Ahmedabad, India, Nov 19 (EFE).- Australia silenced India before a sell-out home crowd with a six-wicket win to clinch their record-extending sixth cricket World Cup title in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Player of the match Travis Head kept his head cool under pressure to hit 137 off 120 balls, guiding Australia to 241-4 in 43 overs after Australia bowled out the home side for 240 runs in the 50-over contest.
“I think we saved our best for the last. A couple of big-match players stepped up and chuffed. Today we thought it was a good night to chase and thought it would be easier to chase,” Australian captain Pat Cummins said in the post match presentation.
“The pitch was slower than I thought and didn’t particularly spin and we bowled tight lines. On a slow wicket with variable bounce, we had a couple of catchers on the leg side and made a couple of decisions,” he added.
Cummins won the toss and elected to bowl first on what appeared to be a sluggish surface.
India, which had an unbeaten run in the tournament so far, was restricted to a modest score, and was bowled out for the first time in the tournament.
KL Rahul hit 66 and star batsman Virat Kohli added 54, after captain Rohit Sharma helped his team off to a flier.
However, the slow and uneven nature of the pitch appeared to restrict the Indian team’s stroke play and wickets fell at regular intervals.
Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc claimed 3-55, Cummins finished with 2-34, who along with Josh Hazlewood (2-60) and spinner Adam Zampa (1-44) strangled the flow of runs.
Pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami struck early in the Australian run chase, leaving the Kangaroos reeling at 3-47 before Head and Labuschagne took control of the game.
However, the pitch seemed to ease up with the dew setting in as the evening progressed,
Head kept the scoreboard ticking with aggressive shots, while Marnus Labuchagne held up one end and soaked in the pressure.
Head smashed 15 fours and four sixes to reach his fifth one-day international century to deny the hosts what might have been their one-day third world cup trophy.
Labuschagne made an unbeaten 58 as he stitched together a remarkable 192-run fourth-wicket partnership against what has been the most formidable bowling unit so far in this tournament
“Travis Head and Marnus – they put us completely out of the game and I thought the wicket got better to bat under lights. I mean we knew under lights, it would be better but don’t want to give that as an excuse,” said India’s captain Sharma after the game.
Head said he worked hard on his game and was glad it paid dividends and that “it was a great decision to bowl first and the wicket got better as the game went on.
Virat Kohli was adjudged the player of the tournament for being the highest run scorer, accumulating 765 runs in 11 innings. Shami finished the tournament with 24 wickets, the highest in the tournament.