In a breathtaking showdown at Lucknow, South Africa showcased a stellar performance, led by Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram, coupled with formidable bowling displays by Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj, as they secured a resounding 134-run triumph over Australia in their ICC Cricket World Cup encounter.
This remarkable victory marks Australia’s most significant loss in World Cup history, as South Africa firmly establishes itself at the top of the World Cup standings with four points from two impressive victories.
In contrast, Australia finds itself in a challenging position, occupying the second-to-last spot in the rankings after suffering back-to-back defeats.
Australia began its pursuit of the 312-run target on a reasonable note, reaching 27/0. However, the South African pacers Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen soon changed the game’s dynamics by dismissing David Warner (13) and Mitchell Marsh (7) within the first seven overs.
Despite the early setbacks, Steve Smith showcased his batting prowess, playing some exquisite shots, allowing Australia to reach the 50-run mark in just 9.4 overs. However, Kagiso Rabada dealt a significant blow by dismissing Smith for 19 off 16 balls, featuring four boundaries. Australia concluded the first powerplay at 50/3.
Rabada continued his splendid bowling display by claiming wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis and Marcus Stoinis for single-digit scores. Meanwhile, Keshav Maharaj’s spin added to Australia’s woes as Glenn Maxwell, struggling for form, was sent back with just three runs to his name. Australia was in dire straits at 70/6 after 17.2 overs.
Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Starc showed resilience, forming a crucial partnership that helped Australia cross the 100-run mark in 25.2 overs. Their gritty stand, characterized by well-placed boundaries, resulted in a fifty-run partnership after 74 balls. However, Marco Jansen ended their resistance by dismissing Starc for 27 off 51 balls, caught by Quinton de Kock. Australia’s score stood at 139/7 after 33.3 overs, and the 69-run partnership between Labuschagne and Starc came to an end.
Labuschagne’s determined innings came to an end as he was caught by Temba Bavuma off Keshav Maharaj’s delivery, contributing 46 runs from 74 balls. Australia was left struggling at 143/8 after 34.4 overs.
Captain Pat Cummins (22) and Josh Hazlewood (2) were the final wickets to fall, courtesy of spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. Australia was bowled out for 177 in 40.5 overs, resulting in a decisive 134-run victory for South Africa.
Kagiso Rabada (3/33) and Keshav Maharaj (2/30) were the standout performers among South Africa’s bowlers, while Tabraiz Shamsi (2/38) and Marco Jansen (2/54) also made significant contributions. Lungi Ngidi secured one wicket.
South Africa’s batting display was equally impressive, with Quinton de Kock notching up his second consecutive century, ably supported by Aiden Markram’s half-century. The team posted a formidable total of 311/7 in their allotted 50 overs.
Batting first at the behest of Australia, South Africa’s openers Quinton de Kock and skipper Temba Bavuma provided a solid start. While there weren’t many fireworks during the initial ten overs of the powerplay, de Kock’s assault on Josh Hazlewood in the sixth over, featuring three fours, was a notable highlight. South Africa reached 53/0 in ten overs, with de Kock (30*) and Bavuma (17*) forming an unbroken partnership.
De Kock reached his fifty in 51 balls, smashing five fours and two sixes along the way. The Proteas achieved the 100-run mark in 17.4 overs.
The partnership worth 108 runs eventually concluded in the 19.4 overs when Glenn Maxwell’s part-time spin dismissed Bavuma for 35 (55 balls, two fours), caught by David Warner at deep mid-wicket. South Africa reached 108/1 after 20 overs, with Rassie Van Der Dussen partnering with de Kock.
The de Kock-Dussen partnership continued to put pressure on the Australian bowlers, with de Kock hitting Hazlewood for two sixes in the 23rd over. South Africa reached 150 in the 27th over.
Their fifty-run stand for the second wicket was achieved in 52 balls, but it was short-lived as Adam Zampa dismissed Dussen for 26 (30 balls, two fours). South Africa reached 158/2 in 28.3 overs.
De Kock, after smashing a six off captain Pat Cummins in the 30th over, went on to complete his 19th ODI century in just 90 balls, featuring eight fours and five sixes. However, Maxwell halted his innings after de Kock attempted a reverse pull. South Africa stood at 197/3 in 34.5 overs, with the 200-run milestone coming in 35.5 overs.
Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen, both in fine form, continued to build South Africa’s innings and achieved their 50-run partnership in just 41 balls. The Proteas reached 250 in 42.1 overs. Markram secured his half-century in 41 balls, featuring six fours and a six. Nevertheless, skipper Pat Cummins claimed his wicket for 56 (44 balls, seven fours, and a six).
South Africa was at 263/4 in 43.1 overs. Klaasen (29) was dismissed by Hazlewood, while Mitchell Starc removed Marco Jansen (26) and David Miller (17).
South Africa ultimately concluded their innings at 311/7 in their allotted 50 overs, with Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj remaining unbeaten, both at zero.
Among Australia’s bowlers, Glenn Maxwell (2/34) and Mitchell Starc (2/53) delivered commendable performances, with Hazlewood, Cummins, and Zampa contributing with one wicket each.
Support Our Journalism
Global Indian Diaspora needs fair, non-hyphenated, and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. The Australia Today – with exceptional reporters, columnists, and editors – is doing just that. Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.
Whether you live in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, or India you can take a paid subscription by clicking Patreon. Buy an annual ‘The Australia Today Membership’ to support independent journalism and get special benefits.