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Australia Defeat South Africa To Set Up Final Against India

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Australia, the five-time champions, overcame South Africa in the second semi-final of the 50-over World Cup on Thursday, battling their way to Sunday’s final against India.

Despite David Miller’s heroic 101 at the Eden Gardens, Australia bowled South Africa out for a below-par 212, laying the groundwork for a trip to the final.

But it wasn’t as easy to pursue as Pat Cummins and his group would have liked.

Australia had a merry start led by man-of-the-match Travis Head (62) but a mid-innings stumble put them in trouble.

Despite South Africa’s inability to foster strong partnerships, Australia managed to win with 16 balls remaining, securing their eighth consecutive trip to the final.

“Nerve-wracking couple of hours but great effort and a great game,” said Cummins, who was especially pleased with his side’s fielding. “It’s something we talk a lot about. It wasn’t up to scratch at the start of the tournament.”

In the tournament, South Africa has not been particularly good at chasing, so Temba Bavuma’s choice to bat first in the cloudy sky seemed like the right one.

Despite not being fully recovered from a hamstring strain, Bavuma played the match; his four-ball duck indicated that it would have been probably better for him to sit out.

With their outstanding fielding, Australia increased the pressure, and Cummins set the example by making a spectacular catch to dismiss the other South African opener, Quinton de Kock.

South Africa were 18-2 after ten powerplay overs and had to wait until the ninth over for their first boundary due to Australia’s overwhelming dominance.

After quickly escalating into a major crisis, South Africa was reduced to 24-4 in the twelfth over.

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