Boland sparks India collapse as Australia win WTC final

LONDON (AFP): Scott Boland sparked a dramatic collapse as Australia hammered India by 209 runs to win the World Test Championship final at The Oval on Sunday.

India, set a record 444 to win, resumed on 164-3.

But they collapsed to 234 all out, losing seven wickets for 70 runs inside 24 overs before lunch on the fifth day.

Boland did the initial damage with two wickets in an over, including the prize scalp of Virat Kohli, on his way to figures of 3-46 in 16 overs.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon (4-41) then polished off the tail.

Australia captured the one major men’s cricket title that had previously eluded them, with Pat Cummins’s side now heading into next week’s first Ashes Test against England in buoyant mood.

But this result left India, defeated by New Zealand in the inaugural 2021 WTC final in Southampton, still searching for the first piece of global silverware in a decade.

All cricket logic was against India, with a target of 444 way in excess of the highest score made by any side to win in the fourth innings in 146 years of Test history — the West Indies’ 418-7 against Australia at St John’s in 2003.