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World Cup 2019: Australia fall short in thrilling run chase against South Africa

Australia have finished second on the World Cup points table and will face England in the semifinals. South Africa, who had already been eliminated from semifinal contention, have signed off with a thrilling win.

Imran Tahir, playing his last ODI vs Australia, took one wicket and showed his trademark celebration one last time on Saturday (Reuters Photo)

South Africa beat Australia by 10 runs in their final World Cup group fixture at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday. Australia have thus finished second on the World Cup points table and will face England in the semifinals. South Africa, who had already been eliminated from semifinal contention, have signed off with a thrilling win.

Toss: South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first.

First Innings: After a brilliant start by the South African opening batsmen, Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock, scoring 72 from the first nine overs, Australia took charge of the game. Nathan Lyon bagged the wicket of Markram, before dismissing de Kock who scored his 24th ODI half-century against the Aussies. Faf du Plessis took charge and scored his 12th ODI century while maintaining a 151-run partnership with Rassie van der Dussen. After Duminy and Pretorius was dismissed by Starc, van der Dussen continued on to score his ODI highest 95, leading South Africa to a total of 325/6.

Second Innings: Australia lost Aaron Finch to Imran Tahir in the sixth over itself, before Usman Khawaja was retired hurt. mran Tahir, playing his last ODI vs Australia, took one wicket and showed his trademark celebration one last time on Saturday. Steve Smith was dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius in the seventh over, which put David Warner under a lot of responsibility. Alex Carey came up with a stellar show, his highest ODI score, but it was too little too late as South Africa won by 10 runs.

Gamechanger: Faf du Plessis was awarded the Man of the Match award for his century in the first innings but no less important a part in the match was played by Alex Carey, who infused life into a match which seemed to be heavily tilted in South Africa’s favour after some early wickets in the second innings. Carey scored 85 off 69 balls, his highest ODI score till date, and brought Australia to the shores of victory and top spot on the points table, only for them to fall short in the last over.

Brief Scores: South Africa 325/6 (50 overs) | Australia 315 all out (49.5 overs)