Cricket World Cup 2023: Dominant South Africa Thrash Lacklustre Australia By 134 runs
South Africa reaffirmed their status as serious contenders as their pacers fired in tandem after Quinton de Kock's blazing century, paving the way for a dominant 134-run win over Australia
- Press Trust of India
- Updated: October 12, 2023 10:30 PM IST
South Africa reaffirmed their status as serious contenders as their pacers fired in tandem after Quinton de Kock's blazing century, paving the way for a dominant 134-run win over Australia in the World Cup in Lucknow on Thursday. If de Kock showed his class with a masterful 109 off 106 balls to take the Proteas to 311/7, the fast bowlers were at their ruthless best, bundling Australia for 177 in 40.5 overs for their second consecutive win. The South Africans entered this game after a comprehensive victory in their opener against Sri Lanka.
Australia, on the other hand, bowled without a plan, looked equally clueless with the bat -- losing wickets in clumps -- and were sloppy on the field, dropping as many as five catches.
The loss will severely dent their confidence. They were also outplayed by India in their opener and sit second last in the 10-team table.
De Kock, who will retire from the format after the World Cup, oozed confidence while scoring his second consecutive century with the help of eight boundaries and five maximums while Aiden Markram smashed 56 off 44 to help the team post the highest ODI total in Lucknow.
The South African quicks were relentless with the new ball and bowled with accuracy to essentially finish off the match before the 18th over of the Australian innings, with Pat Cummins' side tottering at 70/6.
Lungi Ngidi (1/18) set the tone with some incisive bowling. Marco Jansen (2/54) backed Nigidi and reaped the benefit as he removed Mitchell Marsh (7) without much trouble.
David Warner looked to get going but Ngidi struck for a wicket-maiden seventh over.
Kagiso Rabada (3/33) joined the party with the vital strikes of Steve Smith (19) and Josh Inglis (5) off consecutive overs.
As the ball hit Smith's pad Rabada looked unsure, but de Kock insisted on appealing. To South Africa's delight and Smith's disbelief, the umpire was forced to change his decision as the ball tracking technology showed it was hitting the leg stump.
The ball seamed for Rabada as he came back to finish Josh Inglis' nascent innings.
Australia's trouble with left-arm spin continued as Keshav Maharaj (2/30) caught Glenn Maxwell (3) off his own bowling.
Marnus Labuschagne (46) and Mitchell Starc (27) stitched a fighting 69-run stand for the seventh wicket but that was not enough to change the course of the match.
Earlier, De Kock paced his innings well and troubled the Australian bowling attack, which cut a sorry figure, on a difficult Ekana pitch.
The rub of the green also went the Proteas' way as the Australians were guilty of spilling numerous catches.
Off-spinner Glenn Maxwell (2/34) was their most successful bowler while the others managed to get some wickets at the fag end of the innings.
After a rather sedate start, De Kock, who calls this stadium 'home' during the IPL, put a move on things.
He used Mitchell Starc's pace to flick one over deep backward square leg to get the first six of the match in the fifth over.
Both Temba Bavuma (35) and de Kock skilfully nullified the early threat that the Australian pacers generally pose.
In fact, skipper Cummins was at his wit's end and kept shuffling between all his bowlers to find a breakthrough.
After playing the role of the sheet anchor with 35 off 55 balls, Bavuma decided to pull the trigger.
He had survived twice before -- a top edge which Adam Zampa failed to judge and then when sub Sean Abbott caught the ball on the rope and lost balance. Abbott threw the ball towards a waiting Strac, but his throw was inaccurate.
The South African skipper attempted a sweep but the ball found David Warner.
The back-to-back maximums off Josh Hazlewood over fine leg, and the majestic six over midwicket for his hundred, were the highlights of de Kock's innings.
The wicketkeeper-batter eventually fell to a freak dismissal as the ball deflected from the back of his willow into his chest and onto the stumps.
Markram, who was dropped on 1 by Cummins off his own bowling, clobbered seven fours and a six.
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