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Head hits World Cup final hundred as Australia eye victory

Australia's Travis Head plays a shot during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) final match between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on 19 November 2023. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP)

Australia’s Travis Head hit a hundred in the World Cup final against India in Ahmedabad on Sunday as his team closed in on a record-extending sixth title.

Australia were wobbling at 47-3 in pursuit of a target of 241 against unbeaten tournament hosts India.

But left-handed opener Head’s 95-ball century, including 14 fours and a six, helped take them to 185-3 in the 34th over.

The 29-year-old’s century was only the seventh in a final in the 48-year history of the World Cup, but third by an Australian following match-winning efforts of 149 by Adam Gilchrist in 2007 and 140 not out by Ricky Ponting in 2003.

Head’s innings, which followed his valuable 62 in a tense three-wicket semi-final win over South Africa, was all the more impressive as he was in danger of missing the tournament completely after fracturing his hand in South Africa in September.

It also meant he had scored hundreds in both a World Cup final and a World Test Championship final, with Head’s 163 in a 209-run thrashing of India at The Oval in June earning him man-of-the-match honors.

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