Head powers Australia to sixth World Cup title
Opener Travis Head hit a sparkling 137 to power Australia to a record-extending sixth World Cup title with a convincing six-wicket win over India in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Chasing a tricky 241 for victory in the final, Australia slipped to 47-3 before the left-handed Head hit his second century of the tournament to steer the team home with seven overs to spare.
Head's knock and his marathon stand of 192 with Marnus Labuschagne, unbeaten on 58, ended India's dominant run of 10 unbeaten matches at the event.
Head fell after his 120-ball knock laced with 15 fours and four sixes before Glenn Maxwell hit the winning runs to trigger wild celebrations in the Aussie camp.
India's chances of ending a global trophy drought since their 2013 Champions Trophy win went up in smoke once Head got going with Labuschagne.
Head's century was the seventh in a World Cup final and third by an Australian after Ricky Ponting (140 not out v India in 2003) and Adam Gilchrist (149 v Sri Lanka in 2007).
The bowlers set up victory for an Australian side that bounced back after two losses to win nine in a row as Mitchell Starc (3-55) and Pat Cummins (2-34) helped bowl out India for 240.
India hit back when Mohammed Shami shared the new ball with Jasprit Bumrah and struck on his second delivery to get David Warner caught behind for seven.
But it was Bumrah's double strike in quick succession that raised the roof as he had Mitchell Marsh caught behind for 15 and Steve Smith lbw for four.
Head stood firm with Labuschagne for company to thwart the Indian attack despite captain Rohit Sharma rotating his bowlers in a hunt for a breakthrough.
Head, who suffered a fractured hand in South Africa in September, was in danger of missing the World Cup but Australia kept him in the squad until he was fit to play.
He hit a match-winning century against New Zealand in the team's sixth league game and after a few low scores hit an attacking 62 in his team's nervy three-wicket semi-final win over South Africa in Kolkata.
He turned India's nemesis a second time this year after his 163 proved decisive in Australia's World Test Championship triumph at the Oval in June.
Head reached his 100 in 95 balls and raised his bat to an applauding Australian dressing room.
Head's second ton of the World Cup saw him become the seventh batter and the third from Australia to score a century in a World Cup final after compatriots Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist achieved the feat.
Australia elected to field first and the players backed up Cummins' decision with disciplined bowling and impressive fielding.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul hit 54 and 66 respectively after Rohit's attacking 47 but the ball dominated the bat on a slow, dry pitch.
Head took a stunning catch while running back from cover point to cut short Rohit's innings off spinner Maxwell.
Cummins bowled Kohli, who ended as the leading batsman in tournament with 765 runs, to silence the crowd of 92,453 fans, who like the home team in the middle had an unforgettable day.
Roll of Honour
1975: West Indies
1979: West Indies
1996: Sri Lanka
Head smashes ton to put Australia in control of chase
Australia batter Travis Head smashed his fifth ODI ton to power Australia to the brink of a likely victory in the grand finale of the ICC World Cup 2023 against India in Ahmedabad today.
Head took 95 balls to reach three figures, putting away 14 fours and a six while putting on a 138-run stand with Marnus Labushagne, who scored an unbeaten 82-ball 41.
This took their score to 185 for three after 34 overs.
Head fifty leads Australia chase
Australia batter Travis Head smashed a fifty in 58 balls to lead Australia charge as they look to chase down India's 241-run target in the grand finale of the ICC World Cup 2023 in Ahmedabad today.
Head put away nine fours and a six for his unbeaten 72-ball 69-run knock and put on a 97-run stand with Marnus Labushagne, who scored an unbeaten 32 off 57 balls, to propel Australia to 144 for the loss of three after 26 overs.
Head, Labushagne steady Australia after early wobble
Australia batter Travis Head and Marnus Labushagne steadied Australia with a 52-run stand after they were reduced to three down for 47 after seven overs against India in the ICC World Cup final in Ahmedabad today.
Head remained unbeaten on a 52-ball 43, with Labushagne not out on 13 runs off 35 balls, propelling Australia to 99 for the loss of three after 19 overs.
Smith departs, Australia under pressure
Australia lost their third wicket in the seventh over as the experienced Steve Smith got trapped LBW for four by Bumrah. Australia are now 47-3, chasing 241 in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad.
Shami, Bumrah strike early
Mitchell Marsh's stay at the middle ended up being a brief one as the right-hander, after making a run-a-ball, 15 got caught behind off Jasprit Bumrah as Australia are now 41-2 after 4.3 overs chasing 241 in the ICC World Cup final in Ahmedabad today.
Shami gives India early breakthrough
India pacer Mohammed Shami removed Australia opener David Warner in the second over as Australia scored 16 for one in 1.1 overs in reply to 240 runs in the ICC World Cup final in Ahmedabad today.
Australia need 241 to complete hexa
Hosts India could only muster 240 runs in their 50 overs as an ice cool Australian team are in the driving seat halfway into the World Cup final in Ahmedabad today.
The final Indian wicket fell in the last ball, with Kuldeep Yadav getting run out for 10 while trying to take a second run.
India had got off to a flier, thanks to skipper Rohit Sharma's 31-ball 47, reaching 80-2 after the first powerplay. The Australian bowlers then reversed the momentum, conceding just 72 runs in the next 20 overs.
