WC: Australia beat South Africa by three wickets to secure spot in title clash with India

WC: Australia beat South Africa by three wickets to secure spot in title clash with India
Australia beat South Africa by three wickets in a tense semi-final at the Eden Gardens to reach the 2023 Men's ODI World Cup final. Travis Head scored 62 runs, followed by Steven Smith (30), Josh Inglis (28), Mitchell Starc (16*), and captain Pat Cummins (14*). South Africa's spinners created pressure but failed to capitalize on their chances. The final will feature Australia versus India in a rematch of the 2003 edition. Australia's efforts paid off as David Miller's gritty century went in vain. In the chase of 213, Travis Head and David Warner got off to a flying start. They took 15 runs off Marco Jansen in the fifth over, to keep Australia's momentum going. Warner hit three sixes but was castled by Aiden Markram. Mitchell Marsh was sent back for a six-ball duck by Rabada as Rassie van der Dussen took a blinder of a catch.
Head got lucky when substitute Reeza Hendricks dropped his catch at deep point off Gerald Coetzee. Klassen also couldn't catch a tough chance. Keshav Maharaj took a wicket on his first ball. Marnus Labuschagne survived an LBW appeal, while Smith got a reprieve when de Kock dropped a tough chance off. Shamsi got Labuschagne lbw on a reverse sweep and later knocked off Maxwell's leg stump. Smith played an uncharacteristic hoick and was caught by de Kock off Coetzee. Inglis batted with Starc before being bowled by Coetzee's straight delivery.
South Africa used their second review unsuccessfully when Coetzee appealed for trapping Cummins in front of stumps, but replays showed the ball pitched outside leg. Bavuma and de Kock missed a half-chance and a dismissal chance respectively. Starc hit a four and Cummins scored the winning boundary. Miller scored a century, becoming the first South African batter to do so in Men's ODI World Cup knockouts, helping the Proteas reach 212. Hazlewood and Starc took four wickets, reducing South Africa to 24/4 after electing to bat first under overcast skies.
Miller scored a century under pressure, hitting 101 off 116 balls with eight fours and five sixes. He and Klassen had a 95-run partnership. Miller's century is the first by a player batting at number six or lower in a Men's ODI World Cup knockout match. Starc and Hazlewood caused havoc, leaving South Africa reeling. Captain Bavuma was dismissed for a four-ball duck off Starc in the opening over. De Kock's wild slog was caught by Cummins off Hazlewood. Markram edged to backward point off Starc and van der Dussen's loose drive ended up in second slip's hands. Cummins kept Starc and Hazlewood in check, while two slips were consistently in place to keep the pressure on. South Africa took 52 balls to score their first boundary. After 14 overs.
Post-resumption, Miller and Klaasen hit Zampa for 2 sixes each over mid-wicket. Klaasen hit 2 fours off Head, but was bowled out. Miller reached his 50 with a cut past point off Maxwell. Miller and Coetzee put up a 53-run partnership. Miller scored his century and was caught at mid-wicket off Cummins. Rabada also got out, and South Africa's innings ended at 212.
Source: IANS