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First WTC, then ODI World Cup & now U-19 WC: Meme fest erupts after Australia beat India in another ICC final

India's batting lineup misfired when it mattered the most as they suffered a heartbreaking 79-run loss to Australia in the final of the U-19 World Cup in Benoni on Sunday.

First WTC, then ODI World Cup & now U-19 WC: Meme fest explodes after Australia beat India again in mega final snt
First Published Feb 11, 2024, 9:26 PM IST

India's cricket journey has been marked by a series of heart-wrenching defeats in major tournaments over the past eight months. The disappointment began with the loss to Australia in the World Test Championship final, followed by another defeat against the same opponent in the World Cup final. The string of setbacks culminated in the Under-19 World Cup final, where India once again faltered against Australia.

In a crucial showdown on Sunday, India's batting lineup failed to deliver, resulting in a devastating 79-run defeat to Australia in the final of the U-19 World Cup held in Benoni, South Africa.

Opting to bat first, Australia set a competitive target of 253 for 7, boosted by Oliver Peake's brisk 43-ball 46 and Harjas Singh's composed 55 off 64 deliveries. Australia then showcased their bowling prowess, dismissing the five-time champions for 174 runs in 43.5 overs. With this victory, Australia secured their fourth U-19 World Cup title.

In pursuit of 254 runs, opener Adarsh Singh's resilient 47 off 77 balls provided a glimmer of hope for India. However, India encountered a steady loss of wickets, stumbling to 122 for 8 in 31.5 overs. Despite a spirited 42 off 46 balls from number 8 batsman Murugan Abhishek, the effort came in the latter stages and proved insufficient.

Australia's bowling attack, led by seamer Mahli Beardman (3/15) and off-spinner Raf MacMillan (3/43), inflicted significant damage on India. Callum Vidler (2/35) and Charlie Anderson (1/42) also contributed with crucial wickets.

In the batting department, Harjas emerged as Australia's top-scorer with 55 runs, supported by Weibgen and opener Harry Dixon, who contributed 48 and 42 runs respectively. Additionally, Oliver Peake's brisk innings provided further impetus to Australia's total.

Raj Limbani proved to be the most successful Indian bowler, claiming figures of 3/38, while Naman Tiwari chipped in with two wickets for 63 runs in nine overs.

Brief scores:

Australia: 253/7 in 50 overs (Harjas Singh 55, Hugh Weibgen 48, Harry Dixon 42, Oliver Peake not out 46; Raj Limbani 3/38, Naman Tiwari 2/63).

India: 174 all out in 43.5 overs (Adarsh Singh 47; Mahli Beardman 3/15, Raf MacMillan 3/43).

The defeat revived memories of the Indian senior team's heartbreaking loss to Australia in the 50-over World Cup final at home in November of last year. Australia beat India by six wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to lift the 2023 ODI World Cup trophy. The Aussies won a record-extending sixth title, after having won the 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015 editions.

Opener Travis Head spearheaded Australia's pursuit with a superb 137 off 120 balls, guiding his team to a successful chase of a 241-run target in 43 overs against India in the ODI World Cup final. This victory marked the second time Australia triumphed over India in an ODI World Cup final, reminiscent of Ricky Ponting's Australian team's victory over Sourav Ganguly's team back in 2003 in Johannesburg.

Australia's title-winning effort at the ODI World Cup came months after Pat Cummins and Co. won the World Test Championship after a crushing win over India in the final at The Oval. In June 2023, India succumbed to a 209-run defeat, marking the team's second consecutive loss in a WTC final, following their defeat to New Zealand in the inaugural edition's title clash in 2021.

These consecutive losses against the formidable adversary Australia have undoubtedly left a bitter taste in the mouths of Indian cricket fans. Despite the valiant efforts of the players, the inability to clinch victory in these crucial ICC finals serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of sports and the challenges that come with competing at the highest level.

Several Indian fans took to X to share their views following the U-19 team's shocking defeat to Australia in the World Cup 2024 final, with several users posting a string of memes to sum up India's heartbreaking journey in the last 9 months.

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