan's introduction in the 20th over proved pivotal, as he immediately claimed a wicket, leaving India reeling at 68 for four.
Although Murugan Abhishek showed resilience with a 42-run knock, partnered briefly by Naman Tiwari, India's hopes dwindled against the Australian onslaught.
Australia's batting, though lacking individual standout performances, revolved around Harjas Singh's 55-run innings. Supported by contributions from Harry Dixon and skipper Hugh Weibgen, they posted a competitive total amidst challenges posed by Indian pacers Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwari.
Dixon and Weibgen's partnership was characterized by steady accumulation rather than explosive hitting, effectively neutralizing the threat posed by Indian spinners. Despite setbacks caused by Tiwari's bowling, Australia regained momentum with a crucial partnership between Harjas and Ryan Hicks.
Harjas Singh, in particular, displayed resilience after an initial struggle, guiding Australia with a composed fifty before his dismissal. Oliver Peake and Charlie Anderson provided valuable contributions in the latter overs, propelling Australia to a defendable total.