Australia have for so long remained a force to be reckoned with in international cricket. The infrastructure and groundwork laid in the yesteryears keeps the team going strong two decades into the 21st century. And perpetually, as it is turning out to be in recent times, it is India who suffer at the hands of the Kangaroos, and that too, in the grandest of stages.
After a heartbreaking loss that Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and co faced in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup 2023 final, it was Uday Saharan-led U19 team’s turn to relive the pain. It was a similar run for the Boys in Blue till the final as well, as they went unbeaten throughout the tournament. And similarly, it ended in agony right at the last hurdle.
Batting first, Australia put up a decent score on the board banking on Harjas Singh (55), Hugh Weibgen (48), Ollie Peake (46) and Harry Dixon (42). Raj Limbani was the pick of the bowlers for India, getting three wickets, while Naman Tiwari picked two and Saumy Pandey and Musheer Khan contended with a wicket apiece.
However, come the second innings, everything that could go wrong for India, did as the Boys in Blue faltered before the Aussie bowling attack. A slow start and wickets falling at regular intervals meant India could not forge a match-winning partnership at any stage of the match.
Even Skipper Saharan and Sachin Dhas, heroes of the semi-final, failed to score big. Opener Adarsh Singh remained the top scorer at 47, while a Murugan Abhishek 42 was in a lost cause. The Indian top and middle order failed badly on the big stage leaving the boys to rue their mistakes.
Rafael Macmillan and Mahli Beardman got three wickets each. Callum Vidler picked two and Charlie Anderson and Tom Straker got one wicket each to bundle the Indian innings for 174. In the end, Australia emerged victorious by 79 runs.