In the second semifinal of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Eden Gardens, Kolkata will witness a clash between the five-time champion Australia and South Africa.
South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first, aiming to make it to their first World Cup final. On Sunday, November 19, they will face the unbeaten host, India.
Australia, after two initial defeats, including one against South Africa, bounced back with seven consecutive wins. In the group stage, South Africa suffered only two losses, against the Netherlands and India.
Both teams have had ups and downs, with Glenn Maxwell recently surpassing Eden Markram’s highest individual World Cup score. After 20 overs, South Africa is at 67-4, and their batsmen, particularly Klaasen, are on the attack.
Miller, after a favored over, departed with just four runs, and South Africa is content as long as they keep adding boundaries. Hazelwood has certainly shaken up the batsmen. After 19 overs, South Africa is at 62-4, and Miller is once again heading back to the pavilion.
While Hazelwood may be doing everything his way at one end, the spinner has pulled off a fantastic delivery for the second wicket of the innings. Miller attempted another uppercut but managed an impressive strike.
Calculating risks in the 2015 semifinal rematch of two giants. If you’re wondering, Quinton de Kock is the other one. After the restart, Hazelwood secured two consecutive maidens.
Miller tried to reach leg-side but to no avail. After four wickets, South Africa still has some time if they intend to set a defendable target.
As the 17th over concludes, South Africa is at 55-4. The battle between bat and ball continues at Eden Gardens, with both teams eyeing a spot in the prestigious World Cup final.
The first six of the innings completes a half-century for South Africa.
Miller launches Zampa for a six over long-on.
Otherwise, three singles are scored off the spinner.
16 overs. South Africa 46-4
Hazelwood’s first over.
Clearly, this partnership is slowly laying the foundation for a revival.
Klaasen, sensing the ball well, has pushed all six behind with satisfaction, for now.
15 overs. South Africa 46-4
So, spin comes into attack, and South Africa takes two singles in Zampa’s first over.
This situation is not unfamiliar to Proteas, as New Zealand’s third-wicket partnership showed resilience against India in Mumbai.
However, it’s going to be quite, quite different from here on, something very special.
What if the rain doesn’t stop?
If the remaining days continue to witness rain, Friday is a reserved day.
If players can manage to come out between rain intervals, a minimum of 20 overs is required for the match.
Then it will depend on selecting the DLS method separately.
If rain persists until the next two days – and the forecast for Friday looks grim – then South Africa will progress.
Throughout the tournament, Proteas have maintained a better net run rate, and that will be crucial.
From here, there will be a tough attack on Australia, but then again, South Africa has already won the group-stage clash.
This light drizzle is more than just a few drops, and when the umpires are on the field, it’s a clear sign they’re planning to call the players back. Some banners in the stands indicate that local fans are eager for an India-South Africa final. Australia, so far, has much to say about it.
Rain Halts Play
The delayed rain has provided South Africans with much-needed relief. Covers are on at the Gardens. The ground staff is swiftly working to cover the pitch, but parts of the field remain exposed.
14 overs. South Africa 44-4
A change in bowling has finally happened as Australian captain Pat Cummins replaces Hazlewood, who delivered an astonishing spell of 12-2 in six overs. South Africa has an edge as Klaasen drives through the covers, saving himself from the Australian fielders.
Miller gets his chance to hit the first boundary as he pushes a ball that seemed to be stuck on him. He almost finds the mid-on fielder, who slips, and the ball goes away.
13 overs. South Africa 32-4
Former teammate Watson comments, “When Mitchell Starc bowls like this, it feels like he will get a wicket on every delivery.” Miller is facing Stark, who is delivering his seventh over now.
Commentator Atherton notes there’s a bit of drizzle in the air, but it’s not enough to stop the game. The clouds look dark, making batting difficult.
Wicket! Van der Dussen Out! 12 overs. South Africa 28-4
The Australian bowlers are relentless in their attack. Hazelwood now wants another chance after Cummins, and he gets it. Facing Stark again, Miller is dealing with faster and accurate bowling. The conditions are challenging with a slight drizzle. The Australian fielders are not letting anything go.
Australia is pulling away at the moment.
David Miller steps in to bat before his wish or expectation. He immediately takes a swing but luckily manages to escape through the slips for a fortunate four.