Australia beat India to win cricket World Cup for sixth time as Head hits 137 - GulfToday

Australia beat India to win cricket World Cup for sixth time as Head hits 137


Australia's players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Cricket World Cup final against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. AFP

Australia beat India by six wickets in Ahmedabad on Sunday to win a record-extending sixth World Cup title.

Travis Head scored 137 and shared a fourth-wicket stand of 192 with Marnus Labuschange (58 not out) as Australia chased down a modest target of 241 with seven overs to spare.

The 29-year-old's century was only the seventh in a final in the 48-year-history of the World Cup, but third by an Australian following match-winning efforts of 149 by Adam Gilchrist in 2007 and 140 not out by Ricky Ponting in 2003.

Head's innings, which followed his valuable 62 in a tense three-wicket semi-final win over South Africa, was all the more impressive as he was in danger of missing the tournament completely after fracturing his hand in South Africa in September.

It also meant he had scored hundreds in both a World Cup final and a World Test Championship final, with Head's 163 in a 209-run thrashing of India at The Oval in June earning him man-of-the-match honours.

Earlier, fast bowler Mitchell Starc took three wickets as Australia dismissed India for 240 in the World Cup final in front of nearly 130,000 fans in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Five-time champions Australia elected to field first and the players backed up skipper Pat Cummins' decision with disciplined bowling and impressive fielding at the world's biggest cricket stadium filled with a sea of India's blue jerseys.

Australia will need 241 to secure their sixth World Cup title. India are chasing their third crown after 1983 and 2011.

Virat Kohli and KL Rahul hit 54 and 66 respectively after captain Rohit Sharma's attacking 47 but the ball dominated the bat on a slow, dry pitch.

Starc, a left-arm quick, returned figures of 3-55 while fellow pace bowlers Cummins and Josh Hazlewood claimed two each to end the innings in 50 overs.

Hazlewood Josh Hazlewood celebrates during the World Cup match in Ahmedabad.

Wicketkeeper Josh Inglis claimed five catches in a record for a World Cup final. Rohit came out attacking and hit a six in the fourth over followed by a four, but lost partner Shubman Gill, for four, off Starc.

Kohli started cautiously but soon gained steam with three successive boundaries off Starc to bring the capacity crowd to its feet.

Australia introduced spin in the eighth over with Glenn Maxwell replacing Hazlewood and he soon claimed the big breakthrough of Rohit.

The India captain mistimed a shot and Travis Head took a stunning catch while running backwards from cover point.

Indiancricketfans-WC Indian cricket fans watch as Australia's Josh Hazlewood celebrates the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav. AP

India, who came into the contest undefeated with 10 wins, slipped to 81-3 in 10.2 overs when Cummins sent back the in-form Shreyas Iyer, who came into the game on the back of two centuries, caught behind for four.

Kohli was joined by Rahul as the two went about their repair job in a partnership of 67 which was briefly interrupted by a pro-Palestinian pitch invader.

India went without a boundary for 16.1 overs with some disciplined Australian bowling mixed with sharp fielding denying the batting pair easy runs.

Starc-KLRahul Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of India' KL Rahul during the World Cup final match in Ahmedabad, India, on Sunday. AP

Kohli reached his fifth successive fifty-plus score in the tournament and Rahul broke the shackles with a four off Maxwell.

Cummins then produced a delivery to back up his pre-match words of "nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent" when he bowled Kohli.

Kohli chopped a short-of-a-length delivery on to his stumps as he stood in disbelief before trudging off and Cummins celebrated.

Shami-Warner Mohammed Shami celebrates after taking the wicket of David Warner, caught out by Virat Kohli, during the World Cup final match in Ahmedabad, India, on Sunday. Reuters

The star batsman, who smashed a record 50th ODI century in the semi-final against New Zealand to surpass compatriot Sachin Tendulkar's 49 tons, finishes the tournament with 765 runs at an average of over 95.

Rahul reached his fifty in 86 balls and attempted to anchor the innings to the end but Starc dismissed the batsman caught behind and the rest of the order didn't last long.


Agence France-Presse

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