Australia knock out South Africa in tense match to clash with India at World Cup 2023 final on Sunday

Saurabh Sharma

World Cup 2023: Australia reached the World Cup 2023 final for the eighth time after knocking out South Africa by three wickets in the second semi-final at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on Thursday. Now, Australia will clash with India, which is unbeaten this season, for the coveted title at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday (November 19). India and Australia will be facing each other in the World Cup final after 20 years. The last time they had an encounter in the World Cup final was in 2003 when India was captained by Sourav Ganguly.   

Also Read: Australia or South Africa: Which team will India prefer playing in World Cup Final?

India reached the final after defeating New Zealand by 70 runs in the first semi-final encounter at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. Now, they will square off with Pat Cummins-led team, which has won 8 of 10 clashes this World Cup. The final encounter is expected to be a clash of titans as India, which have won the World Cup twice – 1983 and 2011 – will take on five-time champions Australia. 

For the Aussies, the World Cup campaign began with two back-to-back defeats but after that, they picked up the momentum and recorded 7 wins out of nine games. Today, the Proteas won the toss and opted to bat first. Temba Bavuma’s team was off to a disastrous start as they lost their four wickets for just 24 runs. 

After South Africa’s top order collapsed, Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller took the responsibility to keep the scoreboard rolling. They built a much-needed partnership. Klaasen scored 47 off 48 balls while Miller hit a fighting century, which helped the team post a total of 212 runs.

Chasing 213 to win, Australia went for an attacking opening and were quite successful as they added 60 runs in just 6 overs. However, once David Warner departed, South Africa picked up another wicket and was back in the game. Australia came under pressure after Glenn Maxwell departed for just 1 and the team was 137 for five. The Proteas had a real chance of pushing the Aussies further down but a crucial partnership of 37 runs between Steve Smith and Josh Inglis took some pressure off. 

South Africa struck again when they got Smith out. But Inglis stayed to build another partnership of 19 runs with Mitchell Starc. These two rather short partnerships got the Aussies closer to the target. Once Inglis departed, Starc and skipper Pat Cummins finished the job in 47.2 overs. Despite defending the low total, the South African bowlers put up a spirited fight but lost to five-time champions.         

WATCH: AUS vs SA World Cup Semi-final: From ball-tempering to first 400 runs in ODI, take a look at some historic moments between the rivals  


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