Australia beats India in Cricket World Cup final

Australia has defeated India to win the men’s Cricket World Cup, spoiling the party for the world’s biggest cricketing nation which was playing sole host to the tournament for the first time.  

Led by captain Pat Cummins, the visitors comfortably beat India by six wickets in a result that brought heartbreak to the home nation, which had hoped to retake the trophy after 12 years. 

Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, presented the winners with the World Cup trophy alongside Australia’s deputy prime minister Richard Marles.

Australian batsman Travis Head gave the performance of the night, scoring 137 at a packed Narendra Modi stadium, the world’s biggest cricket arena, which is named after the country’s prime minister and is located in Ahmedabad, the largest city in his home state of Gujarat. 

Head said after the match that he was “thrilled to be a part of it” and that it was “nice to contribute” to the victory. India had beaten Australia at their first meeting during the tournament’s group stages last month.

This is the sixth time the Australians have won the International Cricket Council’s World Cup, which has only run 13 times. Their win ends an impressive unbeaten streak for India, which Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne said had “been the team of the tournament, they’ve played unbelievably”.

After winning the toss, Australia opted to bowl first. Although India’s captain Rohit Sharma started out with confidence and showmanship, he was caught on 47 in a key turning point in the match. India were limited to 240 off their 50 overs, with key batsman Virat Kohli making 54 and keeper KL Rahul top-scoring with 66.

Australia won with seven overs to spare, Head and Labuschagne’s partnership of 192 keeping the home crowd quiet.  

The loss will be a bitter blow to India, the world’s most populous nation and fifth-largest economy. “The passion in India [for cricket] is unrivalled around the world,” said Cummins.

The country has revolutionised the game in recent years with the high octane Indian Premier League, which showcases a shorter format than that played at the World Cup and has sparked multibillion-dollar battles for the rights to stream and broadcast the series.  

The six week tournament was held across the subcontinent, from Tamil Nadu at the southern tip of the country to the HPCA stadium flanked by Himalayan mountains in the north. India had previously hosted World Cup games but in conjunction with south Asian neighbours, including Bangladesh.

Modi posted on X that India had “played with great spirit and brought immense pride to the nation”.

The number of viewers watching on Disney’s Indian streaming service at times topped 58mn. Disney+ Hotstar, which lost the rights to stream the IPL last year, made the World Cup matches free to view.