SA vs AUS, 2nd Semi-Final Review: Australia knock out Proteas in yet another World Cup semi

The second semifinal of the ongoing ODI World Cup took place at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, where Australia and South Africa faced off and the Aussies clinched a nervy low-scoring thriller by three wickets to set up there date with India in the final on November 19.

Speaking of this game, South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first despite overcast conditions The challenging conditions at Eden Gardens favoured both seamers and spinners, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood making early breakthroughs for Australia. Batting first, South Africa found themselves in a tough spot after being reduced to 24 for four.

After a rain break, David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen put together a pivotal 95-run partnership, taking advantage of inconsistent lengths from Adam Zampa. However, Travis Head’s accurate bowling disrupted South Africa’s stability by claiming two wickets in an over. Miller then combined with Gerald Coetzee to add another 53 runs for the seventh wicket.

Miller’s heroic century, which included eight fours and five sixes, helped South Africa reach a total of 213 in 49.4 overs. Australia’s bowling trio of Starc, Cummins, and Hazlewood shared the wickets, with Starc and Cummins claiming three each and Hazlewood contributing two.

Chasing the target, Australian openers David Warner and Travis Head had a brilliant start as they both started off hitting boundaries quite frequently and scored 60 runs in the first six overs but then Warner was dismissed after scoring 29 off 18 balls with one four and four sixes.

Mitchell Maresh also was dismissed soon but from the other end, Head made a good fifty and scored 62 off 48 balls before being dismissed by Keshav Maharaj. Australia lost a few quick wickets in the middle, courtesy of brilliant spin bowling by the duo of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi but the experienced batter, Steven Smith stood strong at one end and played an important knock of 30 runs and stitched a crucial partnership with Josh Inglis who also scored important 28 runs.

In the end, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins stitched a crucial 22-run partnership for the eighth wicket to win the match for their team as Australia won the game by three wickets to enter the final of the event.

Top Performers of the Match

David Miller (101 of 116)

South Africa were in trouble after losing four early wickets for just 24 runs on the board at the Eden Gardens wickets which was supporting the pace bowlers initially. But then David Miller came into the crease and stitched a good partnership with all the coming batters and scored a magnificent century to help his team reach a respectable total. He scored 101 with eight fours and five sixes to become the best batter of the match.

Mitchell Starc (3/34, 10 overs)

Mitchell Starc had not looked at his best in the World Cup so far but in the most important match where his team needed him the most, he bowled a brilliant spell. He swung the ball early on with great pace, troubling the Proteas batters. He took three crucial wickets to not allow them a good score on the board.

What next?

India and Australia will be up against each other in the final of the ODI World Cup 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, November 19.