Can South Africa overcome their semi final demons?
- South African men’s team has never reached a World Cup final, faltering in the semi final four times.
- South Africa lead the recent head to head record against Australia by 8-2.
The second semi final of the 2023 World Cup will witness South Africa and Australia taking on each other at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on November 16th. Australia are on a seven-match winning streak after starting their campaign with two losses. They have several players in the squad that were part of the 2015 ODI WC and 2021 T20 WC triumphs. Australia start as favourites to win this match at 1.75
South Africa finished second on the table with seven wins and a superior net run-rate. They had hammered Australia by 134 runs in the group stage and will hope to repeat that. However, they have to in World Cup history. South Africa have odds of 2.13 to win this match.
The head-to-head record between these two rivals is pretty tight after 109 ODIs. South Africa holds a slight edge with 55 victories while Australia have won 50 games. The Proteas have dominated the scoreline for the last 10 games by 8-2.
Out of 34 ODIs played at Eden Gardens in this tournament, 21 have been won by the team batting first. Both these teams would want to have a score on the board in a knockout game. Our toss prediction is for Australia to win the toss and bat first.
Both teams have the same number of wins in the tournament but Australia are coming in with more momentum and have better balance. Australia are favourites to win this game with a win probability of 57%.
The average first innings score at Eden Gardens after 34 ODIs stands at 258. The number in this tournament reads 274 from four games, with two scores of over 300.
The pitches at Eden Gardens have been on the slower side in this tournament. The ball has held up a bit for seamers while spinners have found good grip. Despite that, batters have had run-scoring opportunities.
The weather in Kolkata could be partly cloudy on Thursday and there is a threat of a cyclone hitting the city. The forecast, however, suggests only around a 5% chance of precipitation. The temperature is expected to range between 23-28 degrees.
David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Jos Inglis (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
David Warner: The Australian opener has been terrific in the ongoing World Cup, scoring 499 runs at an average of 55 while striking at 105. Warner has hit two hundreds and as many fifties, and will be a key figure in this game.
Heinrich Klaasen: The destructive middle order batter will be key for South Africa on this slow and gripping pitch. Klaasen has scored 326 runs from nine innings at an average of 41 while striking at 140.
South Africa defeated Australia in the group stage comfortably but knockouts is a different thing altogether. Australia have been in great form, with their batters firing together and Adam Zampa bowling beautifully. The Proteas have shown vulnerability while chasing and it could prove critical.
Our pick: Australia to win the match at 1.75
Apart from betting on Australia to win the match, check our other recommended bet about Australia’s best bowler.
Adam Zampa is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, having taken 22 scalps at an economy of 5.26 and strike rate of 21.5. He should be a big threat on this pitch. Back Zampa at 3.47 to be Australia’s top bowler in the match!