Australia won the Cricket World Cup for a record-extending sixth time Sunday, ending India’s dominant run in its home tournament with a six-wicket victory in a low-scoring final on the back of Travis Head’s 137.
A heavily pro-Indian crowd inside the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium was silenced as Head combined with Marnus Labuschagne (58 not out ) in a 192-run partnership to chase down the target of 241.
Australia was wobbling on 47-3 after seven overs but Head and Labuschagne dug in to help their country regain its status as the king of one-day international cricket, adding to its 50-over world titles in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015.
Head was dismissed off what proved to be the next-to-last ball of the match, caught in the deep while attempting to hit a title-clinching boundary. In came Glenn Maxwell and he ran two off his first ball, securing a victory that prompted fireworks above the world’s largest cricket venue.
The Indians won all 10 of their matches before the final and were seeking a third trophy in their fourth appearance in a title match that brought a country of 1.4 billion people to a virtual standstill. They were outplayed in every department by Australia, though, restricted to 240 all out on a slow pitch after losing the toss with only Virat Kohli (54) and Lokesh Rahul (66) making half-centuries.
Head became only the fifth player to score a century in a men’s World Cup final – and third Australian after Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist – and delivered a significant moment in India’s innings when taking a diving catch running back from cover to remove captain Rohit Sharma (47).
Australia finished the tournament with a run of nine straight wins, after starting with back-to-back defeats to India and South Africa.