Australia vs. South Africa
|Date & Time||Saturday July 6, 2019, 8:30 AM (EDT)|
Australia 1.41 South Africa 3.01
Australia take on South Africa at Old Trafford on Saturday. The Aussies have already secured their spot in the semi-finals and sit clear at the top of the table with 14 points. On the other hand, South Africa’s wretched run of form has seen them win just two of their eight matches so far and they have known for some time now that a place in the last four is unachievable.
Australia have won seven of their eight matches. Their only loss came against fellow title hopefuls India and they are looking like genuine contenders to lift the World Cup trophy at Lord’s on July 14. When batting first, they have consistently posted big totals throughout the tournament. Their bowlers have also been in supreme form, reducing their opposition to some low scores.
Mitchell Starc is streaks ahead of his competition in the leading wicket takers table. The paceman has 24 wickets to his name so far and doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. He has also claimed the best figures of any bowler at the tournament, with his 5/26 against rivals New Zealand last time out. Jason Behrendorff and Pat Cummins have also chipped in with their fair share of wickets along the way.
Not only do Australia possess the leading wicket taker in the competition, in David Warner, they also have the top run scorer in their ranks. Warner has 516 tournament runs to his name so far, whilst also claiming the highest individual total (166) against Bangladesh. Captain Aaron Finch is just behind Warner with 504 runs from eight matches.
South Africa got their campaign off to the worst possible start and failed to register a win until their fifth match of the tournament. They lost to England, Bangladesh and India before finally picking up their first point after their match with West Indies was abandoned due to rain. They then defeated Afghanistan before losing to New Zealand and Pakistan.
In their last match, South Africa recorded just their second victory of the tournament by beating Sri Lanka by 9 wickets. They bowled out Sri Lanka for 203 in the final over before chasing down their target with 76 balls remaining. Faf du Plessis top scored with 96 not-out from 103 balls whilst Hashim Amla was also undefeated on 80.
It’s a case of too little too late for South Africa who has been well below par at this year’s World Cup. Their less experienced players have struggled and their senior squad members have failed to help their team pick up any sort of momentum throughout the tournament.
With South Africa so out of touch and Australia flying high in red hot form, it’s hard to imagine anything other than an Australia win on Saturday. They will want to finish off the group stage on a high and continue their blistering form in the knock-out stage.