Five-time champions Australia defeated South Africa by 3 wickets in the second semifinal of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday (November 16). Their victory takes them to a place in the final where India await them having beaten New Zealand in the first semifinal. The final fixture will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday (November 19).
While South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first, they lost early wickets against high quality pace bowling by the Aussies. Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were exceptional with the new ball for the Kangaroos. However, the Men From The Rainbow nation found a way to give themselves a fighting total with David Miller scoring a splendid hundred, finishing with 101 off 116.
Australia reach the #CWC23 Final
South Africa’s semi-final pain goes on 😔
Read the full match report of a #SAvAUS classic at Eden Gardens 📝⬇️https://t.co/qayvEZNW7J
— ICC (@ICC) November 16, 2023
In response, Australia were off to a brisk start with both David Warner and Travis Head going after the opposition bowlers, reaching 60/0 in the first six overs. However, with the ball again, the Proteas found a way to come back, especially with their spinners bowling superbly in the middle. Aiden Markram picked 1 for 23, Gerald Coetzee scalped 2 for 47, Tabraiz Shamsi picked 2 for 42, Keshav Maharaj picked for 1 for 24 and pacer Kagiso Rabada alos got a wicket but none of that was enough to take South Africa to their maiden World Cup final.
Earlier, Aussie pace attack led by Starc (3 for 34) and coupled with Pat Cummins (3 for 51), and Josh Hazlewood (2/12) were the wreckers-in-chief with the ball and helped set up the match for Aussies. In the run chase, Head top-scored with 62 off 48 while Steven Smith, Josh Inglis and in the end the partnership between Cummins and Starc took Australia over the line.