Australia wins record sixth Cricket World Cup as India collapses under nationwide pressure

Australia wins record-extending sixth Cricket World Cup
Australia players celebrate after winning the Cricket World Cup final. Photo: Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Australia defeated host country India by six wickets on Sunday to win a record-tying sixth men’s cricket World Cup, despite the odds and an unsupportive home crowd in Ahmedabad.

After dominating most of the competition and building pressure in this cricket-mad country that has been waiting 12 years for another one-day championship, India narrowly failed to live up to national expectations.

However, Australia’s astute bowling caused its nearly unbeatable batting lineup to crumble, and Travis Head’s outstanding 137 off 120 balls spearheaded Australia’s run chase as it coasted to victory and another World Cup trophy.

Australia wins record-extending sixth Cricket World Cup
India players lost to Australia by six wickets. Photo: Aijaz Rahi/AP

The last three World Cups had been won by the host country. Given that India now holds the top slot in the world rankings, it was anticipated that the trend would continue, especially at the Narendra Modi Stadium, which has 132,000 seats.

India got out to a blistering start, matching the record for a men’s World Cup final with 80 runs in the opening powerplay. When he hit a massive six into the seats, Captain Rohit Sharma in particular sent off both real and figurative fireworks that exploded over the stadium.

But shortly after, Glenn Maxwell’s bowling caused a leading edge, and Rohit was caught by a superb Head. Not long later, Shreyas Iyer was out, shocking the Indian fans and changing the rules of the game.

As the strain mounted, the run rate decreased as Virat Kohli and KL Rahul worked to gradually restore India’s innings. When Rahul struck a boundary for the first time in 16 overs, it appeared as though the pressure was lessening. However, Kohli was out for 54, cutting onto his stumps following a delivery from Australia captain Pat Cummins.

In order to prevent India’s batters from getting into a rhythm, Cummins switched his bowlers regularly. As a result, no partnership truly developed to contribute a significant score after Kohli was dismissed.

Although it always appeared like a tough target to defend, Rahul struggled to 66 off 107 balls and the tail added some significant runs to take India to a decent total.

Australia had all the momentum now, and that immediately translated into the batting. India had some hope as David Warner and Head scored 15 runs in the opening over. However, Warner was dismissed by Mohammed Shami in the second over.

Soon after, Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh lost, leaving Australia 47-3, and all of a sudden, India had the upper hand. The crowd erupted in thunderous applause with each move and error, eager for India to secure another wicket and consolidate its lead.

However, an incredible Head—who won player of the match—and Marnus Labuschagne, who amassed 58 runs, formed a partnership that effectively ended India’s chances of winning.

When Head holed out two runs short of victory, Maxwell entered the game and scored the winning runs, ending Head’s innings early and setting off loud celebrations among the Australians.

Credits: CNN

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