The U19 World Cup 2024 final will be contested between India and Australia this Sunday in Benoni, four months after the senior men’s teams of India and Australia met in the World Cup 2023 final in Ahmedabad.
Pat Cummins‘ Australian team won that final in Ahmedabad, and now Uday Saharan’s U19 Indian team would be itching to get a mini-revenge of that against Hugh Weibgen’s Australian U19 unit.
The two semifinals, both played in Benoni, produced humdingers, going down the wire. India overcame the South African pace attack, while Australia struggled in the chase of 180 but eventually crossed the line against Pakistan.
But the Aussies needed a huge luck at the end to win the game by 1 wicket. With three runs required in 6 balls and only one wicket in hand, Raf MacMilllan played a cut shot but managed to get an inside edge. Fortunately for him and Australia, the ball went near from the stumps and rolled over to the fine leg boundary with the short fine leg fielder chasing and failing.
Earlier medium pacer Tom Straker had taken a stunning six-wicket haul, returning with sensational figures of 6/24 to bowl Pakistan out for 179. In reply, Australia opener Harry Dixon scored 50 runs and middle-order batsman Oliver Peake scored 49 runs. However, none of the other batsmen could cross even 20 as Australia suffered a collapse from 146/5 to 164/9.
With 16 runs still required and only a single wicket left, a Pakistani victory was nigh. But MacMilllan kept his cool and so did number 11 Callum Vidler, who scored 2 runs in 9 balls, and importantly blocked the last three balls of the penultimate over to hand MacMilllan the strike at the start of the last over and he completed the chase.
Twitter reactions to Australia defeating Pakistan in the semifinal and setting up a final with India in the U19 World Cup 2024: