South Africa vs Australia LIVE: World Cup result and reaction as Cummins and Starc lead Aussies to victory

Australia will face India in the Cricket World Cup final after overcoming South Africa at Eden Gardens winning their semi-final clash by three wickets.

Proteas captain, Temba Bavuma won the toss and elected to bat only for South Africa to slip to 24-4 as Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc stuck early with the new ball. David Miller recovered the innings with a stylish century finishing with 101 runs as South Africa set a target of 213.

In reply, David Warner and Travis Head got the Aussies off to a flying start, putting on 60 for the first wicket. When Warner was dismissed for 29, Mitchell Marsh quickly followed and wickets continued to fall making Australia’s run chase a tense affair. Gerald Coetzee struck twice late in the innings leaving it to Starc and Pat Cummins to knock off the winning runs.

Australia advance to the tournament showpiece but face India who have yet to lose in this year’s competition and are favourites to claim the title of World Champions.

Relive the semi-final action below and get the latest odds and tips right here:

South Africa vs Australia live

  • South Africa face Australia in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals

  • South Africa won the toss, chose to bat and were bowled out for 212

  • Australia reach target with three wickets remaining

  • OUT! David Warner b Markam 29 (18), Australia 60-1 (6.1)

  • OUT! Mitchell Marsh c van der Dussen b Rabada 0 (6), Australia 61-2 (7.4)

  • OUT! Travis Head b Maharaj 62 (48), Australia 106-3 (14.1)

  • OUT! Marnus Labuschagne lbw b Shamsi 18 (31), Australia 133-4 (21.5)

  • OUT! Glenn Maxwell b Shamsi 1 (5), Australia 137-5 (23.4)

  • OUT! Steven Smith c †de Kock b Coetzee 30 (62), Australia 174-6 (33.3)

  • OUT! Josh Inglis b Coetzee 28 (49), Australia 193-7 (39.5)

Australia hold nerve against South Africa fightback to reach eighth Cricket World Cup final

17:24 , Sonia Twigg

Australia survived a determined South African resistance to secure a place in the Cricket World Cup final with a thrilling three-wicket win in a low-scoring but entertaining semi-final.

The two semi-finals could not have been more different. In Mumbai, India blew New Zealand away with their batting prowess, and dominated with skilful bowling, while both teams in Kolkata had to dig in and battle in the bowling-friendly conditions.

David Miller’s century dragged South Africa back from the brink of the early exit that looked all but certain as they crumbled to 24 for four against the Australian openers in the first innings. But Miller’s 101 led them to a below-par total of 212, and it was close to proving enough.

South Africa may be left to consider what could have been. There were at least four crucial drops, including one off Pat Cummins with just nine runs needed for Australia, and numerous more half-chances that fell agonisingly short of fielders.

Overall, it was a resolute effort for a side that never gave up, but it was Australia who batted well enough to secure the victory and have booked their place in their eighth Cricket World Cup final, will take on India in Ahmedabad on 19 November.

Australia hold their nerve against South Africa to reach Cricket World Cup final

Babar Azam steps down from Pakistan captaincy after Cricket World Cup

18:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Major change is afoot with Pakistan, meanwhile, with confirmation yesterday that Babar Azam has relinquished the captaincy across formats. Shan Masood will take over the Test team with Shaheen Shah Afridi installed as T20I captain, while the entirety of the coaching staff has been removed as former all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez takes on a new role.

Babar Azam steps down from PAK captaincy in all forms following World Cup debacle

Jos Buttler admits to ‘mistakes’ during England’s World Cup campaign

17:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jos Buttler has vowed to learn from his “mistakes” after returning home from England’s calamitous World Cup filled with “sadness and frustration”.

Pre-tournament predictions of the defending champions making a deep run in India went out of the window as England faltered alarmingly, losing six of their first seven matches – often by yawning margins.

Beating the Netherlands and Pakistan to secure a place in the 2025 Champions Trophy could not mask a hugely disappointing campaign and Buttler has accepted responsibility for his own shortcomings.

Jos Buttler admits to ‘mistakes’ during England’s World Cup campaign

Why India are under fire over pitch change controversy ahead of Cricket World Cup final

17:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Questions are being asked, though, over a late decision to move yesterday’s semi-final from a fresh track to a used pitch, seemingly at the request of the India team and without the agreement of the ICC, as Sakshi Gupta explains.

Why India is under fire over pitch change ahead of Cricket World Cup final

Rohit Sharma glad India ‘could get the job done’ against New Zealand

17:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Rohit Sharma was one happy captain after his side continued their unbeaten run to set up a tilt at a World Cup crown.

Rohit Sharma glad India ‘could get the job done’ against New Zealand

India to take on Australia in World Cup final

17:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

What a final that should be: the best side in the tournament against the most successful side in World Cup history, arguably the two biggest beasts of the men’s game meeting in Ahmedabad in front of what is likely to be a record crowd for the World Cup decider.

Here’s how India got there:

Kohli is the record breaker but Shami bowled India to the World Cup final

And victorious skipper Pat Cummins is the final man in front of the microphone

17:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“I think it it easier out [in the middle] than in the dugout, actually,” Cummins says when asked if he is getting used to seeing his side home in tight fixtures. “It was a nerve-wracking couple of hours, but a great effort. I’m pretty pumped.

“We thought it was going to spin quite a bit. It was a bit gloomy and swinging around early, and the boys bowled beautifully, so I wasn’t too upset at that stage. We talk a lot about our fielding and it wasn’t up to scratch at the start of the tournament.

“[Travis Head] just has this knack of finding a wicket when you need one. It’s been a feature of our tournament, having bowlers chip in at different stages.

“Josh Inglis played it beautifully, I thought, I thought he looked in total control out there against two very good spinners on a tough wicket.

