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Australia beat South Africa in nail-biter to reach final

South Africa have yet again failed to overcome the semifinal hurdle as Australia pulled them down to reach the final in the World Cup against India.

The five-time world champions managed to seal a hard-fighting victory by three wickets over South Africa in the second semifinal of the tournament at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Thursday.
After that win, Australia are now set to face India in the final at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Sunday (November 19).

In reply to 212, Australia got an excellent start adding 60 runs in from just six overs with the opening partnership between Tarvis Head (62) and David Warner (29).

The Aussies then lost couple of wickets but Head continuously steering up the runs. However, Australia lost three more wickets in a span of 76 runs.

At one stage, they went on 137/5 after 23.4 overs and fell under a bit of pressure.

However, some but important contributions from Steven Smith (30), Marnus Labuschagne (18) and Josh Inglis (28) set the foundation for the victory despite wickets were falling at regular intervals.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins held their nerves at the end and take the team to a hard-fighting win, remaining unbeaten for 16 and 14 respectively.

Tabraiz Shamsi and Gerald Coetzee took two wickets each for South Africa while each of Kagiso Rabada, Aiden Markram and Keshav Maharaj got one.

Earlier, South Africa somehow managed to post 212 runs with a recovery hundred by left-handed batter David Miller from a pressure moment.

Opting to bat, South Africa started losing wickets from the very first over, starting from just one run. Skipper Temba Bavuma departed for a duck.

After that, Quinton de Kock (3), Rassie van der Dussen (6) and Aiden Markram (10) went back one after another as they lost their top batters for just 24 runs.

Early quick wickets resulted in their sluggish run rate, picking just 18 runs in the mandatory powerplay and 67 runs after 20 overs.

David Miller then came with patience and made a 95-run stand with Heinrich Klaasen (47) in the fifth wicket to heal the Protea innings.

Miller then started fighting alone as the batters from the other side were following the “come and go” policy. He played a 116-ball 101 runs rescuing innings hitting five sixes and eight fours.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins bagged three wickets each for Australia while each of Josh Hazlewood and Tarvis Head got two.

Playing XIs

South Africa: Quinton de Kock(w), Temba Bavuma(c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.

Australia: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis(w), Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.