Australia have pulled off an upset by beating hosts and undefeated tournament favourites India by six wickets to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in Ahmedabad and extend their staggering record of title wins to six times.
The calm but experienced Australian side sailed to a comfortable win despite losing three early wickets in their run chase at a packed Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday evening.
Most of the 132,000-capacity crowd at the stadium remained in a somber silence as the home team, which had won ten consecutive matches to secure a place in the final, suffered its first defeat in a crucial showdown of the tournament.
Marnus Labuschagne, who played a crucial role in the match with a partnership of 192 runs alongside Head, said with teary eyes, ‘What we have achieved today is unbelievable.’
‘This is the best achievement I’ve been a part of so far.'”
“The Indian team has been consistent in the tournament, but did you know that if you play your best cricket, you have a chance.”
“Before this, many were surprised by the decision of the field protection by Pat Cummins to primarily avoid playing with a ball heavy with dew at night, but Australian bowlers suppressed their opponents with some excellent fielding assistance.”
“Rohit played an entertaining inning of 47 runs, hitting three sixes, but fell just before the end of the powerplay.
The opening batsman took on Glenn Maxwell but mistimed his shot, resulting in a catch behind the wickets. Head made a stumbling catch running backward to get rid of the Indian captain.
Kohli (54) hit three consecutive boundaries off Mitchell Starc (3-55), but India found themselves at 81-3 in the 11th over when Cummins took a catch behind the wickets to dismiss Shreyas Iyer.
After that, Kohli and Rahul (66) joined forces for a recovery, managing to rebuild without any boundaries in 16.1 overs.”
Kohli played his ninth innings of more than fifty in 11 overs but departed soon after cutting Cummins’ delivery onto his stumps.
Rahul managed only one boundary in his half-century, indicating how challenging the pitch was for shot-makers like him.
Australia’s wicketkeeper Josh Inglis took five catches, a record in the World Cup final.
Australia, when they came to bat, lost three wickets for 47 runs in seven overs, making the pursuit of what seemed like an easy target challenging for them.
Mohammed Shami dismissed David Warner in his first over, and Jasprit Bumrah created some excitement in the match by taking consecutive wickets in his overs, dismissing Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith.
Player-of-the-Match Head, in partnership with Labuschagne, concluded the contest, contributing an unbeaten 58 runs.
Saluting the phenomenal innings with 15 boundaries and four sixes, Head missed making the winning run when only two runs were needed and got Gil out.
This honor went to Glenn Maxwell, who, with two quick runs, sealed the victory against the slowly diminishing Indian resistance, which had already seen the writing on the wall.
Australian cricketers celebrated on the field, overcoming their disappointed Indian rivals.
Rahul sat on his knees, while Mohammed Siraj was in tears after a sorrowful end to his notable performances in the tournament.
Kohli, chosen as the tournament’s leading player to stay at the top of the run chart, looked forlorn like most of his teammates.
Rohit said, ‘The result wasn’t in our favor, and we know we weren’t good that day, but I am proud of the team.’
‘I thought when KL and Virat were batting, we were looking at a score of 270-280, but we kept losing wickets consistently.’
“With 240 runs on the board, we wanted early wickets, but credit goes to Travis Head and Marnus for that.”
“They completely took us out of the game, and I felt batting in the twilight was better for the wicket.”