A low scoring thriller at Eden Gardens ended in Australia’s favour as the Baggy Greens sealed a spot in the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
Victory for Australia sent them through to Sunday’s final against tournament hosts India, where they could win a record sixth men’s Cricket World Cup crown.
Australia looked on course for a dominant day out in Kolkata when the new-ball bowlers ripped through South Africa’s top order after the Proteas opted to bat first in overcast conditions.
But a brilliant David Miller century helped South Africa reach 212 all out, leaving the bowlers something to work with in the second innings.
Requiring 213 to win – the same total as in the infamous 1999 semi-final between these two nations – Australia set about their chase in brisk fashion.
Earlier, South Africa’s top order were put under enormous pressure in helpful bowling conditions after the Proteas opted to bat first in the semi-final.
Runs were extraordinarily hard to come by as South Africa slipped to 24/4 in the 12th over, with Temba Bavuma (0), Quinton de Kock (3), Aiden Markram (10) and Rassie van der Dussen (6) all falling cheaply as Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood turned the screw.
Mitchell Starc finished with 3/34 from ten, Pat Cummins with 3/51 from 9.4 overs. But the headline-grabbers with the ball for Australia were Hazlewood, who took a remarkable 2/12 from eight overs, and Travis Head, who bagged 2/21 from five, including the crucial wicket of Klaasen. Article by Ntsako Mkhari
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena