ICC Cricket World Cup Australia Win
AHMEDABAD, India Virat Kohli concealed his face behind his India cap, while Rohit Sharma departed with a downcast expression. Despite the overwhelming sea of Indian blue in the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi stadium, the triumphant Australian players on the field emitted the sole source of cheers.
Australia reclaimed its position as the champion of one-day cricket by winning a record-breaking sixth World Cup title. On Sunday, they ended India’s dominant streak in their tournament with a six-wicket victory in a low-scoring final. Travis Head’s extraordinary innings of 137 was pivotal in this triumph.
Head and Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out) formed a formidable 192-run partnership, enabling them to successfully chase down the target of 241 and leaving the crowd, officially announced as 92,453, in silence.
Australia encountered a rocky start in their pursuit of their target, with a score of 47-3 after seven overs. However, Head and Labuschagne displayed resilience, helping their country similarly to their extraordinary series of 50-over global titles, which consist of triumphs in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015.
Head was dismissed on the penultimate ball of the match, caught in the deep while trying to score the title-clinching boundary. Then, Glenn Maxwell stepped in and quickly ran two off his first ball, securing a victory that ignited fireworks above the largest cricket stadium in the world.
India had an impressive run, winning all ten matches leading up to the final. This fourth appearance in a title match was highly anticipated, captivating a nation of 1.4 billion people.
However, Australia was the dominant force, overpowering India in each game. Despite losing the toss, India managed to score 240 runs on a sluggish pitch, with only Virat Kohli (54) and Lokesh Rahul (66) reaching a half-century milestone.
India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, admitted that the team fell short in today’s match. Despite trying their best, efforts could have been more successful. The team aimed for a target of 270-280 runs, but continuous loss of wickets hindered their progress.
With a total of 240 runs, the team relied on taking wickets to shift the game in their favor. While three wickets were taken, credit must be given to Head and Labuschagne for their partnership, preventing the team from gaining an advantage.
World Cup Final
Virat Kohli had an outstanding performance in the tournament, accumulating a remarkable 765 runs in just 11 games, with an impressive average of 95.62. As a result of his exceptional performance, he was rightfully awarded the “Player of the Tournament” title.
Head earned the title of man of the match in the final. He achieved an impressive feat by becoming the seventh player to score a century in a men’s World Cup final.
This accomplishment puts him in the esteemed company of Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist as the only Australian players to achieve this milestone. Additionally, Head made a crucial contribution to India’s innings by executing a diving catch from cover to dismiss Sharma, who had scored 47 runs.
Jason Head’s achievement places him among esteemed individuals like Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Aravinda de Silva, and Mahela Jayawardene. It’s worth noting that Ponting’s unbeaten 140 contributed to Australia’s victory over India in the 2003 final. Furthermore, Jayawardene’s century in the 2011 final remains the only instance where a player’s remarkable feat went in vain, as India emerged victorious.
Head expressed great excitement about participating in the fantastic day, highlighting a preference for participating rather than staying at home on the couch. It is worth noting that Head initially couldn’t compete in the tournament due to a broken left hand.
Marnus played exceptionally well, and our partnership was genuinely remarkable. It’s going to be an exciting couple of days ahead. Achieving such a feat on the biggest stage, in front of a packed audience, and under immense pressure is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Australia concluded the 2023 tournament with nine consecutive victories, bouncing back after initial defeats to India and South Africa.
Meanwhile, India, which emerged victorious in the World Cup in 1983 and 2011, celebrated its previous major accomplishment in 2013 by clinching the ICC Champions Trophy.
The game drew notable figures, including former Indian winning captains, film stars, and prominent politicians such as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.
Mohammed Shami of India emerged as the most successful bowler in the tournament, picking up 24 wickets, with his notable dismissal of the attack-minded David Warner in the final.
Warner was caught at slip for seven by Kohli, who had an opportunity to see him off the very first ball of the match. Meanwhile, Adam Zampa from Australia completed the tournament with figures of 1-44, equaling Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan’s record for the most wickets by a spinner at a World Cup in 2007, with 23 doors to his name.
Steve Smith (4) ended up playing for the winning team, but he will rue not considering a review for his lbw dismissal by Jasprit Bumrah (2-43). If reviewed, he would have remained not out on impact.
Head scored a half-century off 58 deliveries and then reached a century off just 95 balls. Overall, Head hit an impressive 15 fours and four sixes, earning nothing more than a peaceful response from the astonished spectators.
Australia chose to field first, and Sharma, with four fours and three sixes, provided a quick start for the home team. This compensated for Shubman Gill’s dismissal for just four runs. Sharma and Kohli combined for a partnership of 46 runs off 32 balls, delighting the Ahmedabad crowd with a series of boundaries.
Maxwell successfully dismissed Sharma, who had previously struck the spinner for a six and a four. However, Sharma’s attempt at another ambitious shot proved his downfall, as Head, positioned at cover, executed a brilliant diving catch to secure the wicket.
India was in a precarious position at 81-3 before Kohli and Rahul steadied the team with a partnership of 67 runs for the fourth wicket. However, they could only add 50 runs from 88 balls as Australia started dominating the match.
Ultimately, India’s innings closed with a whimper, losing its last five wickets for 37 runs.
Pat Cummins, the captain of Australia, delivered an exceptional performance with the ball, achieving figures of 2-34 in 10 overs. His impressive spell included the dismissals of Kohli and Shreyas Iyer.
Kohli reached a well-played half-century off 56 deliveries before being bowled by Cummins. The consequential silence that followed his departure was likely not limited to the stadium but reverberated throughout India.