• 13 October 2023
  • Ana Gems
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Australia’s World Cup 2023 campaign got off to a nightmarish start, as they suffered two consecutive defeats, with the second loss being particularly demoralizing.

After losing to India by six wickets in Chennai, the Australian team appeared disorganized on the field, lacked a clear game plan with the ball, and struggled significantly with the bat against Temba Bavuma’s formidable South African side, which has now emerged as a strong title contender.

In the match held in Lucknow, Australia faced a crushing 134-run defeat at the hands of the Proteas, causing their Net Run Rate (NRR) to plummet to -1.846. While it’s still early in the tournament, with seven more group stage games ahead, the possibility of Australia failing to reach the semi-finals and suffering a premature group stage exit looms large for the once-mighty Aussie squad.

Winning the toss, Pat Cummins elected to bowl first. However, they couldn’t contain the aggressive Quinton de Kock, who scored a century with 109 runs from 106 balls. Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen provided solid support before Aiden Markram added a half-century with 56 runs from 44 balls.

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Australia’s fielding left much to be desired, with six dropped catches and numerous misfields. South Africa finished their innings with a formidable total of 311, a challenging target given the consistent bounce of the pitch and some pace.

South African fast bowlers took full advantage of these conditions to dismantle Australia’s batting order. Kagiso Rabada claimed three wickets, Marco Jansen secured two, Ngidi took one, and Maharaj and Shamsi each took two wickets.

By the 18th over, Australia was struggling at 70/6, and a win seemed unlikely. Some contributions from the lower-order helped Australia reach a total of 177.

Following this comprehensive victory by South Africa, social media was flooded with memes and commentary, highlighting Australia’s disappointing performance.

Quinton de Kock, awarded Player of the Match, expressed, “It was a fantastic win for our team. To be honest, we weren’t sure how the pitch would behave, but we assessed the conditions well and adjusted our batting accordingly. Those who spent time at the crease understood the conditions and effectively utilized their scoring opportunities. Scoring 311 runs was above par, and I have prior experience playing on this ground for the Lucknow team.”

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