Unbeaten Aussies go in to Saturday's final
WORLD CUP: The Australian cricketers who remained unbeaten in the
ongoing World Cup 2007 upto yesterday maintained its tag when they
overcame South Africa by seven wickets in the semifinal. Thus they
qualified to play in the Saturday's final against Sri Lanka.
chasing a target of 150 runs notched up the required runs. in 31.5 overs.
South Africa struck a big blow in the early stage capturing the wicket
of hard hitting Adam Gilchrist for 1. Next to go was run hungry Skipper
Rickey Pointing clean bowled by Nel for 22. Michael Clark who joined
Mathew Hayden and steadied the innings. Two of them carried on the total
to 110 Hayden stood his ground to score a brilliant 41 runs before
departing when the score was 110. Clark too cracked a fine half century.
He and Andrew Symonds (18) carried on the good work to reach the
required target in 31.5 overs.
Greame Smith the South African captain won the toss and decided to
take first strike on a wicket that looked good for a competitive score
assisted by a lighting fast outfield. This being another 'sudden death'
and with South Africa had to bat with determination. But what unfolded
was a sad sight - Protea batsman coming and going in quick succession.
The Australian bowlers spearheaded by veteran Glen McGrath who shared
the new ball attack this time instead of Shaun Tait with Nathan Bracken
immediately began to make inroads into the opponents bating, leaving
Greame Smith for the irresponsible shot he played and left his team
to sink or swim must be penalised by being stripped of his captaincy.
For a captain that shot was appalling.
Smith was in a hurry, left his crease and inside edged a delivery
from Bracken to his stumps making 2. Then McGrath got into his wicket
taking act knocking out Jacques Kallis for 5, Ashwell Prince and Mark
Boucher for no scores, in successive deliveries. He was on a hat-trick,
but next batsman in Justin in Kemp played down the next delivery. After
McGrath's devastating burst midway, Shaun Tait had A.B. de Villiers
earlier for 15 and Andrew Hall for 3 then spinner - Brad Hogg caught and
bowled Shaun Pollock for 5. At one stage South Africa were 27 for six
and the game looked set for an early finish. At this score Justin Kemp
touched a ball to wicket keeper Adam Gilchrist, but umpire Steve Bucknor
Adam Gilchrist was as is usual his brilliant self, clutching on to 4
catches. Herchelle Gibbs was the only one to bat with some sort of
confidence before tickling a Tait delivery behind the stumps.
Justin Kemp top scored for the Proteas making 49 in 91 balls. The
South Africans in making 149 in 43.4 overs registered their lowest score
in World Cup cricket. Glen McGrath finished with 3 for 18 and Shaun Tait
4 for 32.
Australia are now tipped to beat South Africa and meet Sri Lanka in
the final on Saturday, April 28 in Barbados.
Glena McGrath was declared as the Man of Match for his superlative
Sabina Park, Wednesday