In the final group match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup in Manchester today, South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first against Australia.
Batting first, South Africa piled 325-6 in its 50 overs thanks to some great batting from Quinton de Kock 52, Aiden Markram 34 at the beginning of the innings and Faf Du Plessis 100 and Rassie Van Der Dussen 95 at the end of the innings. For Australia, Mitchell Strac and Nathan Lyon picked up two wickets each.
In response, Australia just missed out on a popular 10-run run chase, scoring 315 with David Warner 122 and Alex Carey 85 top scorers and Kagiso Rabada 3-56 the pick of the bowlers for the Proteas.
India finishes on top of the table and will play against New Zealand in Manchester on Tuesday, and England will play against Australia in the Semi-Finals next Thursday at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Spearheaded by the century of Faf du Plessis and his 151-run partnership with Rassie van der Dussen, the Standard Bank Proteas finally produced a full performance with his bat, ball and field to beat Australia by 10 runs in their final match at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup on Saturday at Old Trafford, Manchester.
The two teams created a suitably memorable game in what was the 100th ODI between the two nations, leaving both teams winning 48 encounters with three games ending in ties and one without result.
It was also the eighth win of Proteas over Australia in the last nine encounters between the two nations and only the second victory of South Africa over Australia in a World Cup, the other coming in the first-ever game of South Africa at a World Cup in Sydney in 1992.
For his century, Du Plessis was named man of the match (100 off 94 balls, 7 fours, and 2 sixes) and for his leadership qualities, although the prize could have been given to David Warner for his century (122 off 117 balls, 15 fours and 2 sixes).
It was the fifth century of Du Plessis against Australia against whom he has an average well in excess of 50 and overall his 12th. He also became the seventh Protea against Australia to finish 1000 ODI runs.
Van der Dussen, who made a career-best 95 (97 balls, 4 fours and 4 sixes) and Alex Carey for Australia (85 out of 69 balls, 11 fours and a six) were good supporting acts for both sides.
Ultimately, Kagiso Rabada went out on top of the South African bowling attack (3/56), which included two critical wickets in his last over when Australia was still threatening to chase.
Other key contributions to the South African victory were the opening stand between Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock, allowing the Proteas to easily post their best total in the 73-run opening power play – it was also the fourth highest of the tournament – and a major improvement in the fielding quality with De Kock and Markram again playing key roles as did Chris Morris.