J P Duminy and Imran Tahir got an amazing farewell from ODI cricket as South Africa thrashed Australia by 10 runs in the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup at Old Trafford Cricket Ground here on Sunday. ICC in a recent tweet had revealed that all-rounder Duminy and spinner Tahir will retire from ODIs after this match.
Chasing a mammoth target of 326 runs, Australia faced an early hiccup as skipper Aaron Finch gave away his wicket in the third over, bowled by Imran Tahir, after scoring just three runs. Opener David Warner was then accompanied by Usman Khawaja but the latter went back to the pavilion after being retired hurt in the fifth over. Steve Smith (7) then came out to bat but was given lbw off Dwaine Pretorius' delivery.
Smith's dismissal brought Marcus Stoinis out on the field and formed a crucial 62-run partnership with Warner. Both were playing impeccably and shrugged off some of the pressure. Meanwhile, Warner completed his half-century. However, Stoinis (22) got run out in the 19th over. Glenn Maxwell (12) then came out to bat but failed utterly as he was caught behind off Kagiso Rabada's delivery. Alex Carey was the next batsman and formed a massive 108-run partnership with Warner.
Warner then went on to score his century but Chris Morris pulled off an astounding catch in the 40th over and halted Warner's 122-run inning. Pat Cummins then took the charge and played steadily. Cummins avoided risky shots as Carey came out furiously against South African bowlers. As Carey was hammering the ball for regular boundaries, Cummins tried to follow his path but ended up giving an easy catch to JP Duminy off Andile Phehlukwayo's ball.
The match was brought to a point where Australia needed 54 runs from 32 deliveries and had just four wickets in hand. The pressure forced Carey (85) to go for boundaries or sixes but he was caught by Aiden Markram in the 46th over, bowled by Morris. Khawaja, who was retired hurt, then took the field in a hope to reinvigorate his side but was bowled, after scoring 18 runs, by Rabada in the second last over of the inning. In the same over, Rabada bowled Starc (16) as well. Nathan Lyon and Jason Behrendorff then took the charge when their team needed 18 runs from the last over. However, they failed to take their side over the line as Lyon got out on the second last delivery of the match.
Earlier, after opting to bat first, South Africa got off to a brilliant start as the openers, Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram, struck regular boundaries. Both formed a 79-run partnership before Nathan Lyon got hold of Markram (34) in the 12th over. Skipper Faf du Plessis then joined De Kock, who went on to score his half-century. However, soon after scoring a half-century, De Kock handed Mitchell Starc an easy catch off Lyon's delivery which ended his 52-run inning.
Rassie van der Dussen was the next batsman and played impeccably along with Du Plessis. Both put their side on a dominating position and no Australia bowler was able to restrict them from scoring boundaries. Van der Dussen scored his half-century while Du Plessis scored his first century in this edition of the premier tournament. However, soon after scoring his century, Du Plessis was caught by Starc off Jason Behrendorff's ball in the 43rd over.
JP Duminy (14) then took the field but was sent back to the pavilion by Starc. Dwaine Pretorius was the next batsman but he too failed to leave a mark on the field as scored just two runs before he was bowled by Starc. The last over of the inning was bowled by Pat Cummins and in a hope to smash century, Van der Dussen (95) hit the ball hard but failed to smash hard enough and ended up giving an easy catch to Glenn Maxwell. However, the Proteas managed to post a challenging target of 326 runs for the Australian side.
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