“The good thing is a few of us have been there in a final before, so we can draw on that. You’ve just got to embrace it. The stadium is going to be packed - and pretty one-sided, I think! It’s special. To be out there in a final, in India, in the world’s biggest stadium, it’s a very happy changing room at the moment.”

Temba Bavuma pays tribute to the retiring Quinton de Kock.

17:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“He’s had an outstanding tournament. He would have wanted to end things on a different note but he will remember that type of fight we showed as a team. As players, we’ve enjoyed playing with Quinton, he has dazzled all of us. In South Africa, he’ll go down as one of the legends of the game.”


Temba Bavuma reacts to South Africa

16:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It’s quite hard to put into words. Congratulations to Australia. I thought they were outstanding for large parts of the game today and deserved the victory.

“I think our character came through, a bit of resilience. A bit of dogfight. Looking at the result of the game, the way we started with bat and with ball was the turning point.

“It was the conditions combined with the quality of the attack. I thought Hazlewood and Starc up front were ruthless. They exploited every bit of advantage that was presented to them in the conditions and put us under pressure. When you are 24-4, you are always going to struggle to get to a competitive total. David Miller’s innings was superb and really captures the character of our team.

“We definitely felt it was competitive. We’d have liked to have started a bit better, they got over 70 in the first ten overs which allowed other guys to play themselves in without scoreboard pressure. I thought Shamsi was terrific and really put guys under pressure, but we needed a lot of things to go our way. We had tough chances that we put down, half-chances, balls bouncing in front of us. When the margins are like that, you need things to go your way. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Australia put a good display of cricket out there.”

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(Getty Images)

Travis Head is the Player of the Match

16:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And says to the host broadcaster: “It’s hard to unpack all of that. I didn’t move for the last two hours! It was a tense finish to an amazing game.

“We knew how it was going to play. Having had three or four days here, you train and you think about it going into it. I think the wickets have been unbelievable throughout the whole tournament, but we haven’t seen many take spin like that, so we had to play a little bit different. It was a battle.

“I thought that I was going to be here [because of a broken hand before the tournament]. I just want to contribute for Australia and it was nice to do that today. We get another opportunity in a couple of days’ time.”

On dismissing Heinrich Klaasen “I was under the pump! He’s an unbelievable player and smacked me around in South Africa, so when he went four, four, I thought I was under the pump. I’m not sure how that one got through him but it was nice. Seeing the wicket a couple of days ago, I knew I had to be prepared to bowl a few overs. I’m always keen to contribute.”

On the fast start with the bat: “We’ve always had that positive approach. I was disappointed to get out the way I did, it was a good match up with a left-hander against a left-arm spinner if I could have battled through that for a few overs, I could have been in a better position. But it was nice to front-end the innings a bit knowing how it was going to play.”

On the challenge that India will provide: “We’ve got to be on. They are an unbelievable attack. I wouldn’t ever have dreamed of playing in a World Cup final against the best team in the competition so far. Their bowlers look sharp, so I’ve got to be sharp.”

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(Getty Images)

Australia beat South Africa to set up final against India

16:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It feels fitting that two of Australia’s seamers saw them home given how impressively they set the tone first up, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood outstanding earlier to put their side so far ahead in the game. David Miller’s brilliant hundred ensured South Africa clawed their way up to something close to defendable, but Travis Head’s early blitz left South Africa with too much to do.

Australia (215/7) beat South Africa (212 all out) by three wickets to reach the World Cup final

16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc embrace, the coolest of partnerships in the Kolkata heat to break South Africa’s hearts again. Temba Bavuma’s side fought so, so hard to defend an under-par total, their three spinners excellent and Gerald Coetzee impressive again, but Australia edge home. It’s another semi-final disappointment for the Proteas - and it will be India against Australia in Sunday’s final in Ahmedabad.

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(Getty Images)


16:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cut away for four! Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc have seen Australia home!

Australia 211-7 (47), Cummins 10, Starc 16, Markram 1-23 (8) (target 213)

16:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A single to Pat Cummins. Two needed. Mitchell Starc heaves but doesn’t connect.

Australia 210-7 (46), Cummins 9, Starc 16, Jansen 0-31 (4) (target 213)

16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Thrashed for four! Mitchell Starc crunches Marco Jansen through midwicket and Australia need just three.

Australia 206-7 (46), Cummins 9, Starc 12, Markram 1-22 (7) (target 213)

16:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An edge! But down it goes! A thin inside nick from Pat Cummins but Quinton de Kock can’t take! Is that South Africa’s last chance?

Australia 206-7 (45), Cummins 9, Starc 12, Markram 1-22 (7) (target 213)

16:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An edge! But down it goes! A thin inside nick from Pat Cummins but Quinton de Kock can’t take! Is that South Africa’s last chance?

Australia 204-7 (44), Cummins 8, Starc 11, Coetzee 2-47 (9) (target 213)

16:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is extraordinary stamina from Gerald Coetzee, though you fancy that Temba Bavuma would have to wrench the ball out of his hands at this stage. Pat Cummins lifts him to deep cover for a single. Into single figures.

Mitchell Starc takes a blow to the body as he tries to hook a short ball up into the stands. A full toss looks inviting but Starc is slow to react, and half-hits his shot to Kagiso Rabada at a straight, shortish mid-off. Just one from the over.

Australia 204-7 (44), Cummins 8, Starc 11, Coetzee 2-47 (9) (target 213)

16:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is extraordinary stamina from Gerald Coetzee, though you fancy that Temba Bavuma would have to wrench the ball out of his hands at this stage. Pat Cummins lifts him to deep cover for a single. Into single figures.

