Cricket World Cup - South Africa v Australia

Alamy Stock Photo

2023 Cricket World Cup
One Day International Format

South Africa v Australia

Eden Gardens
Kolkata, India
Thursday, 16 November 2023 
South Africa will be looking to finally get the monkey off their back when they face Australia in the 2023 Cricket World Cup semi-finals at Eden Gardens on Thursday, November 16.
The Proteas have fallen at the penultimate hurdle of the tournament on four occasions - twice against the Aussies - and they've yet to even reach the final.
Rob Walter's side started their campaign in India with a bang, scoring what is still the highest World Cup total in history against Sri Lanka (428) on October 7 before going on to record big victories against Australia and defending champions England in the group stage.
They suffered a surprise defeat to the Netherlands and were given a hiding by India, but finished second in the points table after beating Afghanistan by 5 wickets on November 10.
Afghanistan were restricted to 277 as Azmatullah Omarzai (97) came up just three runs short of scoring an impressive century, with Gerald Coetzee once again catching the eye after taking 4/44 in his 10 overs.
Nearly all of South Africa's batters made starts and Rassie van der Dussen played a fine knock to guide them to victory with an unbeaten 76 alongside Andile Phehlukwayo, who chipped in with 39 runs.

Temba Bavuma Alamy Stock Photo

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma sustained a hamstring injury in the game and is in a race against time to recover for the crunch clash in Kolkata. He took part in an optional training session on Monday, November 12 to access his fitness.
Bavuma has struggled with the bat at this World Cup, scoring just 145 runs in seven innings with a top score of 35 against the Aussies. However, Walter dismissed suggestions that his skipper is undroppable despite coming in for criticism back home for his poor performances.
"Absolutely [he is subject to the same fitness protocols as everybody else]. Temba hasn't come into the conversation about being dropped because he's been one of our best batters for the entire year," Walter said.
"So for me, from my point of view, he hasn't scored the runs that he would have wanted in the World Cup, but every training [session] he looks like he's close and every game he looks like he's close.
"So from that point of view a good score is just around the corner from him, but as far as being undroppable, no-one's bigger than the team at the end of the day and the same goes for everyone."
Australia recovered from a sluggish start to challenge South Africa for a top-two finish in the points table, but ended up with a lower net rate run from their nine matches.
Andrew McDonald's side have really hit their stride since losing to the Proteas, with the 8-wicket victory over Bangladesh on November 11 extending their winning streak to seven games.
Glenn Maxwell has been one of the star performers for the team, scoring the fastest World Cup century (40 balls) against the Netherlands before registering 201 not out against the Afghanistan.

Mitchell MarshAlamy Stock Photo

Mitchell Marsh led the charge against the Tigers, scoring a stunning 177 not out as Australia successfully chased down the target of 307 and losing just two wickets in the process.
Marsh took a few innings to adjust to his new role at No. 3 midway through the tournament, but he showed real intent against Bangladesh, especially when it came to the spinners.
"I sort of knew that when Heady [Travis Head] came back in that I was gonna go down to three," He said. "I think the most important thing for me is to play with that same intent and back myself. And I guess that's the sort of way we wanna play our cricket.
"Me coming in at 3 and keep trying to apply the pressure. I probably had a few games in the middle of the tournament where I lost my intent. So it was really good to sort of learn quickly and back myself. I'm probably gonna fail a few times, but hopefully, I come off more than I don't."

Head-to-Head (ODI)

Matches - 109
South Africa - 55
Australia - 50
Draws - 3
No result - 1

ODI World Rankings

2 - Australia
3 - South Africa

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Published: 11/15/2023