The bowlers set up the win for Australia with a fantastic effort after Pat Cummins won the toss and decided to field first. Mitchell Starc (3/55), skipper Cummins (2/34) and Josh Hazlewood (2/60) all stood up on the big stage. Thanks to their fantastic efforts, India were held to 240. In the chase, the Men in Blue fought back to reduce Australia to 47/3. However, Travis Head (137 off 120) blunted out India’s resistance, lifting the Aussies to yet another famous World Cup triumph.
Batting first, India lost Shubman Gill for 4 to Starc. Rohit Sharma (47 off 31) and Virat Kohli (54 off 63) gave India hope of posting a challenging total. India were well placed at 76/1 in the 10th over. However, a brilliant running catch by Head off Glenn Maxwell ended Rohit’s dangerous stay at the crease. The Aussies then stifled India’s batting line-up.
Shreyas Iyer (4) was caught behind off Cummins. Kohli played on to the Australia captain, while Ravindra Jadeja (9) gave a catch to the keeper off a probing delivery from Hazlewood. KL Rahul hung around for 66 off 107 balls, hitting just one four. However, he could not accelerate and perished to Starc in the 42nd over. Suryakumar Yadav scored 18 off 28, but the tail couldn’t do much against an Australian attack on top of its game.
Australia showed intent in the chase from the start as Jasprit Bumrah’s first over went for 15. Mohammed Shami, however, kept India in the game, having David Warner (7) caught at slip. Bumrah then hit back to dismiss Mitchell Marsh (15) and Steven Smith (4) in quick succession.
At 47/3, India harbored hopes of a fightback. Head, however, played a sensational knock, smashing 15 fours and four sixes to crush India’s optimism. He featured in a defining fourth-wicket stand of 192 with Marnus Labuschagne, who contributed a defiant 58 not out off 110 balls. Head fell with Australia on the cusp of victory. Fittingly, Maxwell, who resurrected Australia’s World Cup campaign with a miraculous double hundred against Afghanistan, came in to hit the winning runs.
--By A Cricket Correspondent