Mitchell Starc takes a blow to the body as he tries to hook a short ball up into the stands. A full toss looks inviting but Starc is slow to react, and half-hits his shot to Kagiso Rabada at a straight, shortish mid-off. Just one from the over.

Australia 203-7 (43), Cummins 7, Starc 11, Markram 1-20 (6) (target 213)

16:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa’s fielders clap their hands, urging Aiden Markram on. Pat Cummins wisely withdraws his stroke to watch a wide go by. 11 needed.

Inches away again! Oh, how many of those are South Africa going to have to deal with, another catching opportunity not quite carrying with David Miller not tight enough at short midwicket. Temba Bavuma slaps the floor in frustration.

A punch down the ground. Australia need ten. Up come the straight fielders, Bavuma and Markram tempting Mitchell Starc. The left-hander declines, his only shot in anger so far having been at the free hit in the previous over.

Australia 201-7 (42), Cummins 6, Starc 11, Coetzee 2-46 (8) (target 213)

16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No ball! An attempted yorker slips out and hones in on Pat Cummins’s stomach, a turn to leg adding one more to the total and giving Mitchell Starc a chance to free the arms.

Starc fails to connect. A dot. But Australia need only 12.

Australia 199-7 (41.2), Cummins 5, Starc 11, Coetzee 2-44 (7.2) (target 213)

16:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The new willow works! A delightful square drive for four!

14 needed.

Australia 195-7 (41.1), Cummins 1, Starc 11, Coetzee 2-40 (7.1) (target 213)

16:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is some effort from Gerald Coetzee, now into a seventh unchanged. His pace is still up, too - a short ball is fended away by Pat Cummins, breaking the Australia captain’s bat.

Coetzee goes down for some treatment on an achy calf as Cummins retrieves a new bit of willow.

Australia 195-7 (41), Cummins 1, Starc 11, Markram 1-18 (5) (target 213)

16:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Aiden Markram initially cracked things open for South Africa with the wicket of David Warner, and with his two lead spinners bowled out, Temba Bavuma goes back to his part-time offie. Australia still don’t need to hurry, their requirement down into the teens.

Just short! My, oh my! A leading edge from Mitchell Starc but safe by a foot or so as Markram gathers on the half-volley in his follow-through. I

NOT OUT! Australia 193-7 (40), Pat Cummins 0, Starc 10, Coetzee 2-40 (7) (target 213)

16:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Pitching outside leg! And, in truth, by a distance, too, the intensity and emotion perhaps just catching up with Coetzee who was practically screaming his appeal in his follow through.

That failure to overturn the on-field call means South Africa are out of reviews. New man Cummins won’t need reminding of the importance of having one in reserve in a tight contest.


16:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that looks close, too! Pat Cummins’s pads are smashed first ball - has it pitched in line? Umpire Richard Kettleborough doesn’t think so but South Africa do...

OUT! Josh Inglis b Coetzee 28 (49), Australia 193-7 (39.5)

16:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A searing yorker!

It’s been a brilliant knock from Josh Inglis but he’s been beaten by South Africa’s gasman, delivering just when his side need him to continue a breakthrough tournament. It’s full and fast from Gerald Coetzee, targeting the toes and getting it absolutely spot on. Inglis jabs a spade at it but can’t squeeze it out, bat on to pad, on to timber.

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(Getty Images)

Australia 193-6 (39.2), Inglis 28, Starc 10, Coetzee 1-39 (6.2) (target 213)

16:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A nudge through square leg allows Mitchell Starc to tap and turn for two, and he’s up into double figures with a similar shot next ball to leave just 20 needed.

Australia 190-6 (39), Inglis 28, Starc 7, Maharaj 1-24 (10) (target 213)

16:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Yes mate,” Josh Inglis says, surprising pretty much everyone, including his partner and the fielder, whose slow throw saves Mitchell Starc from paying for a slightly laboured stride through for a single early in the over.

Four balls left at Starc, who can use those long levers to hit with the turn impressively. The hoicks and heaves are absent, though - the left-hander blocks out the noise and the rest of the over, directing his last defensive shot away from a fielder to take a run of his own.

1-24 are fine figures for Keshav Maharaj - but Australia are inching their way closer to Ahmedabad and Sunday’s final.

Australia 188-6 (38), Inglis 27, Starc 6, Coetzee 1-37 (6) (target 213)

15:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

In comes a slip now on the line through which that edge flew, with Gerald Coetzee pushing to the top of his speed limit.

Just out of reach! The ball pops up in the air off Starc’s jabbing bat but the bowler can’t retrieve it in his follow through! It’s a tremendous, sprawling effort in the fifth over of a physically taxing spell - but not enough.

Keshav Maharaj has one over left, which he will bowl now.

Australia 188-6 (36.2), Inglis 27, Starc 6, Coetzee 1-37 (5.2) (target 213)

15:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nicked for four! No slip, and Mitchell Starc survives, squared up as he goes back to a brute from Gerald Coetzee but his edge out of diving reach of Quinton de Kock. Marco Jansen can’t corral it on the boundary.

Australia 184-6 (36), Inglis 27, Starc 2, Shamsi 2-42 (10) (target 213)

15:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Tabraiz Shamsi will finish off his ten, six more balls to try and find a fissure as Australia rebuild towards victory. Josh Inglis chomps on his gum, whispering to himself as he resets between each delivery, daring not chance his arm or unneccesarily expose his tailender to the mystery man.

Shamsi changes the angle, coming around the wicket. Inglis is firmly forward in defence and then drives handsomely for a couple through cover.

Australia 182-6 (36), Inglis 25, Starc 2, Coetzee 1-33 (5) (target 213)

15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Shot! This is turning into a little gem from Josh Inglis, riding a Gerald Coetzee short ball and then climbing into the crispest of cover drives, a touch aerial but well away from the fielder.

