On Sunday, Nov. 12, the Australia men’s cricket team faced India’s national cricket team for the 50-over World Cup title. Entering the match, Australia seemed to be the clear underdogs as India, the home nation, was undefeated and had beaten Australia convincingly in the group stages. However, this did not stop Australia, who ultimately won by six wickets.
In the group stages, Australia finished third behind India and South Africa after losing by six wickets to India and 134 runs against South Africa, the most significant loss the Australian team has seen in their history, surpassing their 1983 loss to India by 118 runs. India defeated South Africa in group stages by 243 runs to clinch the number one spot. In the match, former captain Virat Kohli matched for most One Day International (ODI) with 49 centuries, keeping up with fellow Indian Sachin Tendulkar for the World Record. Following their win against South Africa, India defeated Sri Lanka by 302 runs, the most runs India has ever scored at the Cricket World.
In cricket, a team can win in two different ways: they can win either by runs or by wickets. The first team up to bat wins. They win by runs, but if the team that bats second matches or scores higher than the team that bats first, they win by wickets. A century is a score of 100 or more runs by a batter in a single innings. An over in cricket is when a bowler delivers the ball from his end of the pitch six times to the batsman at the opposite wicket.
While it may not have been the main show, Afghanistan shocked the world when they upset England 284 with 49.5 overs to England’s 215 with 40.3 overs. This was the first time in the nation’s history that they defeated England, losing the previous two times in 2015 and 2019. Before the 2023 World Cup, Afghanistan had only won a single World Cup match back in 2015 against Scotland. In 2023 alone, the team would win four matches, defeating England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and The Netherlands, completing their unprecedented Cinderella run.
Following the group stages, Australia would move into the knockout stage and face South Africa again. In a thriller, Australia would get revenge for their loss, winning 215-7 and defeating South Africa by three wickets, advancing to the final to rematch India.
In India’s matchup, they faced off against the New Zealand team. As they had for the entirety of the tournament, India won convincingly 397/4 with 50 overs to New Zealand’s 327 with 48.5 overs. Just after tying Tendulkar in the group stage, Kohli would break the record for most ODI’s in a single match with 50 while simultaneously breaking the records for most runs in a single World Cup with 711 and topping Australia’s Greg Chappell record of 686 runs in a series set in 1981. If that were not enough, Kohli surpassed Australia’s Ricky Ponting to become the third-highest run scorer of all time in ODIs.
In the final, Australia won the coin toss and elected to field. India started better than Australia, with Rohit Sharma hitting 47 from 31 balls, but then would falter. Australia started poorly, losing three batsmen in the first seven overs, though they would pick it up and score 192 runs in 36 overs by Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne. This led to Glenn Maxwell scoring two runs, winning the World Cup for Australia, and leaving India with a heartbreaking loss.
One-hundred-thirty million people watched the cricket match on TV, making it the most-viewed cricket match on TV. Also, Disney+ Hotstar had a viewership of 59 million, the most for any live sporting event on an over-the-top platform.
The next Cricket World Cup will be held in 2027, with South Africa and Zimbabwe jointly hosting it.