Australia dismantled South Africa in the second semifinal of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and won the match by three wickets. Australian star bowler Mitchell Starc played a key role in that win.
The 33-year-old left-arm fast bowler took three wickets with the ball and scored crucial 16 runs (in 38 balls) to ensure the win against South Africa. Australia won the see-saw contest at Eden Garden against one of the best teams of the World Cup by dominating the powerplay.
South Africa was lost at the beginning of both innings as Australia dominated the powerplays. The brilliance of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc caused heavy damage for South Africa as they were only 18/2 at the end of the powerplay, which was the lowest powerplay score in the tournament.
South Africa literally waited for nine overs to score their first boundary and within 12 overs they lost their four wickets for 24 runs as pressure was mounted on them. On the contrary, Australia scored 74/2 at the end of 10 overs and plundered 60 runs within the first six overs with the contribution of David Warner and Travis Head. But as the innings continued, Australia began to slow down and lost wickets.
Mitchell Starc on the key to success:
Post-match interview, Starc revealed that dominating the powerplays will be the key to success in this World Cup. He added that he and Hazlewood were trying to hit hard with the ball in the beginning as the top order of South Africa was very strong and was in great form.
However, later on in the innings, Klassen and Miller found rhythm to build a partnership but Travis Head took his wicket. The gallant 101 runs of David Miller went in vain as Austalia chased the run despite losing wickets later on in the innings at regular intervals.
Mitchell Starc said they didn’t expect that it would be very tough at the end despite a brilliant start at the beginning with the bat. Talking about the powerplay, he added, “We’ve seen throughout the tournament how tough the first 10 overs can be at certain times of the day.” According to him, a little bit of luck is also needed in the powerplay to make the game plan successful.
In the final against India, the Australian side will definitely go with the same tactics to dominate the powerplay as Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill used to dominate powerplay that helped the lower order to post a big score on the scorecard.