Mitchell Starc survives three balls, digging out the last of them as Coetzee moaned, his yorker quick but not quite quick enough.

Australia 177-6 (35), Inglis 20, Starc 2, Shamsi 2-40 (9) (target 213)

15:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A slip and a gully waiting to Mitchell Starc’s left, a sometimes eager slogger no doubt recognising this is a time for caution. The second catcher exits before the fourth ball of the over, and Starc can probably then decudce will be on a straighter line. His flick to deep midwicket reduces the runs required to 37.

Starc is returned to the strike by a Josh Inglis single and watches the final ball go outside off.

Australia 175-6 (34), Inglis 19, Mitchell Starc 1, Coetzee 1-28 (4) (target 213)

15:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

I wondered if Pat Cummins might promote himself and try to see his side home, but there is no change in the Australian order, with Mitchell Starc out to join Josh Inglis. He’s off the mark with a drive to deep cover.

That really was a strange shot from Steve Smith, perhaps reminiscent of some of his frazzled swipes to boundary fielders during last summer’s Ashes when England went to the short ball strategy in a similarly grim situation. Coetzee has his tail up, a short ball whistling over the top of a ducking Josh Inglis’s head. Coetzee follows it down and hurls some verbals. He’s a cricketer who is at his best in the battle.

Tabraiz Shamsi will return at the other end.

OUT! Steven Smith c †de Kock b Coetzee 30 (62), Australia 174-6 (33.3)

15:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Steve Smith falls!

Crikey! That is a rather unsightly dismissal for Australia’s anchorman, who had shown so much restraint to edge his side to within touching distance of a World Cup final.

He is expecting a shorter ball, perhaps, and thus clears the front leg, going through with the shot even with the length slightly fuller. A meaty top edge climbs to the Kolkata heavens and comes down in Quinton de Kock’s gloves - South Africa are alive!

Australia 174-5 (33.2), Inglis 19, Smith 30, Coetzee 0-27 (3.2) (target 213)

15:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A shift of strategy from South Africa - it’s going to be a bumper barrage from Gerald Coetzee, a bit of leg theory with conventional modes of attack not proving effective so far. Of course, he can only bowl two bouncers over the shoulder in the over, and the first is used up immediately, forcing a re-think.

Miles in the air, can someone get beneath it?

Australia 174-5 (33), Inglis 19, Smith 30, Rabada 1-41 (6) (target 213)

15:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

These two batters have really taken the sting out of the game, though. This has been uber impressive from Josh Inglis, light on international experience but a product of the incredibly competitive Western Australia system, which tends to churn out tough and supremely talented cricketers. He was born and raised in Leeds until he was 14, though, if that offers any consolation to mourning England fans.

Two singles on Rabada’s return. 39 required.

Australia 172-5 (32), Inglis 18, Smith 29, Coetzee 0-27 (3) (target 213)

15:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Coetzee continues, perhaps surprisingly, as South Africa try to berak things back open. Quinton de Kock throws the ball up in jest after Stve Smith misses a wipe down the legside, fooling the bowler, who launches into an appeal. There was a flick of Smith’s pocket, which means Richard Kettleborough’s wide signal will frustrate South Africa.

Edged but safe! There’s no slip for Smith, though relatively soft hands mean that it might not have carried anyway. Away to the rope it hurries for four.

Kagiso Rabada has his cap off. He’ll relieve the tiring Maharaj.

Australia 165-5 (31), Inglis 17, Smith 24, Maharaj 1-22 (9) (target 213)

15:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Keshav Maharaj has two more to bowl, and will presumably complete his allocation unchanged. You wonder if he is just starting to fatigue, though, not quite managing to challenge both edges and land it on a length quite as often as earlier in his spell. Australia’s requirement is beneath 50.

Australia 162-5 (30), Inglis 16, Smith 22, Coetzee 0-20 (2) (target 213)

15:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That is a surprise - Tabraiz Shamsi is off, and Gerald Coetzee is on, back for a second spell after a 15-run first over earlier. That feels risky from Temba Bavuma, though the near 90mph heat that Coetzee brings doesn’t look particularly pleasant to face in a pressure situation.

Smith hooks with a ballroom dancer’s grace but can’t beat a sliding Marco Jansen on the long leg boundary. Josh Inglis does find the fence, guiding wide of the sole slip and fine of the fielder in the deep.

Australia 156-5 (29), Josh Inglis 12, Smith 21, Maharaj 1-19 (8) (target 213)

15:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jeepers! Inglis and Smith nearly combine for a disaster, Inglis asking Smith to come through for a single and initially drawing a positive response, before having to hastily retreat after his partner changes his mind. The keeper-batter gets back with a dive, aided by a throw that slows on the bounce.

Keshav Maharaj is giving them nowt, though. 57 required.

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(Getty Images)

Australia 155-5 (28), Josh Inglis 11, Smith 21, Shamsi 2-38 (8) (target 213)

15:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A few gnawed fingernails on show in the stands. A single to add to that four as Tabraiz Shamsi concludes his eighth set of six.

Australia 154-5 (27.1), Josh Inglis 10, Smith 21, Shamsi 2-37 (7.1) (target 213)

15:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s excellent batsmanship from Josh Inglis. He backs away and opens up the offside, waiting for a shorter ball from Tabraiz Shamsi and playing it with a relatively upright bat, using the speed of the outfield and shortish cover boundary to beat the sweeper fielder.

Australia 150-5 (27), Josh Inglis 6, Smith 21, Maharaj 1-18 (7) (target 213)

15:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Temba Bavuma has captained really well in this period, not panicking with a small total on the board and keeping his attacking fielders in. He tries a short catching cover role for Josh Inglis, encouraging Keshav Maharaj to give it some air and test the mettle of the wicketkeeper-batter.

