Head’s magnificent 137 leads Australia to Sixth World Cup

Shashinka Vidusara

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 seven.

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.

Travis Head scored 137 runs from 120 balls and Marnus Labuschagne scored 58 from 110 balls as Australia cruised home.

It brought a trophy to captain Pat Cummins and his team, who were not deemed favourites for when the tournament began more than six weeks ago.

Australia and India opened their campaigns against each other in Chennai on October 8, when star India batter Virat Kohli combined with KL Rahul to steer his team’s chase of a moderate total and get their first win of the tournament.

India were in a similar situation in Ahmedabad, where Kohli (54) and Rahul (66) once again came together for a rescue act. However, India’s batting collapse on the biggest stage saw them put up a paltry target of 241 at the end of 50 overs.

Australia’s bowlers, led by Mitchell Starc’s brilliant display of fast bowling with figures of 3-55 in his 10 overs, kept the Indian batting powerhouse at bay with regular dismissals. Captain Cummins ended with figures of 2-34 in 10 overs, while fellow seamer Josh Hazlewood had 2-60 in his 10 overs.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma began the innings in his typically attacking fashion, scoring 47 runs from 31 balls but apart from Kohli and Rahul, no other Indian batter threatened the Australian bowlers on a pitch that offered a balance between bat and ball.

Australia last won the title at home in 2015. Their seventh title widens the gap with the rest of the title-winning countries, including India, who have two, along with the West Indies.

Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England have each won the title once.

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