South Africa bat first in second semi-final of Cricket World Cup at Eden

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South Africa captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and elected to bat first against Australia in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 second Semi-final match at the historic Eden Gardens here on Thursday.

Bavuma decided to bat first in overcast conditions. He believed setting up a good total would serve them well at Eden Gardens. Tabraiz Shamsi made it back into the side at the cost of Lungi Ngidi.

Bavuma said weather came into his thinking, but going with the team’s strength. Says he’s not 100% fit.

“Will have to be good enough,” he added.

For Australia, Marcus Stoinis and Sean Abbott were out, and Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc were back to the setup.

Australia captain Pat Cummins said he would have batted first as well, but notes the overheads that may help with the ball. Marnus Labuschagne makes the cut ahead of Marcus Stoinis

An interesting contest brews up at Eden Gardens, as familiar rivals, Australia and South Africa face off to book a place for the World Cup finals.

Both sides have shown great form in the tournament. Australia overcame a sluggish start to win seven games in a row, and have gone from strength to strength in their following. They’ve shown exemplary mental strength, as displayed in their memorable win against Afghanistan in Chennai. Their batting core is firing, while the bowling led by Adam Zampa has been accurate.

Barring a couple of jarring defeats, South Africa have looked like one of the most assured sides in the tournament. They’ve had their issues while chasing but showed the tenacity to overcome that in a win against Afghanistan.

While South Africa got the better of Australia in Lucknow at an earlier stage in the tournament, they’ll be aware that a more charged-up opponent will be up against them in the semi-finals.

Playing XIs:

South Africa: Quinton de Kock(wk), Temba Bavuma(c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.

Australia: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis(w), Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.

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