Australia are four more runs closer to that ever diminishing target, though.

Australia 146-5 (26), Josh Inglis 4, Smith 19, Shamsi 2-33 (7) (target 213)

15:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Josh Inglis does at least seem to be picking Tabraiz Shamsi quite well. He and Steve Smith whittle away with four singles and a leg bye from the over.

Australia 141-5 (25), Josh Inglis 2, Smith 17, Maharaj 1-14 (6) (target 213)

15:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There are a few stony faces in the Australia dugout, former England coach Andy Flower among them with the Zimbabwe great continuing his consultancy role. There are only eight overs left of these two, so Australia could drop anchor and try to play them out if they wish - though that feels a strategy fraught with danger on this sort of pitch.

Australia 140-5 (24), Josh Inglis 2, Smith 16, Shamsi 2-29 (6) (target 213)

15:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Josh Inglis hasn’t had a real innings of substance since supplanting Alex Carey as Australia’s keeper at the start of this campaign - Steve Smith rather needs him to provide some stable company now. It is only 73 required, but South Africa have their tails up, practically sprinting around between the overs to allow their two spinners to rattle through them and keep the pressure on.

OUT! Glenn Maxwell b Shamsi 1 (5), Australia 137-5 (23.4)

14:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle


Tabraiz Shamsi charges around the Eden Gardens outfield - he’s got the big fish! An unbeaten double hundred in his last hit but that’s not a great innings at all from Glenn Maxwell, impetuous early on. A drag-down from Shamsi is there to be hit but Maxwell’s ugly swipe is premature, and the South African fans are jumping, belief coursing through them as their Shamsi and Maharaj put Australia in a spin.

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(Getty Images)

Not out! Australia 134-4 (23), Maxwell 0, Smith 14, Maharaj 1-14 (5) (target 213)

14:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A good decision from Nitin Menon. It wasn’t far away from either bat or glove, but it connected neither.

It was a mighty heave from Maxwell having reversed the hands. He and Steve Smith gather for an end-of-over conflab.

Australia 134-4 (22.4), Maxwell 0, Smith 14, Maharaj 1-14 (4.4) (target 213)

14:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is thoroughly engrossing cricket. Josh Inglis has been desperately short of form, so one more wicket would put South Africa right amongst things.

Maxwell reverse sweeps, and the close-in catchers think there is an edge! The umpire shakes his head - but we are going back upstairs...

Australia 133-4 (22), Glenn Maxwell 0, Smith 13, Shamsi 1-23 (5) (target 213)

14:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Glenn Maxwell emerges, cap on, to a mighty roar. South Africa welcome him with a couple of catchers...and he’s beaten first ball, Quinton de Kock taking neatly as Maxwell cuffs outside off. Tabraiz Shamsi enquires with the umpire, but there’s no edge. 80 required.

OUT! Marnus Labuschagne lbw b Shamsi 18 (31), Australia 133-4 (21.5)

14:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This time the umpire’s call is in South Africa’s favour!

Turn and bounce but it’s taking a sliver of the top of leg stump - and that’s all Tabraiz Shamsi needs! Shamsi roars, Labuschagne thumps his bat on his pad and South Africa have a glimmer again.

Australia 133-3 (21.4), Labuschagne 18, Smith 12, Shamsi 0-23 (4.4) (target 213)

14:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Temba!” cries Quinton de Kock as Steve Smith turns one between the South Africa captain’s legs, all along the floor and totally in control but the sort of shot that Tabraiz Shamsi is seeking. The problem with the leg stump line, though, is that the margin for error is small, anything turning down leg not contacted by the batter liable to be wided. Two come in the over.

Reverse sweep fails to connect...and up goes the finger! Marnus Labuschagne signals for a review but that looked rather adjacent...

Australia 130-3 (21), Labuschagne 18, Smith 12, Maharaj 1-12 (4) (target 213)

14:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Labuschagne and Smith extend tentatively from their shells, a Labuschagne sweep followed by a skip down the pitch from Smith, though neither batter gets the connection they are hoping for. They escape with singles.

That’s more authoritative: Labuschagne is down on a knee once more and crunches a hard sweep through midwicket for a boundary.

Australia 124-3 (20), Labuschagne 13, Smith 11, Shamsi 0-20 (4) (target 213)

14:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Bavuma keeps the helmet on and positions himself at a backward short leg, Shamsi’s left to right turn lending itself to either a turn around the corner or bat and pad squeeze into that region.

But that sort of ball has little chance of going there - a half-volley toutside off stump that Marnus Labuschagne is rather grateful to receive, crashing a drive through the covers. A single takes Labuschagne to 13 off 25 balls; Smith has 11 off 24. Tense.

Australia 119-3 (19), Labuschagne 8, Smith 11, Maharaj 1-6 (3) (target 213)

14:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia’s start means that these two can take their time, but they don’t want to get completely stuck against two high class spinners. Keshav Maharaj and Temba Bavuma recognise that pressure is building on Marnus Labuschagne and the South Africa captain sticks himself in under the lid at silly point.

Bavuma remains in place as Steve Smith takes strike, with a block to point closing the over.

Australia 118-3 (18), Labuschagne 7, Smith 11, Shamsi 0-15 (3) (target 213)

14:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Spin! Big spin! Steve Smith backs away and looks to cut but finds the ball rearing towards him, biting out of the rough and up into the batter’s body.

Dropped? Yes, but that’s tough on Quinton de Kock, who doesn’t really have a hope given the size of the deflection off the outside edge of Smith’s bat. That’s now three or four chances that have hit the deck for South Africa, though.

