The final of the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 will see India and Australia compete for silverware once again following a scintillating round of semi-final fixtures.
India confirmed their spot in the final after beating hosts South Africa by two wickets in a tense matchup on Tuesday. Chasing 245 for victory, India battled back from 32/4 to seal a memorable win thanks to a brilliant match-winning partnership between Sachin Dhas and captain Uday Saharan.
Thursday’s second semi-final also provided no shortage of drama, as Australia emerged victorious over Pakistan by one wicket in the final over of the contest.
Having bowled out Pakistan for a seemingly below par total of 179, Australia stuttered in their chase before their middle and lower order formed crucial partnerships to help them edge home in thrilling fashion.
Coincidentally, this was also the same match-up in the final of the senior men’s ICC World Cup back in November 2023 where Australia emerged as six-time champions, beating India by six wickets. India are in a similar position here, where they will have a chance to create history, having won the tournament five times already – in 2002, 2008, 2012, 2018 and 2022, giving them the opportunity to defend their title.
The highly anticipated final between the two sides will be hosted on Sunday, February 11, at Willowmoore Park, Benoni, the same venue that staged both semi-finals, with the action commencing at 1.30PM IST.
India and Australia both head into the final undefeated, having topped their respective groups in both the initial stage and the Super Six stage, and can boast some of the most exciting young talent on the planet.
Among the future stars that have impressed throughout the competition are skippers Uday Saharan of India and Hugh Weibgen of Australia, and both have their sights firmly set on lifting the coveted trophy on Sunday.
Speaking ahead of the final, India captain, Uday Saharan said: “As we approach the World Cup final, we carry the dreams of a billion hearts on our shoulders. Our journey has been a testament to our hard work, unity, and love for the game.
“In this final battle, we aim to create a legacy that inspires the next generation. It's not just a game; it's a chance to etch our names in history.
“Right from our first game, we have played with passion, determination, and a belief that we will get the coveted title home. In the final, against Australia, it is going to be no different as we go one step closer to defending the title successfully. Together, as one team, one nation, we march into the final, ready to seize our moment and make India proud.
“As a captain, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my team as we stand at the cusp of creating history.”
Australia captain, Hugh Weibgen: “We're really pleased to have made it through to the final after a close game against Pakistan and we can't wait to take on India in Sunday's final.
“The whole squad has done a terrific job throughout the tournament, and it would mean so much to us as a group to lift the trophy on Sunday. This is an opportunity to make our coaches as well as family and friends extremely proud. They have helped and supported us along the journey.
“India have obviously also had an outstanding tournament so far and are a class team. We're expecting they will provide a challenge for us, and we are looking forward to it.”
These sides have met twice before in an ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup final, with India having won on both previous occasions in 2012 and 2018.