Proteas captain Faf du Plessis led from the front, scoring South Africa’s first century at the ICC Cricket World Cup against Australia in Manchester. Rassie Van der Dussen also made a massive contribution to help South Africa end their innings on 325 for six.
Australia needing 326 to win the match are currently 173 for 4 in the 33rd over. South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first.
South Africa, who have won just two out of their seven matches in the 2019 World Cup, are just playing for pride. Australia, on the other hand, need a win to finish top of the standings.
Having won seven out of their eight group matches, the Aussies were the first side to book a place in the semi-finals of this year’s tournament. Based on their performance so far in the tournament, Australia look set to defend their World Cup title.
After opting to bat first, South Africa had a bright start with Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram opening the batting and getting much needed runs. Markram was finally dismissed in the eleventh over after making 34 runs from 37 balls.
De Kock’s brilliant batting saw him reach his third half century in this World Cup, from just forty three deliveries. But the 26-year old wicket keeper departed for 52 in the next over.
Then, captain Du Plessis carried the baton and registered his fifth half century at the 2019 tournament, off 54 balls. Du Plessis frustrated the Australian bowlers with his big hits, as South Africa raced past 200 runs after 34 overs.
But the Proteas captain did not do it alone; his partner Van der Dussen also played his part. Van der Dussen survived a run out in the 40th over to reach his third 50 in this World Cup.
Du Plessis became the first South African to make a century in this year’s tournament having faced 94 balls. He was finally dismissed by Jason Behrendorff after scoring seven 4s and two 6s in his century.
After the dismissal of JP Duminy, Van der Dussen continued piling on the runs.
Dwaine Pretorius did not last long, and was dismissed with only seven balls remaining. After making his highest score in ODI cricket, Van der Dussen was eventually dismissed with the last ball of the match, falling five runs short of a century from 97 balls.