Ahmedabad, November 19: India’s dreams of winning a third World Cup title lay in tatters after an inexplicable meltdown saw them crash to a six-wicket defeat against an indefatigable Australia here on Sunday, plunging the cricket-obsessed country into deep mourning.
Australia thus won a record-extending sixth World Cup title, stretching their dominance in the tournament that started way back in 1975.
Put in to bat, India ended up with a below-par 240 despite contributions from Rohit Sharma (47 off 31 balls), Virat Kohli (54 off 63) and K L Rahul (66 off 107).
Just like his performance in the WTC final against India in June, Travis Head made a match-winning 137 off 120 balls as Australia chased down the target in 43 overs.
Indian hopes were raised when Australia lost three wickets for 47 but a 192-run partnership between Head and Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out) shut the door on the opposition.
Australia’s brilliant bowling and fielding also went a long way in their emphatic win. The dew in the evening also made batting easier on a slow and dry surface.
India, who were the only unbeaten side going into the final after 10 wins on the trot, fell flat in the final hurdle. Their last world title came way back in 2011 and their last ICC trophy was the Champions Trophy triumph in 2013.
India’s defeats in the ICC events over the past decade include the loss in 2014 World T20 final, 2016 World T20 semifinal, 2017 Champions Trophy final, 2019 ODI World Cup semifinal, 2022 T20 World Cup semifinal and back-to-back runners-up finish in the 2021 and 2023 World Test Championship cycle.
ICC World Cup Final: Pro-Palestine protester invades pitch, approaches Virat Kohli
The ICC World Cup final at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday saw a massive security breach as a pro-Palestine protester invaded the pitch and approached India’s star batter Virat Kohli.
The incident happened at the end of the 14th over, as Kohli and Rahul launched a repair job following the loss of three wickets.
A number of security officials chased the intruder who was trying to hug Kohli.
He was then quickly whisked away.
After opting to bowl first, Australia reduced India to 81/3 in 10.2 overs.
Rohit Sharma was the aggressor to start things off, but lost opening partner Shubman Gill (4) at the score of 30. However, that didnt’ stop the Indian skipper from attacking as he continued to hit boundaries, until miscuing a shot off Glenn Maxwell and the catch was brilliantly taken by a diving Travis Head.
Shreyas Iyer (4) also departed early, edging Pat Cummins to wicketkeeper Josh Inglis. (PTI)
India: 240 all out in 50 overs (KL Rahul 66, Virat Kohli 54; Mitchell Starc 3/55).
Australia: 241/4 in 43 overs (Travis Head 137, Marnus Labuschagne 58 not out; Jasprit Bumrah 2/43).