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19-Nov-2023 16:00:00 GMT
India vs Australia - Final, Ahmedabad

Head magnificent 137 leads Australia to sixth World Cup

Australia 241 for 4 (Head 137, Labuschagne 58, Bumrah 2-43) beat India 240 (Rahul 66, Kohli 54, Starc 3-55) by 6 wickets

Ahmedabad: Australia produced a magnificent performance to beat India in the final to win the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

The majority of a packed and partisan crowd arrived at the Narendra Modi Stadium hoping to see the host nation end their decade-long wait for a major ICC trophy win.

But it was Australia who delivered on the day. The Australian bowling attack combined to turn the screw after a fast-paced powerplay, bowling India out for 240.

And Travis Head was the star with the bat, hitting an inspired century to win Australia’s men their sixth ICC Cricket World Cup crown.

Victory for Australia is a crowning moment in what has been a phenomenal year for Pat Cummins’ side across formats, adding to their win over India in the World Test Championship final in June and their subsequent retention of the Ashes.

Tasked with a target of 241 to win the World Cup, Australia got off to a fast but shaky start in the face of a new-ball assault from India’s seam attack.

David Warner (7), Mitchell Marsh (15) and Steven Smith (4) all departed cheaply as Australia slipped to 47/3 inside the opening seven overs, with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah taking the wickets.

But a superb partnership between Head and Marnus Labuschagne won it for Australia, with Head hitting a stunning century and Labuschagne playing the foil at the other end, bedding in with a resolute half-century of his own.

Head was caught in the deep with just one run needed to win the game, departing to a standing ovation from his teammates having scored 137 from 120 runs.

And Glenn Maxwell scored the winning runs as Australia claimed victory with six wickets and seven overs to spare.

Earlier, Australia skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and chose to bowl first in Ahmedabad in-front of a packed crowd. But it was India who got off to a flier, inspired once more by captain Rohit Sharma.

The early loss of Shubman Gill didn’t halt India’s attacking momentum, as Rohit and Virat Kohli racked up the runs in the first ten overs, with 80 runs coming in the first powerplay, equalling the record for a men's Cricket World Cup final.

However, the departure of the skipper for 47 from 31 balls was followed by Shreyas Iyer for 4 in the very next over, and the match took an abrupt turn from that moment on, as the runs dried up through the middle overs.

Looking to rebuild in the face of some excellent bowling on a tricky surface, Kohli and KL Rahul bedded in, ensuring India reached at least a competitive total.

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