South Africa continued their impressive start to the 2023 ICC ODI World Cup as they thrashed Australia by 134 runs in Lucknow. The Aussies on the other hand are facing an uphill battle to progress to the latter stages after a second heavy defeat, and under par batting performance.
Australia Elects South Africa To Bat First
South Africa dominated from the outset after being asked to bat by Pat Cummins, Quentin de Kock and Temba Bavuma added 108 for the first wicket before the South Africa skipper fell to Glenn Maxwell for 35. De Kock went on to repeat his century from the first match against the Sri Lanka national cricket team, impressive for a player who stated he will retire from international cricket after the tournament. On this form he’ll leave a huge hole at the top of the order!
He made 109 before again falling to Maxwell’s off spin. From the position they were in at that point, 197 for 3 with one ball more than 15 overs remaining, the South Africa national cricket team would possibly have been disappointed in how they finished the innings.
South Africa’s much vaunted and powerful middle order didn’t really fire, as Australia fought back. Aiden Markrams 56 from 44 balls after surviving a simple caught and bowled chance on 1 from Cummins held things together but nobody really got on top of the bowling in the latter stages. South Africa could only manage 48 from the final 7 overs as Australia restricted them to 311 for 7, the men from down under would have felt well in the game after they looked to be facing a much larger total.
Australia Falter Chasing South Africa’s Feasible Target
The Aussies would have wanted a good start after their batting woes against the India national cricket team in the first game, but that wasn’t to be the case. Mitchell Marsh looks like a square peg in a round hole at the top of the order, he was first to go for 7. Steve Smith was incredulous at DRS ruling a ball from Kagiso Rabada was hitting his leg stump then David Warner spooned Lungi Ngidi to point, Josh Inglis, in for a dropped Alex Carey, followed after as he was castled by a beauty from Rabada. At 17.2 overs the game was effectively over as the Australia cricket team slipped to 70 for 6, Marcus Stoinis felt aggrieved at his caught behind decision as replays showed the ball hit his glove but it looked from some angles that his hand was off the bat, TV umpire Richard Kettlebrough begged to differ and he was on his way.
South Africa Asserting Themselves As Contenders
The rest of the game was somewhat of a formality Labuschagne and Starc added 69 without any real intent. South Africa looked like real contenders at this World Cup and Australia have much to think about and improve upon if they have any chance or intentions of making the top four and semi-finals. Ngidi (1 for 18 from 8) and Rabada (3 for 33 from 8) were superb with the ball, and Keshav Maharaj showed the Proteas attack isn’t all about pace with an excellent spell of spin bowling taking 2 for 30 from his full allocation of ten overs. Australia were bowled out for 177 in 40.5 overs, their second sub 200 total out of two matches so far.
South Africa 311 for 7 (de Kock 109, Markram 56, Bavuma 35) beat Australia 177 (Labuschagne 46, Rabada 3 for 33) by 134 runs.