India experienced a third successive ICC final defeat against Australia, enduring a 79-run loss in the U19 World Cup final. In another instance of World Cup final heartbreak, Australia secured a dominant victory, defeating defending champions India and claiming their fourth Under-19 World Cup title at Willowmoore Park.

This defeat marked India’s second consecutive loss to Australia in World Cup finals within a mere three-month span. Prior to this U19 defeat, the senior men’s team had faced a six-wicket loss against Pat Cummins’ Australia in the 2023 ODI World Cup final last November. The repeated setbacks against Australia in high-stakes finals highlight the challenges faced by India in recent cricket tournaments.

India faced a challenging pursuit of a formidable target of 254 runs, encountering early hurdles as Australia’s bowlers set the tone with two maiden overs. The difficult task ahead for the Indian batters was evident from the outset. Unfortunately, India continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, with the highest partnership coming for the ninth wicket, amounting to 44 runs. The consistent fall of wickets posed significant challenges for India in their attempt to reach the target set by Australia.

The Indian U19 team mirrored a narrative similar to their senior counterparts this year, securing victories in every match except the final. Despite the loss in the final, social media platforms were abuzz with commendations for the Australian team. Indian fans also expressed admiration for their U19 team, acknowledging their efforts and sportsmanship despite the setback. The shared sentiment on social media highlighted the appreciation for both teams and the acknowledgment that reaching the final itself was an achievement.

Concurrently, the third consecutive defeat to Australia sparked a wave of humorous memes and jokes on X.

India’s usually formidable batting prowess, which had been a standout throughout the tournament, faltered as they slumped to 122 for eight against Australia’s pace attack in the U19 World Cup final.

Adarsh Singh’s resilient knock of 47 emerged as the only notable contribution from the top order. Despite some resistance from the lower order, notably Murugan Abhishek’s 42, the defending champions were eventually dismissed for 174. The Man of the Match award went to fast bowler Mahli Beardman, who impressed with figures of three for 15.

Raf MacMillan, the off-spinner, also played a crucial role with three wickets for 41 runs in Australia’s victory. The collective effort of Australia’s bowlers proved instrumental in securing their fourth Under-19 World Cup title.

Australian captain Hugh Weibgen credited his team’s bowlers for their pivotal role in securing the victory during the post-match presentation. “With a bowling attack like ours we had a lot of confidence with 250 runs on the board. As a unit they bowl so well together. They know their roles and I will be surprised if all of them don’t go a long way in their careers,” he stated.

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