The Proteas beat Australia by 10 runs at Old Trafford to end their disappointing World Cup campaign on a high note. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The result sees the Proteas claiming the first big scalp of their campaign. They will finish the round-robin stage with a three-from-nine win-record.
India’s win against Sri Lanka and Australia’s loss to the Proteas will see Virat Kohli’s side finishing at the top of the standings. The upshot is that India will play New Zealand in the semi-finals, while Australia will face the hosts.
The Proteas will have much to address when they return to South Africa. They may find some consolation in a good batting performance against Australia, though.
South Africa’s top-six fired to post 325-6 in the allotted 50 overs. Faf du Plessis (100) played with freedom and intent to end the Proteas’ century drought, and was well supported by Rassie van der Dussen (95).
JP Duminy scored 14 in his last ODI for the Proteas. Imran Tahir made a bigger impact in his final match, dismissing the dangerous Aaron Finch in the third over.
AND HE’S OFF!
Imran Tahir, in his final ODI game, gets the wicket of Finch in the first ball of his second over! Australia 5/1.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) July 6, 2019
Australia battled to recover. Usman Khawaja was forced to retire hurt with a leg injury, while Steve Smith was trapped lbw by Dwaine Pretorius.
The Proteas were made to regret a couple of missed chances in the field. They had two clear opportunities to run-out David Warner in the early stages. The plucky left-handed batsman rode his luck and then led the Australian fightback.
Quinton de Kock pulled off two brilliant dismissals to swing the game in South Africa’s favour. The wicketkeeper ran-out Marcus Stoinis and then took a sharp catch to send Glen Maxwell packing.
Warner went on to score a fine century. The asking rate continued to climb, but you always got the feeling that Australia were in with a chance with Warner at the crease.
Chris Morris took a diving catch to end Warner’s assault in the 40th over. The dismissal brought an end to a great innings of 122 and all but ended Australia’s hopes of victory.
Alex Carey was eventually caught in the deep for 85. Mitchell Starc and Khawaja – returning after the earlier blow – played some big shots at the death to get Australia close.
In the end, however, the Proteas held their nerve. Kagiso Radaba removed Khawaja and then Starc. South Africa went on to claim a hard-earned win.
Photo: Cricket World Cup/Twitter
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