Australia triumphs over South Africa, Secures WC Final


Australia triumphs over South Africa, Secures WC Final

Australia will now lock horns with India in final, scheduled for November 19.

Our correspondents

KOLKATA : Australia qualified for final of the World Cup 2023 after beating South Africa by three wickets in a nail-biting contest at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Thursday.

Aussies achieved the modest target of 213 runs in 47.2 overs, to reach final for eighth time. Proteas bowlers gave a tough time, slimming the opponent’s chances for win, but tail order of Australia held the nerves to clinch the crucial victory.

Travis Head and David Warner made a sparkling start to the chase, cutting into Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen in the first six overs, racing to 60/0. But Australia’s serene progress came to an abrupt halt as the spinners kept the game alive.

The introduction of Aiden Markram gave South Africa initial hope as he struck with his first ball to remove Warner for 29. And a terrific grab from Rassie van der Dussen off Kagiso Rabada saw Mitchell Marsh depart without scoring.

Steve Smith made 30 off 62 while Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell were dismissed in quick sessions. After Josh Inglis removed for 28, Pat Cummins and Mitchel Starc managed to save the wicket and win the game for their side.

Earlier, a magical bowling spell from Aussies restricted South Africa from building a big total as the Proteas were bowled out for 212 in semi-final.

Mitchell Starc struck with the new ball and accounted for the South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma for a duck in the very first over.

And when Quinton de Kock tried to take on Hazlewood in the sixth over, he ended up ballooning a catch towards the mid-on region.

Later, Markram was dismissed while trying to pierce through the point, and van der Dussen fell in the very next over when he edged one to the second slip. South Africa were four down for 24 before rain arrived to halt play.

After the top order collapsed, Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller tried to fight back and build a strong middle-order partnership. But Travis Head got the breakthrough by dismissing Klaasen for 47.

Miller smashed a splendid and much-needed ton to boost the total but he got a little support from fellow players.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins claimed three-wicket haul each while Josh Hazlewood and Head took two wickets each.

Australia will now lock horns with India in final, scheduled for November 19.

This momentous match at Edgbaston continues to haunt South African cricket, serving as a pivotal reference for their subsequent World Cup woes. The semi-final’s drama was intensified by the preceding Super Six encounter against Australia, where the latter’s captain, Steve Waugh, delivered a match-winning century, aided by a crucial drop catch by Herschelle Gibbs.

Waugh’s alleged remark, “You’ve just dropped the World Cup,” added to the narrative, although neither player has confirmed it. This event turned the tide in Australia’s favor, rescuing them from the brink of elimination.

The semifinal rematch saw South Africa, needing a modest 214 runs for victory, reaching 205 for nine in the final over, with Lance Klusener on strike and Allan Donald at the other end. Klusener’s initial boundary hits raised hope, but a series of mishits followed, culminating in a fateful run attempt that left Donald stranded, his bat lost mid-run, and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist capitalizing on the chaos to seal South Africa’s demise.

This heartbreaking loss became emblematic of South Africa’s World Cup misfortunes. Subsequent tournaments saw them eliminated due to various reasons—a misjudgment of a rain-adjusted target in 2003, a heavy defeat against Australia in 2007, a stunning collapse against New Zealand in 2011, and a crushing semi-final loss to New Zealand in 2015.

The weight of these setbacks has lingered, with former Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin acknowledging he would exploit South Africa’s World Cup history in the upcoming semi-final, aiming to unsettle them mentally on the field. His comments indicate that the specter of past failures might play a role in the forthcoming clash between the two teams.

Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Marnus Labuschagne, 6 Josh Inglis (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood

South Africa (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Temba Bavuma (capt)/Reeza Hendricks, 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 David Miller, 7 Marco Jansen/Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Lungi Ngidi/Gerald Coetzee, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi.

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