With 16 balls left, Australia defeated South Africa by 3 wickets to advance to the ODI World Cup finals. Travis Head chased a very modest 213 runs, but he still managed to score a half-century. It so happened that both teams’ combined score in the 1999 World Cup semi-finals was 213. The captain, Pat Cummins, scored the game-winning runs to secure a final clash with India at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Here is a recap of the second innings.
Australia go big in the powerplay
From the first ball of the chase, David Warner and Travis Head put up a strong fight against the South African bowling lineup. Since at least one boundary was hit in each of the first four overs, 24 runs were scored in those overs. Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen scored 15 and 21 runs, respectively, in their fifth and sixth overs.
The onslaught was joined by Aiden Markram in the eighth over. Warner was dismissed by the right-arm off-break bowler with his opening ball. Warner blasted four fours and four sixes to score 29 runs in just eighteen balls. With a superb catch from Rassie van der Dussen, Rabada, at the other end, recovered some control and removed Mitchell Marsh for a six-ball duck. Head attacked in the last two overs in the powerplay scoring 13 runs. Australia ended the powerplay with 74 runs on the scoreboard for the loss of two wickets.
Australia build on their start
In the twelfth over, Gerald Coetzee entered the fray and reached his half-century by smashing three straight fours. After just one over, Tabraiz Shamsi came in to replace Coetzee and produced a difficult chance at first slip. Head added another boundary to his score as Heinrich Klassen failed to make the catch. In the fifteenth over, Keshav Maharaj entered the attack and removed the half-centurion with his opening ball. On Head’s foundation, Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne built. In six overs, the two batters scored 21 runs (16–21).
Shamsi strikes twice to raise hopes
As Smith and Labuschagne batted, South Africa’s prospects appeared dire. In the 22nd over, Shamsi eventually got the much-needed breakthrough, as he dismissed Labuschagne. In just 31 balls, Labuschagne scored 18 runs while hitting two fours. Shamsi got rid of Maxwell in the next over, allowing him to score just one run.
Smith and Inglis have a crucial stand
Australia lost half of their team with 137 runs scored and needed 76 more runs to win after Shamsi’s twin strike. Maharaj and Shamsi, the spin combo, bowled in unison and even created some opportunities for dismissals; nevertheless, they were unfortunate not to remove any batsman and were also unable to lower the score. With caution, Smith and Inglis scored 16 runs in five overs (25-29) against Maharaj and Shamsi. Coetzee returned to the attack, but he was costly early in his spell, conceding 13 runs in his opening two overs.
In the 34th over, he achieved success by getting rid of Smith. Smith smashed two fours and scored 30 runs off of 62 balls. Mitchell Starc and Inglis put up a 19-run partnership before Coetzee bowled Inglis in the 40th over. With three fours and 28 runs in 49 balls, the Australian wicket-keeper claimed victory. Markram had two opportunities to dismiss Pat Cummins in the 43rd and 45th overs, but his fielders failed him by dropping the catches.