The 2023 edition of the Cricket World Cup concluded on Sunday with Australia beating India by 6 wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. It was the sixth World Cup won by Australia, the most by any team in ODI cricket history. Australia had previously won the tournament in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015.
India batted first and scored 240 runs, which was chased by Australia relatively easily in 43 overs for the loss of 4 wickets. K L Rahul top scored for India quiet 66 off 107 balls while the tournament’s leading scorer, Virta Kohli, added 54.
India were unable to form any big partnerships and ended up what i believed to be 40-50 runs below the par score. The Australian bowling lineup was stellar, led by Mitchell Starc who ended with figures of 3-55 in his 10 overs. Fellow fast bowlers, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins each had two wickets as well.
Australia knocked off the 241 runs required to win fairly easily with Travis Head scoring a terrific century to lead the way. He scored 137 runs in 120 balls which included 15 fours and 4 sixes to win the man of the match award. Head was also the man of the match for the Australian team in their semi final matchup against South Africa with a calm 61 and a couple of key wickets.
Head fractured his hand in South Africa earlier this year and was only able to join Team Australia in the middle of the tournament. The selectors confidence in the 29-year old paid off with critical performances in both knockout matches.
Indian pacer Mohammed Shami took most wickets in World Cup 2023 with 24 wickets in 7 matches. Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of the Indian bowlers in the Finals, picking up 2 wickets for 43 runs in his 9 overs.
India went into the Finals undefeated, winning 10 games in a row including their tournament opener against Australia. Unfortunately, Team India couldn’t join Australia as the only other team to stay unbeaten through a full World Cup.
Team Australia won the toss and chose to field first at a packed Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in front of approximately 130,000 fans. Australia got off to a good start as they were able to take the wicket of young phenom Shubhman Gill in the fifth over for just 4 runs.
Rohit Sharma had a typical fast start, scoring 47 from just 31 balls. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to keep going, skying a Glenn Maxwell delivery to Travis Head who took an amazing catch over his head. Many experts believed this moment to be critical in the Australia win.
Sheyraz Iyer fell a few overs later for just four runs from 3 balls. From there the Indian batsmen decided to consolidate. Virat Kohli and K L Rahul had a very careful 67 run partnership that ended with Kohli chopping on for 54.
Rahul and the rest of the batting tried their best to get as many runs as they could but could only get up to 240 in their 50 overs. Halfway into the game Australia had taken a decisive advantage.
The Australian innings began with a bang, with Warner and Head scoring at a quick pace. Warner didn’t last long however, falling for just 7 runs after chasing a wide ball against Bumrah. Mitchell Marsh came in and played a few aggressive shots but was also removed for just 15.
Steve Smith lasted nine balls and was given out leg before wicket to Bumrah. To the surprise of many, Smith didn’t take the review which would have found him not out, as the ball didn’t impact in line with the stumps. As three down for just 47 the Australian found themselves in a spot of bother.
That was the last time India had anything to cheer about. Travis Head and Marnus Labuschange combined for a 192-run partnership to get Australia over the line. Head was dominant in his innings, never letting the Indian bowlers settle. In the end Australia won with 7 overs to spare.