ODI World Cup 2023: South Africa vs Australia, Semi Final 2 - Who Said What?

Australia booked a berth in the final by winning against South Africa by 3 wickets.

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SA vs AUS
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SA vs AUS (Photo Source: Twitter)

Australia booked a berth in the grand finale of the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023 by defeating South Africa in the second semifinal at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday, November 16. Temba Bavuma, the Proteas' skipper, won the toss and chose to bat first, but the decision backfired, as they fell for a subpar total of 212 runs without even playing their full quota of 50 overs. 

The target seemed to be manageable, as the Australian openers gave a fiery start, scoring 60 runs in just 6 overs. However, the Temba Bavuma-led side bounced back superbly to take the game down to the wire. However, the duo of Mitchell Starc and skipper Pat Cummins ensured that they saw the team through without any further hiccups.

Talking Points

David Miller's century:

The South African team was in deep trouble, as they lost their four wickets for just 24 runs in the 12th over. However, David Miller stepped up and took the onus upon himself to sail the sinking ship. First, he partnered with Heinrich Klaasen (47 off 48), and then with the lower middle-order to take the score to a decent total. In the process, Miller also completed his century (101 off 116) before Cummins got the better of him.

Travis Head's all-round show:

When Klaasen and Miller looked settled in the middle, the skipper gave the ball to Travis Head. The off-spinner didn't disappoint, picking a wicket on his first-ever ball. On the very next ball, Head sent Marco Jansen packing to end his spell with 2/21 in five overs. When it came down to the chase, Head fired from the word 'go', and scored boundaries for fun, not allowing the Proteas to settle at all. The southpaw made 62 runs off just 48 balls on a pitch where others struggled to score at a brisk rate. He was rightly adjudged as Player of the Match for his all-round show in the penultimate clash.

Who Said What?

Player of the Match, Travis Head, said

"Hard to unpack all of that. Tense finish, amazing game. [Surface] We knew how it was going to play. Having had three or four days here, you go to bed and think about it. The wickets have been unbelievable, haven't seen much spin but we knew it was going to be a grind. [Broken hand] Thought I wasn't going to be here, just want to contribute for Australia. [Klaasen ball] Straight as they come. I was under the pump, not sure how it got through. Seeing the wicket, was prepared to bowl a few overs. Always keen. We've had that positive approach, trying to get ahead of the rate. Disappointed to get out how I did, that's the match-up for me but it wasn't to be. [India] Unbelievable attack. Never dreamed of being in a World Cup final against the team of the competition so far."

Losing skipper Temba Bavuma said

"Quite hard to put into word. Congrats to Australia, all the best for them in the final. They were outstanding for a large part of the game and thoroughly deserved victory. [Fight] Our character came through. It was a dog fight. The way we stared with the bat and the ball was probably the turning point, we lost it quite badly there. [Collapse] Conditions and the quality of the attack. They were ruthless. Presented with the conditions but they really put us under pressure. We were gaining momentum at that point, we've seen how destructive he can be in the latter part of the innings. David Miller showed what he can do as a player and his mental capacity. Would have liked to have bowled better, it allowed the other batters to play themselves in. Shamsi was terrific, we were competitive but we needed a lot to go right. We had chances - tough chances - but we put them down. Could have been more proactive but you need things to go your way. [Coetzee] As a young guys he was a warrior. There wasn't much happening for him to bowl like that and get the wicket of Smith, get us back into the game. He kept on going until he was cramping. [De Kock] Outstanding tournament. Would have wanted to end on a different note, but he'll remember the fight we showed as a team. We've enjoyed playing with him, in SA he will go down as a legend of the game."

Winning skipper, Pat Cummins said

"Easier than sitting in the dugout. Nerve-wracking couple of hours but great effort and a great game. We thought it would spin quite a bit. Wasn't expecting Starcy and Josh to bowl so much early. Bit gloomy, swinging around so wasn't too upset. [Fielding] Somethin we talk a lot about. Wasn't up to scratch at the start of the tournament. Davey, 37, diving around, incredible. And the big two up front were incredible. [Head] Has this knack of finding a wicket. Been different bowlers chip in through the whole tournament. [Inglis] Played that beautifully. He looked in control against two really good spinners on a tough wicket. The good thing is a few of us have been there for finals before. Got to embrace it, the stadium is going to be packed, pretty one-sided but got to embrace it. The 2015 World Cup was a career highlight, so to be out there in a final in India, can't wait."

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