Australia 116-3 (17), Labuschagne 6, Smith 10, Maharaj 1-4 (2) (target 213)

14:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Keshav Maharaj doesn’t bowl many bad balls, but he’s fortunate that a leg stump full toss is merely helped by Marnus Labuschagne around the corner to short fine leg for a single rather than given the altogether biffier treatment it merited. Steve Smith replies to his partner’s single with one of his own for the two runs off the over.

Australia 114-3 (16), Labuschagne 5, Smith 9, Shamsi 0-13 (2) (target 213)

14:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Aiden Markram is inserted around the corner as a catching leg slip, with Tabraiz Shamsi asked to probe Marnus Labuschagne’s pads and find a tickle. Labuschagne leaves one alone that turns further down leg to add one more to Australia’s tally, and then controls his nurdle nicely to take a single off the last ball of the over.

That’ll be drinks.

Umpire’s call! Australia 112-3 (15.4), Labuschagne 4, Smith 9, Shamsi 0-11 (1.4) (target 213)

14:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Umpire’s call! An inch away for Tabraiz Shamsi, who can probably feel quite hard done by that he didn’t get the on-field decision. Labuschagne was beaten all ends up by a ball that bit back from outside off stump, but he, just about, survives!


14:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Huge turn, and Tabraiz Shamsi is certain! The umpire says no, but South Africa review immediately. Was the impact with Marnus Labuschagne’s pad outside the line?

Australia 109-3 (15), Marnus Labuschagne 2, Smith 9, Keshav Maharaj 1-3 (1) (target 213)

14:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The wicket brings together Marnus Labuschagne and fellow quirky kid Steve Smith, their idiosyncratic gifts well suited to this sort of situation with run rate not an issue and the task at hand eminently achievable. I’d be surprised if we see a seamer any time soon - there looks to be plenty there to excite Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi, who continues.

OUT! Travis Head b Maharaj 62 (48), Australia 106-3 (14.1)

14:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Keshav Maharaj strikes first ball!

Where has he been? It’s a beauty to start from the left-arm orthodox spinner, flight and drift drawing Travis Head into a drive. Maharaj’s turner slides between the gateposts and thumps into the stumps, ending Head’s spritely innings. But has the damage already been done? That feels like it could be a match-winning hand with Australia already halfway to South Africa’s total.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Australia 105-2 (14), Head 62, Smith 8, Tabraiz Shamsi 0-8 (1) (target 213)

14:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Well, perhaps repeatedly changing bowlers is South Africa’s best tactic - again Australia nearly gift them a wicket first ball, Steve Smith premeditating a lap sweep but having to claw it around the corner from well outside off, and in the process almost giving Temba Bavuma catching practice at square leg. Bavuma can’t get there, diving forward but connecting on the bounce.

Through slip’s hands! Another chance comes third ball, a thick edge flying at eye height over Heinrich Klaasen’s shoulder and too hot to handle for the keeper-convert. That’s boundary number nine for Travis Head to go along with a couple of sixes, but he’s riding his luck a little.

Australia 98-2 (13), Head 55, Smith 7, Aiden Markram 1-16 (4) (target 213)

14:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Yum. A lovely cover drive from Steve Smith, releasing the wrists to use the angle of attack from around the wicket to his advantage and guide a skidding off-break between the cover fielders.

The Gerald Coetzee experiment lasts a single over; Tabraiz Shamsi replaces him for some left-arm mystery.

Australia 93-2 (12.1), Head 55, Smith 2, Aiden Markram 1-11 (3.1) (target 213)

14:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Reeza Hendricks trudges off, Kagiso Rabada ready to return and the substitute fielder therefore no longer required. Will that spill be his only involvement in the semi-final? It was a toughie, but Hendricks is an excellent operator in the deep.

50 for Travis Head! Australia 92-2 (12), Head 54, Smith 2, Gerald Coetzee 0-15 (1) (target 213)

14:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A half century for Travis Head, up off 40 balls after three more crisply struck boundaries. Coetzee gives him his favourite line and length outside off stump and Head is in a ravenous mood, munching away merrily as Australia accelerate.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Dropped! Australia 78-2 (11.1), Head 41, Smith 1, Gerald Coetzee 0-1 (0.1) (target 213)

14:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And he could have had a wicket first ball! Head slashes the ball out to deep point, where substitute Reeza Hendricks is stationed. It dips on Hendricks late but he gets both hands to it, and he’ll be disappointed not to have clung on!

Australia 77-2 (11), Head 40, Smith 1, Gerald Coetzee 0-0 (0) (target 213)

14:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A change at the other end - and slightly surprisingly given the turn Markram is finding, it’s not one of South Africa’s two frontline spinners. Gerald Coetzee will stomp in instead.

Australia 77-2 (11), Head 40, Smith 1, Markram 1-10 (3) (target 213)

14:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The field spreads as Aiden Markram begins, five in the ring, four outside, with Australia already more than a third of the way there to their required 213.

This is good from Markram, pushing it full as much as possible and flighting his offies nicely. His last ball is less aesthetically pleasing, but Travis Head is happy to pat it down the ground for one and pinch the strike.

Australia 74-2 (10), Head 38, Smith 0, Rabada 1-39 (2) (target 213)

14:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s not perfectly timed, but that will be four more for Head, a wipe over mid-on clearing the fielder in the ring comfortably.

Howzat! Off the body! Kagiso Rabada is keen but Quinton de Kock rather less so as a beaten Steve Smith turns away with the ball having brushed his ribcage rather than the edge of his New Balance on its way through to the keeper. Australia continue to rattle along but South Africa are back in the mix at the end of the powerplay.

