ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – Temba Bavuma – SA’s starts with bat and ball was turning point

It was the first ten or so overs in either innings. Being 24 for 4 in under 12 overs after opting to bat and then letting Australia race away to 74 for 2 in ten overs in a chase of just 213 decided, or turned, the game, in Temba Bavuma‘s opinion. The South Africa captain lauded Australia’s “outstanding” performance in their tense three-wicket win in the World Cup semi-final in Kolkata, and conceded that South Africa fluffed their lines “quite badly” in those few overs.

“Quite hard to put into words,” Bavuma said on the official broadcast after the game. “They were outstanding for a large part of the game and thoroughly deserved victory. Looking at the result, I think the way we started with the bat and the ball was probably the turning point. We lost it quite badly there and we always had to play catch-up to get ourselves back into the game.”

Was it the conditions? Nerves? The quality of Australia’s attack? Bavuma said, “The conditions, combined with the quality of the attack. I thought [Josh] Hazlewood as well as [Mitchell] Starc upfront they were ruthless. They exploited every bit of advantage that was presented to them with the conditions and they really put us under pressure. When you’re 4 for 24, you’re always going to struggle to get a competitive total.”

South Africa had opted to bat in pretty overcast conditions following a light drizzle. Australia’s quicks found some swing and bounce along with seam movement that helped them strike early, and keep striking.

South Africa still haven’t managed to reach an ODI World Cup final despite reaching the semi-finals in 1992, 1999, 2007, 2015 and now, in 2023.

More to follow…

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