ISLAMABAD: Despite creating some thrill in the middle by the South African bowlers, Australia managed to defeat the proteas by 3 wickets in the second Semi-final of the ICC World Cup contest played at Eden Garden Kolkata, India on Thursday. South African bowlers took some quick wickets in the middle; however, their low total was not enough to make them through and being famous as chokers they were out of the mega event in a crunch moment.
Chasing a low total of 213 to win, Australian openers Travis Head and David Warner took a flying start. Instead of required about 4 runs per over they initiated the innings with over 8 runs per over. Meanwhile David Warner became more dangerous and took his side to 60 in the first 6 overs.
However, for the 7th over Bavuma introduced Markram who dismissed Warner on his first ball. He scored 29 of just 18 balls including 4 sixes and a boundary. In the next over Rabada removed Mitchell Marsh on a duck to create some hopes for the proteas. However, from the other hand Travis Head continued his aggression and completed his half century. He was well supported by Steven Smith. Both added 45 runs partnership for the side.
In the 15th over when the scored reached 106, Maharaj bowled out Travis Head on 62. His innings included 2 sixes and 9 fours. After the dismissal of Travis Head, number five batter Marnus Labuschagne joined Smith. However, a couple of over later Shamsi showed his class. He first dismissed Labuschagne on 18 and then in his next over removed the inform Glenn Maxwell on 1 runs and took Australia on defensive.
At the stage Australia were 137 for 5 in 23.4 overs. South African bowlers fought well in the middle, however the early damage done by Warner and Travis Head was haunting them. As despite losing 5 wickets Australia were required just 76 runs in 26.2 over with an average of below 3 runs per over.
After Maxwell, number six batter Josh Inglis joined Smith to take the innings ahead. They contributed 37 runs partnership for the team to reach closer to the victory. In the 34th over, when the score reached 175, Coetzee got rid of Smith who scored a steady 30 on 62 balls. He was replaced by Starc. Now it was just a game of taking and saving wickets as run-rate was not the issue as Aussies required 38 runs on just 96 balls. Both Starc and Josh Inglis added 19 runs to the total. In the 40th over when the score reached 193, Coetzee dismissed Inglis on 28.
However, at the stage Australia required just 20 runs in 60 balls with three wickets in hand. Despite having a low total, South Africans had still a little hope and were trying hard to get the remaining 3 wickets. Pat Cummins replaced Inglis. Proteas bowlers tried hard, but Pat Cummins and Starc showed patience and calmness by just taking singles. Australia managed to reach the target and win the contest by 3 wickets with 15 balls to spare.
From south Africa Gerald Coetzee and Tabraiz Shamsi got 2 wickets each. Keshav Maharaj, Markram and Kagiso Rabada took one wicket each. After winning the match Australia will face India in the final at Ahmedabad on 19th November.
South Africa Batting
Earlier winning the toss South Africa decided to bat first on a bouncy and spinning track. Being better at batting first, perhaps it was not a good toss to win this toss. Proteas openers Quinton de Kock and the skipper Temba Bavuma seemed under pressure from the very first ball against the swinging deliveries of Starc and Hazlewood. Starc dismissed Bavuma on a duck in the very first over. In the next over Hazlewood also got rid of De Kock who scored just 3 runs on 14 balls.
Losing early quick wickets South African became under huge pressure and even were unable to hot a boundary. In first 10 overs they hardly managed to score just 20 runs. In the 11th over Starc dismissed Aiden Markram on 10. In the next over Hazelwood removed Rassie van der Dussen on 6 who faced 31 balls. At the stage South Africa were just 24 for the loss of 4 in 11.4 overs.
After losing 4 wickets Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller was the only pair to show resistance against Aussies. They managed to stay on the crease, pushed the run-rate up and took their side to a bit comfort level. They contributed 95 crucial runs partnership for the team. But again the chokers feelings were there as despite being staying on the crease and showing resistance against the attacking bowling line of the Aussies, an irregular bowler Travis Head became a nightmare for Proteas.
In the 31st over of the game Travis Head first bowled out Klassen on 47 and then on the very next balls removed Marco Jansen on a duck. The two quick dismissals took South Africa to a defensive mood again. From the other hand David Miller was the only player who stood firmly on the crease and attacked Australian bowlers whenever he got a chance. He completed his half-century.
But from the other hand wickets were falling with interval. After spending some time on the crease with Miller Gerald Coetzee was dismissed on 19 in the over number 44. When the score reached 191 in the 47th over Starc dismissed Keshav Maharaj on 4.
In the next over Miller completed his terrific hundred on 115 balls. However, in the same over he was caught on the boundary line by Travis Head. His innings included 5 sixes and 8 fours. At the stage South Africa were 203 for 9 in 47.2 overs. Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamsi added few runs on the board. Due to Miller fine hundred South Africa managed to score 212 all out in 49.4 overs.
From Australia Mitchel Starc was the most successful bowler taking 3 for 34 in his 10 over spill. Pat Cummins also got 3 while Travis Head and Josh Hazlewood took 2 wickets each.
Australia Team: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood
South Africa Team: Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamsi