Kolkata: South Africa’s World Cup journey ended in a nail-biting semi-final against Australia at Eden Gardens. Despite being considered one of the best teams, South Africa’s historical struggle at crucial moments resurfaced, leading to a narrow defeat by 3 wickets.
Opting to bat first, South Africa stumbled early, losing openers Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma with only eight runs on the board by the sixth over. Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram followed suit, leaving the team in a precarious position at 24/4 in the 12th over, courtesy of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood’s impactful bowling.
However, a remarkable rescue act came from David Miller, who played a crucial role in lifting South Africa to a total of 212. Miller’s impressive 116-ball 101, featuring eight fours and five sixes, anchored the innings. His partnership of 95 runs with Heinrich Klaasen (47 off 48 balls) provided stability before Australia struck again, removing Klaasen through Travis Head.
In the chase, Australia faced the challenge of a sticky wicket in Kolkata but managed to secure a victory by the skin of their teeth. The match remained intense until the end, highlighting South Africa’s struggle to maintain their momentum in critical situations.