South Africa will be ruing their missed chances in the 2023 Cricket World Cup semi-final clash after Pat Cummins survived a Quinton de Kock drop catch, which has drawn freakish comparisons to the 1999 match. Cummins and his men produced their best bowling display of the World Cup to leave South Africa reeling in a rain-impacted clash.
South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first and only managed 212 against the Aussies. Incredibly, Australia needed 213 to win, which was the same total that saw them progress against South Africa in the famous 1999 semi-final.
Both games were low scoring results, which shows just how tense the historical contest has been between the two great sporting nations. One cricket commentator made the cheeky observation it has been 24 years, but South Africa still can't score more than 213 in a World Cup semi-final.
South African great Herschelle Gibbs even made the cheeky comparison as Australia prepared to bat. "213 for the Aussies to win...shoe's on the other foot...You couldn't write a better script," he wrote.
And another moment in the semi-final has drawn eery comparisons with the 1999 semi-final. Australia advanced after a tied match with South Africa in 1999.
😂😂 213 for the Aussies to win .. shoe’s on the other foot. You couldn’t write a better script . #SAvsAUS
— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) November 16, 2023
It’s been 24 years, and South Africa still can’t get past 213 against Australia in a World Cup semi.
— Geoff Lemon Sport (@GeoffLemonSport) November 16, 2023
During the match, Hershelle Gibbs infamously dropped captain Steve Waugh when he attempted to throw the ball up in celebration. The moment allowed the Australians to score a few more runs in a low-scoring game.
And on Thursday, de Kock dropped Australian captain Cummins when the Aussies only needed nine runs. Cummins was the saviour at the death for Australia, but things could have been a lot more tense of de Kock had have held on to an edge from the captain in the 44th over.
Cummins played a cover drive, but the ball caught the inside edge. Unfortunately for South Africa, de Kock couldn't hold on to the tough opportunity, leaving Akram in disbelief.
Bowler Aiden Makram dropped to his knees when he realised de Kock had put the ball down, which was South Africa's last chance in the fiercely fought match. And fans couldn't help but draw comparisons to the 1999 semi-final thriller.
— Roshan Rai (@RoshanKrRaii) November 16, 2023
That catch drop is going to haunt
de kock forever.
— krithika sivaswamy (@krithikasivasw) November 16, 2023
Final in 1975.
Champions in 1987.
Final in 1996.
Champions in 1999.
Champions in 2003.
Champions in 2007.
Champions in 2015.
Semi-Final in 2019.
Final* in 2023.
The Greatest team in World Cup history - Australia 🐐 pic.twitter.com/Puk1ENp59t
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 16, 2023
— Aviluciferase11 (@aviluciferase11) November 16, 2023
Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc battle it out for Australia
South Africa came so close to stopping Australia reach the 212 total after a middle order collapse that saw Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell lose their wickets quickly. Thankfully for the Aussie batters they were saved by bowlers Starc and Cummins, who put on a 22-run partnership to get their side home. Starc made 16 not out off 38 balls, while Cummins finished on 14 not out off 29.
It marked the third time in the last few months that Cummins has been there at the end in a tense run chase for Australia. He combined with Nathan Lyon in a 55-run partnership to win the first Ashes Test while eight wickets down, and played a pivotal role when Glenn Maxwell saved Australia with a double century against Afghanistan earlier in the World Cup.
“It’s certainly going to be a big occasion, a World Cup Final in India. It’s going to be loud,” Starc said. “I think it’s just going to be a great spectacle of cricket, no doubt. There’s going to be a lot of passion there. Certainly, everyone in our changing room is looking forward to it.
“I don’t think either changing room is new to big occasions. You want to take on the best and that’s why we play the game. They’ve been the best team in the tournament so far and we both find ourselves in the final. That’s what World Cups are about.”
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