AHMEDABAD, India, Nov 19 (Reuters) – India rode battling half-centuries by KL Rahul and Virat Kohli to post 240 all out in exactly 50 overs against Australia in the final of the World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
Pat Cummins’s decision to field, primarily to avoid operating with a dewy ball in the night, bemused many but Australian bowlers, aided by some superb fielding, stifled their opposition.
India captain Rohit Sharma had been playing tone-setting knocks in their batting template in the tournament and it was no different in the final despite the early loss of Shubman Gill.
Gill nearly edged the first ball he faced to the slip fielder but the opener did not linger much, pulling Mitchell Starc (3-55) to Adam Zampa at mid-on after making four.
Rohit smashed three sixes in his entertaining 47 but fell just before the end of powerplay.
The opener stepped out against Glenn Maxwell but miscued his shot on the offside. Travis Head ran backwards from cover to take a tumbling catch to get rid of the India captain.
Kohli (54) hit Starc for three boundaries in a row but India slumped to 81-3 in the 11th over when Cummins dismissed Shreyas Iyer caught behind.
Kohli and Rahul (66) then combined in a dour rebuilding job even if it meant going 16.1 overs without a boundary.
Kohli, the tournament’s leading scorer, brought up his ninth 50-plus knock in 11 innings but soon departed after chopping a Cummins delivery on to his stumps.
Rahul hit just one four in his half-century illustrating how difficult the pitch was for shot-makers like him.
Australia wicketkeeper Josh Inglis took five catches, which is a record in a World Cup final.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Ahmedabad; editing by Pritha Sarkar
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