South Africa U19 pacer Kwena Maphaka was named as the Player of the Tournament in the U19 World Cup 2024. Kwena Maphaka picked up a total of 21 wickets from six games and was the leading wicket-taker of the tournament. Maphaka left behind Ubaid Shah, Saumy Pandey, Musheer Khan, Jewel Andrew, Hugh Weibgen, Uday Saharan, and his teammate Steve Stolk.
Kwena Maphaka was just one wicket short from leveling Bangladesh’s Enamul Haque Jr with 22 wickets in a single U19 World Cup edition. Maphaka also became the first bowler to pick three fifers in a single edition of the U19 World Cup. Maphaka has joined the elite list of players who have been awarded as the Player of the Tournament after the U19 World Cup.
Before Kwena Maphaka, South Africa’s Dewald Brevis won the award in the previous edition for being the highest run scorer of the tournament. Greats such as Shubman Gill, Tim Southee, Shikhar Dhawan, Aiden Markram, and Yuvraj Singh have won the Player of the Tournament award respectively in previous editions of the U19 World Cup.
Kwena Maphaka named the Player of the Tournament in the U19 World Cup 2024
Kwena Maphaka has proved to be one of the main finds of the U19 World Cup 2024. Maphaka has proved that he has a bright future and can bowl at a serious pace. Maphaka may soon join the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Anrich Nortje in the national team and become the highest wicket-taker for South Africa.
Coming back to the final of the tournament, it was Australia who were able to defeat India in the final in Benoni and won their fourth U19 World Cup title. India who were playing their seventh U19 World Cup final and 5th consecutive overall, were unable to win their 6th U19 World Cup trophy. Australia’s Mahli Beardman was the Player of the Match and ended the match with figures of 3/15.
Australia amassed a total of 253/7 when batting first, with Harjas Singh top-scoring with 55 runs from 64 balls. With the ball, Indian bowler Raj Limbani stole three wickets to lead India. Oliver Peake and skipper Hugh Weibgen, who played innings of 48 and 46* runs, respectively, have made significant contributions in addition to Harjas.
India lost an early wicket in Arshin Kulkarni for three runs while chasing the target. The squad attempted to rally with a few more runs from Musheer Khan and Adarsh Singh, but Musheer was out for 22 runs as well. The other batsmen were removed cheaply and were unable to hold the crease for too long. With a little grace, Adarsh Singh and Murugan Abhishek scored 47 and 42 runs in their respective innings. Mahli Beardman and Raf MacMillan, who each took three wickets, were Australia’s two best bowlers.
Australia once again became the reason behind the heartbreak of the Indian fans. The Aussies defeated India in the ODI World Cup 2023 final last year and the same script was followed in the U19 World Cup final. The Indian team were dominant in the CWC 2023 as well and were undefeated whereas in the U19 World Cup, the Indian U19 team were ruthless and were undefeated ahead of the final.