Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 02 December 2023 2.15 PM IST

Australia beat South Africa by three wickets in thrilling semi-final; will face India in final


KOLKATA: Australia has booked its ticket to the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup by beating South Africa by three wickets in a thrilling semi-final. Chasing 213, Australia managed to reach the target with the loss of 7 wickets in 47.2 overs.

South Africa, which won the toss and elected to bat, managed to score only 212 runs before being bowled out in 49.4 overs. It was David Miller's scintillating century (101) that helped the Proteas reach 212 runs. Starc and Cummins took three wickets, while Hazlewood and Travis Head got two wickets each.

Chasing 213, openers Travis Head and David Warner gave a flying start to the Aussies by hitting two boundaries each in the first four overs. The duo then took 15 runs off Marco Jansen in the fifth over, including two fours and a six, to keep Australia going.

However, part-time spinner Aiden Markram soon struck for South Africa by castling Warner on his first ball of the night. Mitchell Marsh was sent back for a six-ball duck by Rabada as Rassie van der Dussen made a full dive to take a blinder of a catch.

Head had a reprieve when substitute Reeza Hendricks dropped his catch at deep point off Gerald Coetzee, who was hit for two fours by the left-handed batter. Head went on to score his fifty by pulling Coetzee for four.

Spinner Keshav Maharaj struck on his very first ball by turning enough to castle Travis Head through the gate. Left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi too struck for the South Africans by trapping Labuschagne lbw on a reverse sweep against a delivery which turned in sharply. Shamsi then went on to knock off Glenn Maxwell’s leg stump with a quicker delivery.

Smith and Inglis hung around to hit three boundaries between themselves, but the former after playing an uncharacteristic hoick on a short ball and was caught by de Kock off Coetzee. Inglis tried to hang around with Starc before being castled by a straight delivery from Coetzee.

There was more tension when Markram created a half-chance and dismissal chance, but Bavuma and de Kock couldn’t latch on to it. Starc whipped through mid-wicket off Jansen for four, before Cummins finished off the tense chase with a steer past backward point for a boundary.

Brief Scores: South Africa 212 in 49.4 overs (David Miller 101, Heinrich Klaasen 47; Mitchell Starc 3-34, Pat Cummins 3-51) lost to Australia 215/7 in 47.2 overs (Travis Head 62, Steven Smith 30; Tabraiz Shamsi 2-42, Gerald Coetzee 2-47) by three wickets.

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