AUS vs SA, ICC World Cup 2023 Semi Final: The script on the ongoing semi-final game at the Eden Gardens on Thursday South Africa looked worried.
In the 2007 semi-final against Australia at Gros Islet, St Lucia, they also won the toss and elected to bat. However, they lost their top four for 27 including skipper Graeme Smith for two.
Proteas returned 149 innings and went on to lose the match by seven wickets. Australian quicks Glenn McGrath and Shaun Tait stood out with seven wickets between them as Australia bowled out their rivals in 43.5 overs. Their batsmen chased the target with 111 balls to spare.
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Australia took the title by defeating Sri Lanka in the final. South Africa have a habit of losing matches despite playing impressive cricket in the group stage as they won seven of the nine matches in the series stage in India. In their win against Sri Lanka, they piled up a World Cup record of 428-5.
Earlier, Australian fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood took two wickets each to rip through South Africa’s top order before rain came to the Proteas’ rescue. If the action in Kolkata falls victim to the weather, then a backup day has been set aside on Friday. If there was no result, South Africa would be declared the winners as they finished higher than Australia in the group stage.
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Starc sent a left-arm quick back to skipper Temba Bavuma for a fourth-ball duck in the first over and Hazlewood in the form of Quinton de Kock was soon caught for three. The new-ball bowlers continued the onslaught with the wickets of Aiden Markram (10) and Rassie van der Dussen (six) to reduce South Africa to 24-4 after the Proteas elected to bat under cloudy skies.
Heinrich Klaasen (10) and David Miller (10) took the score to 44-4 in the 14th over as rain forced the players off the field at Eden Gardens for around 45 minutes before action resumed. Bavuma admitted during his throw-down that he was not “100” fit after injuring his hamstring in the win against Afghanistan. South Africa are chasing their first ever World Cup final after falling in four semi-finals including two against Australia in 1999 and 2007.
(For agency input)