Travis Head breaks India hearts as Australia win 6th World Cup title,Six Tops-Six Flops

Opener Travis Head hit a sparkling 137 to power Australia to a record-extending sixth World Cup title with a convincing six-wicket win over India in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Chasing a tricky 241 for victory in the final, Australia slipped to 47-3 before the left-handed Head hit his second century of the tournament to steer the team home with seven overs to spare.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated the Indian team despite their loss.

“Dear Team India, your talent and determination through the World Cup was noteworthy. You’ve played with great spirit and brought immense pride to the nation,” he said.

“We stand with you today and always,” he added.Opener Travis Head hit a sparkling 137 to power Australia to a record-extending sixth World Cup title with a convincing six-wicket win over India in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Chasing a tricky 241 for victory in the final, Australia slipped to 47-3 before the left-handed Head hit his second century of the tournament to steer the team home with seven overs to spare.

Head’s knock and his marathon stand of 192 with Marnus Labuschagne, unbeaten on 58, ended India’s dominant run of 10 unbeaten matches at the event.

Head fell after his 120-ball knock laced with 15 fours and four sixes before Glenn Maxwell hit the winning runs to trigger wild celebrations in the Aussie camp.

“Just thrilled to be a part of it,” man-of-the-match Head told Star Sports.

“It’s a lot better than seeing the World Cup on the couch at home (on his injury). I was a little bit nervous but Marnus played exceptionally well and soaked all the pressure.”

India’s chances of ending a global trophy drought since their 2013 Champions Trophy win went up in smoke once Head got going with Labuschagne.

Head’s century was the seventh in a World Cup final and third by an Australian after Ricky Ponting (140 not out v India in 2003) and Adam Gilchrist (149 v Sri Lanka in 2007).

The bowlers set up victory for an Australian side that bounced back after two losses to win nine in a row as Mitchell Starc (3-55) and Pat Cummins (2-34) helped bowl out India for 240.

India hit back when Mohammed Shami shared the new ball with Jasprit Bumrah and struck on his second delivery to get David Warner caught behind for seven.

But it was Bumrah’s double strike in quick succession that raised the roof as he had Mitchell Marsh caught behind for 15 and Steve Smith lbw for four.

Head stood firm with Labuschagne for company to thwart the Indian attack despite captain Rohit Sharma rotating his bowlers in a hunt for a breakthrough.

‘Unbelievable’ achievement

Head, who suffered a fractured hand in South Africa in September, was in danger of missing the World Cup but Australia kept him in the squad until he was fit to play.

He hit a match-winning century against New Zealand in the team’s sixth league game and after a few low scores hit an attacking 62 in his team’s nervy three-wicket semi-final win over South Africa in Kolkata.

He turned India’s nemesis a second time this year after his 163 proved decisive in Australia’s World Test Championship triumph at the Oval in June.

Head reached his 100 in 95 balls and raised his bat to an applauding Australian dressing room.

“What we’ve achieved today is unbelievable,” said Labuschagne.

“It’s the best achievement I’ve ever been part of. India have been the team of the tournament, but you know if you play your best cricket, you have a chance. Our bowlers were sensational and Travis put on one hell of a display,” he said.

Warner said, “Our bowlers were fantastic, they set the tone from ball one. The fielding supported that.”

Australia elected to field first and the players backed up Cummins’ decision with disciplined bowling and impressive fielding.

Virat Kohli and KL Rahul hit 54 and 66 respectively after Rohit’s attacking 47 but the ball dominated the bat on a slow, dry pitch.

Head took a stunning catch while running back from cover point to cut short Rohit’s innings off spinner Maxwell.

Cummins bowled Kohli, who ended as the leading batsman in tournament with 765 runs, to silence the crowd of 92,453 fans, who like the home team in the middle had a forgettable day.Afghanistan

–The Afghans enjoyed stellar performances starting with their stunning win over defending champions England.

In the first major upset of the tournament, Afghanistan posted 284 and then bowled out England for 215 with spin wizard Rashid Khan taking three wickets.

The performance was no flash in the pan as they kept up their giant-killing act and hammered neighbours Pakistan by eight wickets to trigger wild celebrations.

They finished with four victories including against Sri Lanka and the Netherlands, prompting coach Jonathan Trott to predict a “bright future” for the team.

Glenn Maxwell

– Maxwell smashed the tournament’s fastest century in 40 balls in a match-winning 106 against the Netherlands in New Delhi.

But Maxwell had only just got started as he then defied cramp and back spasms in a knock for the ages when he lifted Australia from 91-7 to victory with an unbeaten 201 against Afghanistan in Mumbai.

Known as “The Big Show” for his swashbuckling batting, Maxwell destroyed the Afghan bowling attack with 21 fours and 10 sixes in his 128-ball blitz.

He was the dominant partner in a 202-run stand with skipper Pat Cummins, who called Maxwell’s knock a “freak show” and the “greatest ODI innings”.

Virat Kohli

– Virat Kohli lived up to his billing as one of the modern-day greats, recording a 50th ODI century to go past compatriot Sachin Tendulkar’s 49 tons.

He achieved the feat in India’s semi-final against New Zealand at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, the home ground of Tendulkar.

Kohli, 35, amassed 765 runs including three hundreds in 11 matches to end up as the leading batsman in the tournament.

Teammate and fast bowler Mohammed Shami also played his role in getting the team to the final. He sat out the first four games but made a huge impact on his return with 24 wickets including a 7-57 in the semi-final.


– Babar Azam’s team came in with huge expectations and started with two victories before their campaign hit a wall in the shadow of right security which director of cricket Mickey Arthur branded as “stifling”.

A loss to India and then Australia hit them hard, but it was their defeat to Afghanistan that hurt as pace ace Shaheen Shah Afridi looked out of sorts with 58 runs from his 10 overs and one wicket.

They slipped to their fourth loss in a heartbreaking one-wicket defeat to South Africa, a defeat Azam believed dented their semi-final hopes.

Fakhar Zaman’s match-winning 126 not out against New Zealand was a rare highlight before the 1992 champions crashed out and Azam resigned as captain from all formats.

Buttler and England

– Jos Buttler came into the tournament as captain of one of the fancied teams out to defend their title but their campaign fizzled out early after just one win in the first seven matches.

Buttler failed to provide any inspiration as he flopped with the bat, managing just 138 runs from nine matches.

It was a rare failure for Buttler, who scored 269 in six matches when he led the team to their maiden T20 World Cup victory in 2021.

Spirit of cricket

– Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews became the first batsman in 146 years of international cricket to be given “timed out” in an ill-tempered match against Bangladesh.

Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan appealed after Mathews failed to take strike within the two-minute time limit when he came out to bat in New Delhi and was adjudged out.

Mathews branded Shakib “disgraceful” and the episode left the cricket world divided and the “spirit of cricket” debate reignited.

Ex-india batsman Gautam Gambhir called the act “absolutely pathetic”.

India coach Rahul Dravid said “we won’t do it” but “you can go and debate both the situations”.

Previous Post Next Post