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ICC World Cup: Match 45, Australia vs South Africa, Review – Proteas end the tournament with a giant slay

This sets up a scintillating date for them against arch-rivals England at the Edgbaston.

South Africa
South Africa. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Australia and South Africa very rarely disappoint the fans in a World Cup and they once again played a thrilling game in Manchester this time. They previously had a couple of memorable encounters in Leeds and Birmingham and they continued their streak of producing nerve-wracking cricket in England.

Aiden Markram was made to open alongside Quinton de Kock and it seemed like the first glance at South Africa’s future opening combination. The duo gave South Africa a stellar start and handled the threat against Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins well. The duo added 79 runs for the first wicket in no time before Lyon drew first blood for Australia, dismissing Aiden Markram.

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Skipper Faf du Plessis got some good starts in the tournament but couldn’t get a hundred to his name until this game. He once again looked in good touch and struck a few early boundaries to get going. Quinton de Kock completed his fifty and soon, he too fell prey to the brilliance of Nathan Lyon.

Rassie van der Dussen’s memorable World Cup campaign needed a big score as well, much like Faf du Plessis. The duo showed why they were the two best batsmen in the tournament for their team and stitched a fantastic 141-run partnership for the 3rd wicket. Dussen and Faf both completed the fifties, but the skipper shifted to the fifth gear and showed how dangerous he can get.

Faf finally got to his ton, his first in this World Cup. After his dismissal, Dussen upped the ante alongside JP Duminy and got very close to a hundred. He fell on the final delivery trying to complete his hundred with a six, but remained on 95. South Africa finished with 325 for the loss of 6 wickets, with Mitchell Starc once again among the wickets for Australia.

Warner and Carey’s exploits set up another exciting clash

Imran Tahir was made to open the bowling attack and he picked up a memorable wicket on his final appearance in ODIs. He dismissed Aaron Finch and was off on a sprint once again, which turned out to be the final time we saw that in a coloured Proteas jersey. Usman Khawaja was struggling with his hamstring and decided to go back to the pavilion.

Steve Smith couldn’t make it big on the day as Dwaine Pretorius trapped him in front of the stumps and a critical phase followed for the Aussies. A partnership was developing between David Warner and Marcus Stoinis, which accounted for 62 runs but ended with a piece of magical work from Quinton de Kock to run Stoinis out.

Glenn Maxwell too fell prey while trying to up the ante. Warner found a perfect partner in Alex Carey as the young left-handed batsman once again put up a classy performance. He played a perfect second-fiddle to Warner, who went on to complete 600 runs in this tournament and also got to his 17th ODI hundred, going past Adam Gilchrist as the third best behind Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting.

A fantastic catch at mid-off from Chris Morris saw the end of Warner, but just when the game seemed done and dusted, Carey began to take the responsibility on himself to strike the lusty blows. He kept collecting boundaries at regular intervals heading into the final 10 overs. But the youngster, after bringing Australia very close by himself, was dismissed for a well-compiled 85 off 69 balls.

Mitchell Starc and the injured Usman Khawaja tried to take it deep with some crucial boundaries, but the Aussies eventually fell short by 10 runs. This sets up a scintillating date for them against arch-rivals England at the Edgbaston, whilst India will be playing New Zealand in Manchester.

Brief Scores

South Africa: 325/6 in 50 overs (Faf du Plessis 100, Rassie van der Dussen 95; Nathan Lyon 2/53, Mitchell Starc 2/59)

Australia: 315 all out in 49.5 overs (David Warner 122, Alex Carey 85; Kagiso Rabada 3/56)

Result: South Africa won by 10 runs

Man of the match: Faf du Plessis

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