Australia vs South Africa Match started at 2:00 pm on Thursday 12 October 2023 at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. Australia won the toss and 1st elected to bat.
South Africa 311 for 7 beat Australia 177 by 134 runs
If South Africa indeed harbors the desire to navigate the 2023 World Cup under the radar, their recent performance leaves little room for obscurity.
Dominating Australia in Lucknow, they secured a resounding 134-run victory, marking their second consecutive triumph and making a statement impossible to overlook.
Quinton de Kock, as usual, stole the spotlight, hammering a brilliant 109 at the top of the order as South Africa posted a formidable total of 311 for 7 after being asked to bat first. Australia’s decisions at the toss, including bolstering their batting with the inclusion of Josh Inglis and Marcus Stoinis in place of Alex Carey and Cameron Green, proved futile.
The lack of vigor in their bowling efforts and lapses in the field seeped into their chase, rendering it practically over by the 18th over at 70 for 6. With two consecutive defeats, Australia finds themselves in a precarious position, leaving little margin for error in the remaining seven games of the league stage.
Australia vs South Africa Highlights
It’s not breaking news that this ODI tournament marks de Kock’s farewell, but on nights like these, the significance is worth acknowledging. Departing the ODI scene at the zenith of his prowess, the 30-year-old showcased his excellence with a stellar 91-ball century, following his crisp 100 in the opening victory against Sri Lanka.
The 13 boundaries, including five sixes, were a testament to de Kock’s mastery, facing some of the most accomplished white-ball bowlers on the circuit.
His 19th hundred not only reaffirmed his status as a modern limited-overs great but also sounded a warning that South Africa is earnestly pursuing their first world title.
Despite Australia’s subpar performance, two decisions against them loom large. The LBW decision against Steven Smith, where an on-field call was overturned on DRS, raised eyebrows, especially considering the visual impression suggested the ball was headed past the leg stump.
The decision to dismiss Marcus Stoinis for a catch down the leg side was also contentious, with the television umpire suggesting contact with the top hand, a viewpoint not entirely supported by the front-on view. Kagiso Rabada capitalized on both instances, concluding with impressive figures of 3 for 33.
However, Australia would benefit more from introspection on their own errors, notably their lapse in fielding. They missed a staggering seven chances in the first half of the game, with Temba Bavuma being the fortunate recipient of three of them.
A top edge on 15 eluded Adam Zampa at deep third, an edge off the leg spinner went unnoticed with the Proteas skipper on 19, and Bavuma survived on 31 when a relay catch on the midwicket boundary fell apart after substitute fielder Sean Abbott’s overarm toss sailed over Mitchell Starc’s head.
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Pat Cummins missed a crucial caught-and-bowled opportunity from Aiden Markram, allowing the latter to surge from 1 to 56 in just 44 deliveries.
The penultimate over of the innings saw two more errors, with Mitchell Starc dropping David Miller at deep square leg and Marcus Stoinis fumbling a straightforward chance at cover off Marco Jansen (25).
Adding to the collective malaise was a missed run-out chance of de Kock when he was on 22 at the end of the sixth over, resulting in a staggering 170 runs from these missed opportunities.
De Kock’s batting onslaught was characterized by the precision of every shot. Despite the initial swing and seam offered to Starc and Josh Hazlewood, de Kock started quietly, only to turn up the volume with a six over square leg and two fours in the fifth and sixth overs.
This set the stage for a steady partnership with Temba Bavuma, contributing 17 runs in the powerplay and 35 in the overall opening stand of 108 before falling to Glenn Maxwell with a catch at deep midwicket.
Maxwell, who followed up with a maiden against de Kock in the 22nd over, faced retaliation as the left-hander hit two consecutive sixes over backward square leg in the 23rd over.
Rassie van der Dussen’s dismissal to Adam Zampa ended the half-century stand for the second wicket. De Kock, in sublime form, notched up his third ODI hundred against Australia with a heave over the leg side for his fifth six.
With the score at 171 for 2 and 20 overs remaining, the threat of an insurmountable total weighed heavily on Cummins, evident when he unsuccessfully reviewed against de Kock, who was on 104, for a speculative outside edge off his own bowling.
However, the breakthrough came when de Kock attempted a reverse sweep and ended up disturbing his own stumps.
Maxwell claimed his second wicket, ending his 10 overs without conceding a boundary. A resilient partnership between Markram and Heinrich Klassen inflicted more misery on Hazlewood in the 38th over, costing 14 runs with three boundaries.
The duo then achieved another fifty-run stand, this time off 41 deliveries. Markram reached his own fifty in the midst of Zampa’s final two overs, which were plundered for 25 runs.
Australia initiated a comeback when the score reached 263 for 3 with seven overs remaining, employing pace-off deliveries to stifle South Africa. Pat Cummins executed a cutter to dismiss Aiden Markram, who guided the ball to backward point.
Shortly after, Heinrich Klaasen top-edged Josh Hazlewood’s slower bouncer, leading to a catch by Josh Inglis. These crucial breakthroughs occurred within the span of seven deliveries, providing a glimmer of hope for the Australian side.
Despite Lungi Ngidi dropping David Miller at backward square leg and Marcus Stoinis missing an easier chance at cover for Marco Jansen, Australia managed to limit the damage in the final seven overs. Mitchell Starc concluded the innings emphatically, with Jansen caught by David Warner, followed by Miller getting yorked.
The final over yielded just one run through a leg bye, bringing the total damage in the last seven overs to 48 runs. Australia appeared to be back in contention.
However, South Africa’s pace bowlers had been observant and applied their learnings. Mitchell Marsh and David Warner fell victim to variations and movement with the new Kookaburras. Marsh skied a delivery to Temba Bavuma at mid-off, while Warner’s slap found the hands of a cover fielder off Lungi Ngidi’s second maiden over in his 50th ODI.
The contentious LBW appeal against Steven Smith, coupled with two crisp fours off Kagiso Rabada, resulted in the dismissal of Josh Inglis. Glenn Maxwell’s leading edge provided an easy return catch to Keshav Maharaj, leaving Australia reeling at 65 for 5, still requiring 247 runs from 33.5 overs.
A resilient stand of 69 runs between Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Starc was the second-highest partnership of the match, focused on preserving net run rate and salvaging some pride. However, the late dismissals of Stoinis, Labuschagne, and Starc, along with two wickets for Tabraiz Shamsi, signaled the impending victory for South Africa.
The moment of triumph arrived with 9.1 overs to spare, but the outcome had been evident long before, as Australia’s chances diminished gradually throughout the match.