Australia did not miss a beat and broke the back of South African side in semi-final: Faf du Plessis

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Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has provided insights into the reasons behind the team’s defeat in the ongoing ODI World Cup semifinal against Australia. South Africa were eliminated from the tournament after suffering a three-wicket loss to the Pat Cummins-led side at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 16. The second semi-final evolved into an intense, low-scoring thriller, with Australia successfully chasing down a mere target of 213 runs in 47.2 overs.

Du Plessis mentioned that the unexpected swing of the ball at Eden Gardens played a crucial role in the team’s performance. The 39-year-old highlighted that the significant ball swing made the pitch challenging, particularly in the early stages of the game. He credited the Australian fast bowlers for their skill and mentioned that the five-time champions executed their strategy almost like Test cricket.

“You have to look at the conditions in the first hour, very gloomy and overcast, so I think everyone expected the pitch to play really well, and it was such a dry surface. A lot of us were surprised with the amount of swing that was there in the first hour of play in the air and on the pitch. That made it a very tricky pitch at the start, but you have to give credit to the Australia fast bowlers,” Faf du Plessis said on Star Sports. 

“Australia made it look almost like Test cricket, they did not miss a beat and really broke the back of the South African side,” he added. 

Du Plessis further spoke about how South Africa found themselves in a catching-up position throughout the game and managed to post 212. He acknowledged the gritty performances of Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller on the challenging pitch. Miller contributed with a century, scoring 101, while Klaasen played a valuable innings of 47 after the other batters fell short of expectations.

“Credit to Klaasen and Miller to get us back into the game, but they were probably 20 runs short on a pitch like that,” Du Plessis concluded.

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