Australia survived a spirited fightback from South Africa to stroll away with an exhilarating three-wicket victory in the second ICC World Cup semi-final in Kolkata on Thursday.
Travis Head, who almost didn’t make it to Australia’s World Cup squad due to a damaged hand, was later adjudged the Player of the Match for his all-round show that included a few key wickets.
Speaking to the broadcasters after Australia’s victory, Head revealed he had all the time been prepared to contribute with the ball for his crew.
“We haven’t seen such spin, we knew we had to battle. I assumed I wasn’t going to be right here (after the hand harm), however I’m glad to contribute for Australia, good to be right here.
“Straight as they came (Klaasen dismissal). He smacked me, was under the pump, but it was nice to get his wicket. I was prepared to bowl a few overs, always keen to contribute with the ball,” Head mentioned after the sport,” Head mentioned after Australia’s tense victory at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
The southpaw not solely laid the basis for Australia’s profitable chase with an explosive 62 off 48 deliveries, he additionally collected two wickets in as many deliveries with his part-time off-spin, which included the wicket of Klaasen that broke the 95-run fifth-wicket partnership with Miller.
Earlier in the day, Australia had South Africa on the mat after lowering them to 24/four as Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma’s resolution to bat first appeared to have backfired. That was earlier than a preventing 101 by David Miller alongside with a priceless 47 from Heinrich Klaasen allowed them to put up a comparatively aggressive 212.
The five-time world champions then received off to a dream begin in the chase by gathering 60 runs in six overs earlier than one other fightback from the opposition, this time with the ball. Australia discovered themselves in a spot of trouble at 137/5, however affected person knocks from Steve Smith (30) and Josh Inglis (28) introduced them again into the contest.
After Gerald Coetzee despatched each Smith and Inglis again to the pavilion with a few late strikes, it was left to the eighth-wicket pair of Mitchell Starc (16 not out) and skipper Pat Cummins (14 not out) to get their crew over the line with an unbroken 22-run stand.
Cummins, who struck the profitable boundary to assist Australia win with 16 deliveries to spare, later hailed his crew for a “great effort” as they defeated the Proteas for a second time in three World Cup semi-final conferences.
“Easier than sitting in the dugout. Nerve-wracking couple of hours but great effort and a great game,” Cummins mentioned throughout the post-match presentation ceremony.
Australia now face India in a rematch of the 2003 ultimate in Johannesburg, with the two groups set to collide at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. The Ricky Ponting-led Australia had hammered Sourav Ganguly’s India by 125 runs again then.
This time, nevertheless, it’s the Rohit Sharma-led hosts who’re having fun with a dominant run in the match with 10 wins in as many outings. That features a six-wicket victory over Australia in Chennai the place the Men in Blue recovered from 2/three down after being set 200 to win.
Despite India’s dominance in this match, Cummins backed his crew to elevate the trophy for a record-extending sixth time on Sunday.
“The good thing is a few of us have been there for finals before. Got to embrace it, the stadium is going to be packed, pretty one-sided but got to embrace it. The 2015 World Cup was a career highlight, so to be out there in a final in India, can’t wait,” Cummins added.