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Australia dominate India to win Under-19 World Cup



Australia’s teenage cricketers have emulated their seniors by beating India to become champions of the world.

Hugh Weibgen’s side lifted the Under-19 World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a comprehensive 79-run win over the reigning champs on Sunday (Monday AEDT).

After compiling 7-253 off their 50 overs, the Australians, with their “cartel” of four fast bowlers and the artful spin of Raf MacMillan, skittled out India’s previously unbeaten side for 174 off 43.5 overs at Willowmoore Park in Benoni.

“It’s unbelievable, and I’m just so proud of the boys and our coaches,” said their Queensland skipper Weibgen.

“A lot of work has gone into this over the last year — but it gives you a fair bit of confidence when you’ve got a pace attack like ours.”

The youngsters became the fourth Aussie U19 team to win the tournament that has so often unearthed gems of the future, and the first since 2010 when Josh Hazlewood helped Mitch Marsh’s side lift the crown in New Zealand.

This time, the triumph came off the back of more quality fast bowling with Australia’s gamble of playing all four of their hugely promising quicks paying off as they proved far too relentless for an Indian batting line-up that was asked to chase down a record score in a final to prevail.

Australia rolled through India for 174 runs in their chase.(Getty Images: ICC/Alex Davidson)

Having won the toss and elected to bat on a humid, overcast morning, the accomplished Weibgen (48 off 66 balls) and aggressive left-handed opener Harry Dixon (42 off 56) provided a fine launch pad.

Then the much-touted Harjas Singh, who’d moved to Sydney from India with his family when he was a boy, put a miserable tournament behind him in which he’d scored just 49 runs in six innings by hammering a half-century decorated with three sixes.

When India earned valuable wickets and threatened to bowl out the Aussies, 17-year-old Ollie Peake, son of former Victoria player Clinton Peake who was himself a teenage, triple-century-scoring prodigy, produced a gem of a finisher’s knock, smacking an unbeaten 46 off 43 balls.

“I’d always back us to defend a total of 250-plus when we have an attack like ours,” said Weibgen.

Sure enough, India never looked like challenging the score once Queensland’s red hot paceman Callum Vidler — motto: “if anyone ever tells me to slow down, I am not listening to them” — got Arshin Kulkarni caught behind in just the third over.

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