After Shreyas Iyer departed as the third batter in the 11th over, Kohli and Rahul, the only half-centurions in the innings, couldn't hit one boundary in the next 97 deliveries. The pressure built up during this period and the fall of wickets in regular successions never allowed India to generate any momentum.
Captain Pat Cummins put up a special effort, as it was his spell which killed off India's early momentum.
Starc finished as the most successful bowler .with three wickets while Cummins and Hazelwood took a couple of wickets each.
The Indian bowling attack now have a uphill task in their hands as the packed stands of the 132000 seater Narendra Modi Stadium hold their breath in wait.
India eight down
Mitchel Starc removed Mohammad Shami (six off 10 balls) and then Adam Zampa trapped Jasprit Bumrah (one off three balls) LBW as India find themselves on 215-8 with five overs to go in the World Cup final against Australia in Ahmedabad today.
Shami edged the ball to the keeper while attempting a wild hoick while Zampa struck in his final over of the match by removing Bumrah.
Suryakumar Yadav, unbeaten on 14 off 23 balls, is now India's only hope to score a somewhat decent total.
Rahul departs, India now six down
Mitchell Starc ended KL Rahul's dogged innings by nicking him off in the 42nd over as India are now six down with 207 runs on the board in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad.
Starc came round the wicket and nipped the ball away just enough to induce a faint edge, which the keeper gleefully collected.
Rahul's innings ended on 66 off 107 balls where he hit just one four.
Australia are now through to India's tail as Suryakumar Yadav, not out on 11, is the only recognised Indian batter at the middle.
Jadeja departs as India lose their fifth
India's troubles worsened as Ravindra Jadeja departed as the fifth batter of the innings and the hosts have now lost half their side with 178 runs on the board in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad today.
Josh Hazelwood returned to the attack in the 36th over and in his first over back induced an outside edge off Jadeja, dismissing him for nine off 22 balls.
KL Rahul, who has completed his second half-century in the World Cup, is batting on 55 off 89 balls and has been joined by Suryakumar Yadav.
Cummins gets Kohli, India under pressure
Pat Cummins got the reward for his perseverance, as he managed to make Virat Kohli play on a rising delivery onto his stumps, as hosts India find themselves four down with 148 on the board after 29 overs in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad.
Kohli, who had just completed his sixth fifty in this year's tournament, tried to get on top of the short of a length delivery but could only drag the ball onto his stumps.
Kohli departs for 54 off 63 balls, finishing the tournament as the highest run-getter with 761 runs. Ravindra Jadeja has joined KL Rahul at the middle, who is batting on 37 off 57 balls.
Kohli hits fifty as India trudge along
Virat Kohli completed his sixth half-century in the World Cup as India are starving for runs against a charged up Australian attack in the final in Ahmedabad today.
After India lost three wickets inside 11 overs, Kohli (50 off 57 balls) and KL Rahul (28 off 59 balls) have opted for caution, using up 94 deliveries to add 54 runs for the fourth wicket till the 26th over.
Australian bowlers have not allowed India any breathing space, not conceding a single boundary for 16 overs, and have slowly but surely pulled back the run-rate from over eight to a little over five.
India have reached 135-3 after 26 overs.
Head brilliance ends Rohit's carnage before Iyer falls
Travis Head took a brilliant tumbling catch in the deep as Rohit Sharma's explosive start came to an abrupt end in the final of the World Cup in Ahmedabad today.
Rohit, already 47 off 30 deliveries, was going after anything. And he tried to launch Glenn Maxwell but lost his shape, skewed high into the off side where Head took a tumbling catch running back from cover.
Soon India were three down for 81 inside 10 overs as Shreyas Iyer nicked one behind the stumps off Pat Cummins.
Starc takes down Gill
Shubman Gill fell for just four runs as he tried to pull one in front of him against Mitchell Starc as India lost their opening wicket after a flying start.
Rohit Sharma had raced to 25 off 19 and Gill, perhaps to complement his captain, went for a big shot but fell to Starc, leaving India 37 for one after five overs.
Rohit and Virat Kohli are in the middle as India look to take full advantage of being asked to bat first on a slowing but batting friendly wicket.
Australia opt to bowl in final against India
Both teams are unchanged from their semifinal wins.
Cummins, after winning the toss, explained his reason for opting to bowl, saying: "Looks like a bit of a dry wicket and wanted to bowl first. Dew is one factor and it's quite dewy in the night at this venue."
The decision suited India too, as Rohit Sharma said, "I would've batted first. Big game and runs on the board. It's going to be amazing. The biggest occasion, in terms of cricketing events. We got to stay nice and calm."
India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis(w), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins(c), Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
1. Tournament hosts India are eyeing a first major ICC global tournament win in 12 years, and will have the crowd on their side on home soil, as they did in 2011.
2. Australia are the most successful nation in the history of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup and would make it six wins should they triumph in India.
3. After 150 ODIs involving the two sides, Australia earned 83 victories against India's 57. In World Cups, Australia lead India 8-5 after 13 games.
4. Head-to-head results in India are on level terms after their tournament opener, with 33 victories for either team in 71 clashes.