Australia did a lot of things right, but came unstuck twice against a superior Indian side.
Lost to India by 100 runs
Beat Zimbabwe by 7 wickets
Beat Papua New Guinea by 311 runs
Beat England by 31 runs
Beat Afghanistan by 6 wickets
Lost to India by 8 wickets
Positives to take home?
Australia did a lot of things right during the tournament, getting past most sides with relative ease, but were undone by a superior Indian side on both the occasions they faced off – right at the start of the tournament in the group-stage game and then in the final.
Jason Sangha led his troops commendably, leading from the front with the bat with 229 runs in six innings, including two half-centuries. His catching was outstanding as well, and the three stunners he pulled off in the quarter-final against England, all off Lloyd Pope, were among the best one will ever see.
Jack Edwards impressed with both bat and ball, finishing as the second-highest scorer for Australia with 216 runs in five matches to go with five wickets. Australia also seemed to have unearthed a gem in Lloyd Pope, whose 8/35 in the quarter-final while defending a target of just 128 was instrumental in getting Australia through. Jonathan Merlo (149 runs and five wickets) shone with his all-round skills as well.
Areas to improve?
There was a pattern in both of Australia's defeats. In the first game, chasing 329 for a win, they slipped from 145/2 to 168/6 before going down by 100 runs, while in the final, they stumbled from 183/4 to 216 all out. There were good individual efforts throughout – Nathan McSweeney's 156 against Papua New Guinea, Jason Ralston's 7/15 against the same opponents, Pope's 8/35 against England – but, when it came to a solid team effort, Australia fell short.
Australia were also not helped by the fact that Ralston had to go back after injuring his back in just the second game, but Param Uppal, with 131 runs and three wickets in six outings, and Will Sutherland, who had five wickets with his fast-medium in six games at 32, would have hoped to do more.
With all the focus on Sangha and Uppal, it was Edwards who shone brightest. He was consistent, providing Australia with quick starts almost each time. He had scores of 73, 40, 3, 72 and 28 and slipped in crucial overs with his medium pace during the middle stages of the innings. Edwards's 65-ball 72 in the semi-final against Afghanistan was a major reason why Australia made it to the title round: chasing 183 for a win, Edwards went after the bowling from the word go, nullifying any effect the spinners could have had in the later stages.
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