South Africa’s World Cup journey ends despite victory; England Australia reaches into the semi-final

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Former World Cup champions England has qualified for the semi-finals stage despite a 10-runs loss to South Africa. With South Africa’s low run rate, Australia also made it into the semi-final stage from Group 1.

Kagiso Rabada made a brilliant comeback with a hattrick but it was too late for South Africa who lost their place to Australia in the semi-final following a poor run-rate after England, Australia, and South Africa ended on 8 points in the Super 12s stage.

With Australia beating the Jason Holder lead West Indies easily in the first game of the day, South Africa needed a victory with a massive boost in their run-rate to play the semi-final.

South Africa came with a positive mindset which they proved with their batting Rassie van der Dussen scored 94 off just 60 balls to post a competitive target of 189/2, which was their highest total of the tournament.

South Africa was required to restrict England on 131 or fewer to enter into the semi-finals while England needed 87 runs to make it into the semi-final.

Moeen Ali (37) and Dawid Malan (33) chipped in some valuable runs to wind away SA’s hopes for the semi-final although they could not maintain their unbeaten record in the group stage after finishing on 179/8.

Jason Roy gave a major blow to England after the opener got retired hurt following a calf injury.

Earlier, after being asked to bat first, South Africa lost Reeza Hendricks early but van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock (34) geared up the innings with a 71-run stand.

Roy took a blinder near the rope to send de Kock back to the pavilion but another partnership, bigger and more blistering came into the place when Aiden Markram joined the force with van der Dussen.

The pair went into the England bowling attack tearing after Chris Woakes got three maximums in an over during their 100 plus partnership stand.

Markram scored a quick 52 off 25 balls followed by four maximums while van der Dussen smashed six maximums.

Roy (20) combined with Jos Buttler (26) to give England a blistering start before leaving the ground following a calf injury.

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Two quick wickets fell into quick succession, ideal breakthroughs that South Africa needed that followed by Buttler’s falling to Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi trapped Jonny Bairstow in an lbw.

Liam Livingstone (28) smashed Rabada for three consecutive maximums to diminish South Africa out of the tournament but the pacer took a hattrick to hand South Africa a worthless victory.

Defending 14 runs in the final over, Rabada dismissed Woakes, Morgan, and Chris Jordan off successive deliveries to beat England by 10 runs.

“I think it does a lot, thought it was a good wicket, SA came hard at us and batted well. Thought we bowled reasonably well and held them to a par score. Coming off, with the dew coming in, we thought we were right in it…[Roy] We’ve dealt with injuries, Stokes, Curran, Archer aren’t here. We do have talent coming in, so that gives us confidence. We’ve built a core group of white-ball players, so we’ll have to delve into that. Very happy, topping the group, we know how hard it is to get through. Finals are all about going and expressing yourselves, enjoying them, so we’re going to do that,”

said the England skipper, Eoin Morgan.

“In the context, it doesn’t mean too much, we knew we had to get a good score on the board and we’ve asked a lot from the bowlers, it was probably too much to get us into the semis…You saw that at the back of their innings. Aiden and I knew if we took it to the end we’d be competitive. It’s been tough, the three venues are so different. From a batting point of view, that’s been a challenge, and the batting units that adapted the quickest have been most successful,”

said the player of the match, Rassie van der dussen (SA).

“Win was important, but a bittersweet ending for us. Achieved what we wanted to do in terms of winning, but didn’t win well enough. We gave our all with the bat and with the ball. [Net run rate?] Start of the tournament it wasn’t a big factor, we felt we wanted to win the game. Tough to bring NRR into effect in our last game, especially against a side like England…We’ve got to build on the confidence and momentum, this will give us experience and learnings we can take from this World Cup going forward,”

said Temba Bavuma, South Africa’s skipper.

South Africa 189 for 2 (van der Dussen 94*, Markram 52*) beat England 179 for 8 (Moeen 37, Malan 33, Rabada 3-48) by 10 runs.