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Australia win sixth World Cup title after Head hundred sinks India


The victorious Australian team with the winner’s trophy during the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Final match between India and Australia

Australia won a record-extending sixth 50-over World Cup title after opener Travis Head hit a stunning century to seal their six-wicket win in Sunday’s final against in-form tournament team India.

When put into bat, India rode fighting half-centuries with KL Rahul and Virat Kohli to post a below-par 240 in just 50 overs at a packed Narendra Modi Stadium.

Australia suffered a top order of their own but Head managed 137 off 120 balls to see them home with seven wickets to spare in a match that never reached its peak.

Around 93,000 mostly Indian fans sat in mostly deathly silence as the home team, who had won 10 consecutive games to reach the final, succumbed to their first defeat in the summit clash vital.

Earlier, Pat Cummins’s decision to field, mainly to work with a ball to avoid dew at night, put the opposition in danger but the Australian bowlers, aided by some excellent fielding, faced off.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma was playing set highlights in his batting template in the tournament and it was no different in the final despite the early loss of Shubman Gill.

Rohit hit three sixes in his entertaining 47 but fell just before the end of the powerplay.

Australia's Marnus Labuschagne (L) and Travis Head (R) cross over for a run during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 final against India.

Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne (L) and Travis Head (R) cross over for a run during the ICC Cricket World Cup final against India, 2023.

The opener stood out against Glenn Maxwell but misfired his shot on the other end. The one ran back from cover to take a tumbling catch to get rid of the Indian captain.

Kohli (54) hit Mitchell Starc (3-55) for three consecutive boundaries but India slumped to 81-3 in the 11th over when Cummins dismissed Shreyas Iyer caught behind.

Kohli and Rahul (66) then combined in a dour rebuilding job even if it meant making 16.1 overs unbeaten.

Kohli brought up his ninth 50-plus knock in 11 overs but departed early after cutting a Cummins delivery onto his stumps.

Rahul hit just one four in his half-century showing how difficult the pitch was for a batsman like him.

Australian keeper Josh Inglis took five catches, a record in a World Cup final.

When they came out to bat, they fell to 47-3 in seven overs, which looked like chasing them.

One of them along with Marnus Labuschagne, who made 58 not out, in a 192-run stand to kill off the competition.

– Reuters

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