Australia 68-2 (9), Head 33, Smith 0, Markram 1-7 (2) (target 213)

13:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Swept venomously for six! Despite those two wickets in quick succession, Travis Head isn’t about to go into his shell, planting his foot down and retrieving the broom to send Aiden Markram to the stands. A single to long-off follows.

Australia 61-2 (8), Head 26, Steve Smith 0, Rabada 1-33 (4) (target 213)

13:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Steve Smith in, with Marnus Labuschagne still to come and Australia perhaps starting to be quite glad of that middle order security. Aiden Markram will continue.

OUT! Mitchell Marsh c van der Dussen b Rabada 0 (6), Australia 61-2 (7.4)

13:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle


Oh, that is jaw-droppingly good from Rassie van der Dussen in the covers. There are two slips waiting for an edge but Mitchell Marsh connects cleanly enough with the drive, perhaps just clothing it slightly. That sends it aerially to Van der Dussen’s right, and the fielder springs like a goalkeeper, pushing out two hands and clinging on as he crashes back down to earth. The momentum is swinging!

Australia 60-1 (7), Head 25, Mitchell Marsh 0, Markram 1-0 (1)

13:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Markram stays around the wicket to right-hander Mitch Marsh, new to the crease and watchful to begin, using his pad to shield himself outside of off stump. A wicket maiden to begin with appreciable turn - and Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi, South Africa’s specialist tweakers, coo approvingly.

OUT! David Warner b Aiden Markam 29 (18), Australia 60-1 (6.1)

13:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

With his very first ball!

Golden arm! I mentioned earlier that this might be the gambit if Australia got off to a flyer, and Aiden Markam has delivered for his captain. He throws one up on the fuller side and David Warner doesn’t get his footwork right, exposing his stumps and playing a bit of a nothing shot. The death rattle sounds - how South Africa need that!

Australia 60-0 (6), Head 25, Warner 29, Aiden Markram 0-0 (0) (target 213)

13:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

At this same stage, South Africa were 8-2. Can Aiden Markram break this partnership with his off-breaks?

Australia 60-0 (6), Head 25, Warner 29, Rabada 0-32 (3) (target 213)

13:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Temba Bavuma calls in Quinton de Kock and Keshav Maharaj for a chat before Kagiso Rabada’s next over, two previous ODI captains aiding the current skipper as they bid to stem the flow.

But David Warner is on the rampage! He swipes a Rabada slower ball over mid-off for six, and Rabada’s overstep then grants him the freedom to get down on one knee and scoop sweep a free hit over the legside boundary for a half-dozen more!

What hitting! Travis Head smashes the third six of the over to cow corner as Rabada shakes his head.

Australia 39-0 (5), Head 18, Warner 17, Jansen 0-27 (3) (target 213)

13:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And this is the intent that South Africa seemed to lack - Travis Head twice slaps Marco Jansen through mid-on, the bottom hand prominent in both an aerial lift and an along-the-ground thwack as Jansen hits a slightly wider line.

Gorgeous! David Warner joins his partner in tucking in, a pick-up flick off his hips delectably timed.

Australia are the second fastest starters in the competition - only India (6.87) better there run rate of 6.46 in the first ten overs at this World Cup.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Australia 24-0 (4), Head 9, Warner 11, Rabada 0-12 (2) (target 213)

13:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No further score from the over but Australia don’t need to go looking for scoring options. This will be a pleasing start for Pat Cummins and co. on the balcony - you feel that South Africa have to get at least two in the powerplay to have a hope.

SIX! Australia 24-0 (3.4), Head 9, Warner 11, Rabada 0-12 (1.2) (target 213)

13:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Large! Kagiso Rabada misses short for the first time and the pugnacious David Warner is typically quick with his left hook, swivelling into a shot that sails some 15 rows back over long leg.

Australia 17-0 (3), Head 8, Warner 5, Jansen 0-12 (2) (target 213)

13:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Marco Jansen has had a good tournament but the young all-rounder is still a work in progress, just battling to settle in to a line and length. Thrice Quinton de Kock lunges to gather down leg as the umpire’s arms spread akimbo to signal a wide.

That’s better, a hint of movement back in to go past the inside edge of David Warner’s bat. If Jansen can get the ball there consistently, this pitch and his natural gifts will do the rest.

Australia 14-0 (2.1), Head 8, Warner 5, Jansen 0-9 (1.1) (target 213)

13:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Yep, Australia are prepared to be proactive. David Warner faces his first ball from Marco Jansen and immediately climbs into him, throwing his hands through the shot as he drives at a ball pushed ever-so-slightly too full. He’s not in full control, but the connection is good enough to send the ball flying over point.

Australia 10-0 (2), Head 8, Warner 1, Kagiso Rabada 0-5 (1) (target 213)

13:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ball two is straighter but rears up at Warner, slamming int othe handle and away through the gully for a single with the batter shakking a sore paw. He’s off the mark, though.

Nicked but safe! Rabada is right amongst things here, drawing the edge of Travis Head from an in-between length but watching it sail wide of the two slips placed adjacent to the wicketkeeper. Third man can’t cut it off - four runs.

More solid thereafter from Head.

Australia 5-0 (1.1), Head 4, Warner 0, Kagiso Rabada 0-0 (0.1) (target 213)

13:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And, as expected, it will be Kagiso Rabada to take the new ball alongside Jansen. Two slips and a reasonably tight backward point waiting for a skew off the outside half of David Warner’s bat, which is beaten as Rabada angles his first ball across the leftie from over the wicket.

Australia 5-0 (1), Head 4, Warner 0, Jansen 0-5 (1) (target 213)

13:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Travis Head is in no mood to dally, the hirstute left-hander seldom one to poke and prod. He has a heave-ho as Jansen settles in outside off stump, eyes to the heavens, ball to the keeper with a swish of the bat beneath it.

Jansen’s line errs down leg, forcing Quinton de Kock to spring away to his right and gather. Five off the first.

Australia 4-0 (0.2), Head 4, Warner 0, Jansen 0-4 (0.2) (target 213)

13:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A little wide from Jansen to start, but Travis Head chases it regardless, and is beaten outside off stump.

But that is a fine riposte - lifted with elan over cover for a one-bounce four!

Australia 0-0 (0), Travis Head 0, David Warner 0, Marco Jansen 0-0 (0) (target 213)

13:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And it will be South Africa’s lanky left-armer to open things up wit the ball, Marco Jansen over the wicket and looking to get that brand new ball hooping under the lights.

India await: Australia require 213, South Africa (in all likelihood) ten wickets - off we go!

Australia 0-0 (0), Travis Head 0, David Warner 0 (target 213)

13:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Righty ho. Out they all come, Travis Head and David Warner calm and collected as they survey the Eden Gardens surface. South Africa huddle together for some final words from their captain, nursing that sore hamstring a little as he breaks away.

Australia require 213 to reach the World Cup final

13:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

One would presume that Kagiso Rabada will share new ball duties alongside Marco Jansen with Lungi Ngidi omitted. Rabada has excelled in a first-change role during the tournament but this feels like a pitch he’ll enjoy.

If he and Jansen can’t get an early breakthrough, though, I wonder if Temba Bavuma could be tempted to get Aiden Markram into the attack quickly. Both Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell found turn out of the surface and Markram’s extra height and bite might mean his brand of part-time off-breaks might provide a challenge to the two Aussie top order southpaws.

Australia require 213 to reach the World Cup final

13:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Advantage Australia, you’d have to say, but on a tricky surface already taking turn, South Africa are very much in the game. As Miller notes, though, a strong start is a must - if David Warner and Travis Head get away in the powerplay then South Africa will struggle to reel them back in.

How the two left-handed openers set about things will be intriguing. Head, particularly, is unlikely to temper his naturally attacking tendencies and you just wonder if the weight of the occasion and the World Cup history contributed to a slightly timid start from South Africa with the bat.

Speaking of World Cup history, Australia’s first innings total in that game in 1999 was 213...

Centurion David Miller offers his post-innings thoughts

12:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“If we come out on top here, ultimately we want to win at the end of the day. It’s great to get a hundred but only half of the game is done. I thought we fought hard at the end and got a decent score.

“We knew it was going to be a bit slow and turn. We expected those conditions. [From being] four down early on in the powerplay, we were always on the back foot, but we managed to salvage something there with a couple of partnerships at the back end. Hopefully we can get a couple of early wickets.

On his partnership with Heinrich Klaasen: “I think in that position, you are behind the eight-ball, so it is just about staying in the moment and watching every ball, trusting the preparation we had leading into this. Slowly but surely you just keep edging your way forward one run at a time and start building a partnership.”

On how South Africa’s bowlers might look to defend their total of 212: “[We need to] start well in the powerplay, put them under pressure and then get that [required] run rate up. Hopefully through the middle our spinners can put the ball in the right areas and put them under pressure. I do think it is a defendable score, and we’ve got the bowling attack. It’s about bowling with clear plans and executing well.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

South Africa all out for 212

12:52 , Sonia Twigg

The Proteas can hold their heads up high after coming back from 24 for four to post something resembling a total on the board, and a lot of that credit goes to David Miller.

He came to the crease with his side floundering and being bowled out for less than 100 was not off the cards, but he stood strong, weathered the storm and then tried to attack the bowlers as best he could.

It was a resilient effort, and it was an important one that has given his side a lifeline in the semi final.

Although nothing should be taken away from the perfect bowling from the Australian quick bowlers at the start of the innings, there was nothing South Africa could have done.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood did not put a foot wrong, and even surviving was a challenge, never mind scoring.

Wicket! Rabada out for 10! South Africa all out for 212!

12:48 , Sonia Twigg

Rabada gets a single first ball, so Shamsi will be on strike.

Another rushed single brings Rabada back on strike. Rabada goes for a big hit down the ground, but it was not quite there, and Maxwell took a strong diving catch to finish the innings slightly early.

South Africa 210-9 (49) Rabada 9, Shamsi 0, Starc 3-34 (10)

12:44 , Sonia Twigg

Starc will bowl his last over here, Australia just need one wicket. But Rabada has smashed a huge six off Starc.

That was a big hit. There was a leg bye off the final ball so seven off the over.

South Africa 203-9 (48) Rabada 3, Shamsi 0, Cummins 2-49 (9)

12:40 , Sonia Twigg

It’s hard to believe there was a six off the first ball of the over, because since then the tide has turned, and the only runs on the board have come from a wide.

Cummins has bowled very well.

Wicket! Miller out for 101! ct Head b Cummins - South Africa 203-8

12:36 , Sonia Twigg

Just after bringing up his century, he went for another huge hit but couldn’t find the middle of the bat, and he has hit it straight to head at deep midwicket.

Cummins has taken a very important wicket, and South Africa will be lucky to bat out their overs here.

Miller 100! South Africa 202-8

12:34 , Sonia Twigg

Miller brings up his century with a massive six into the top tier. That was a huge hit - 94 metres! - and what a way to bring up your century.

He came to the crease with South Africa 24-4 and he has had to work hard to a very hard-earned century.

South Africa 196-8 (47) Miller 95, Rabada 3, Starc 3-28 (9)

12:33 , Sonia Twigg

Rabada comes to the crease and gets off strike with his first ball to bring Miller on strike. It might be becoming time for Miller to start backing himself and farming the strike.

But there’s another single and a wide. Rabada flicks one off his pads for two.

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