MATCH ANALYSIS IN BRIEF
|Date||Thursday 16th November, 2023 at 14:00 (IST) and at 08:30 (UK)|
|Venue||South Africa vs. Australia will take place at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India|
|Weather||Conditions are expected to be warm with little sunshine and temperatures remaining consistent at around 25 C, but there is a chance of light rain across the scheduled hours of play.|
|TV & Streaming||Viewers in India: you can watch this match live on Star Sports channels or stream it via the Disney+ Hotstar app.|
|Viewers in Pakistan: you can watch this match live on both PTV Sports and A-Sports or stream it through the PTVFLIX App.|
|Viewers in Sri Lanka: you can watch this match live on Maharaja TV or stream it on Sirasatv. Lk.|
|Viewers in Afghanistan: you can watch this match live on Ariana TV.|
|Viewers in Bangladesh: you can watch it on Gazi TV or stream it through Rabbithole.|
|Viewers in the UK: you can watch this match live on Sky Sports or stream it via the Sky Go App.|
|Viewers in Australia: you can watch this match live on Fox Sports or stream it via the Foxtel or Kayo Sports app.|
|Viewers in South Africa: you can watch this match on SuperSport channels or stream it via the SuperSport app.|
|Viewers in the USA and Canada: you can watch this match live on Willow TV, whilst viewers from the USA can also stream it via the ESPN+ app.|
KEY BETTING STATS
- Australia have won each of their last seven 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup matches – To Win the Match.
- Adam Zampa has taken over 1.5 wickets in six of Australia’s last seven 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup matches – Bowler Match Wickets.
- South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has scored four hundreds so far during the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, more than any other player across the group stage – Batter to Score a Hundred in the Match.
BETTING ANALYSIS For SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa finished the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup group stage in second place with a record of seven wins and two defeats, including victory over Australia by 134 runs. The Proteas have now beaten Australia in each of their last four encounters in 50-over cricket, all of them via a margin of over 100 runs. The big question mark regarding their semi-final starting line-up is whether captain Temba Bavuma will overcome a hamstring injury to open the batting and lead his side in this crucial semi-final. Should Bavuma not be passed fit, then Aiden Markram is expected to replace him as skipper, with Reeza Hendricks coming in as the opener.
Quinton de Kock starred in South Africa’s group win against Australia, striking a brilliant 109, which was one of four centuries he has accumulated across the tournament. Only Virat Kohli managed more than de Kock’s 591 runs across the group stage, and when taking into account that the wicket-keeper-batter has racked up 263 in his last four innings vs Australia, he certainly warrants investment here. Back de Kock to accrue over 33.5 runs (1.83) via the ‘Batter Match Runs’ market, but any bettors looking for a higher potential return can back the 30-year-old to score 50+ runs (2.50) or, alternately, to finish this semi-final as South Africa’s top batter (4.00).
However, even if de Kock does acquire another big score in this game, that doesn’t guarantee that South Africa will add a substantial number of runs for the first wicket. Bavuma has failed to reach 30 runs in each of his last four innings, while it would be a huge challenge for Hendricks to cope with Australia’s frontline bowling attack should he be required to open in the potential absence of the Proteas captain. With this in mind, back South Africa to record an opening partnership of under 31.5 runs (1.90).
It’s important to note that of the top four 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup wicket-takers following the conclusion of the group stage, two of them are South African. Gerald Coetzee’s total of 18 wickets is currently one higher than that of fellow pace bowler Marco Jansen. Jansen, in particular, could prove effective with his left-arm point of difference, having taken two wickets in his side’s group-stage win over Australia. Back him to gain over 1.5 wickets (2.10) again on this occasion.
BETTING ANALYSIS For AUSTRALIA
Australia have shown all the hallmarks of champions recently, winning seven games in a row since their resounding defeat at the hands of South Africa early on in the group stage. They’ll be confident of gaining revenge on the Proteas in this semi-final, which should see them welcome both all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc back into their starting line-up. Both were rested in Australia’s final group game vs. Bangladesh, Maxwell, in particular, needing time to recover following that epic unbeaten 201 to drag his side home against Afghanistan.
Starc will have a big role to play with the ball, but when it comes to Australia’s bowling attack, Adam Zampa immediately warrants the spotlight. His leg-spin has been a hugely effective weapon in Indian conditions, and Zampa ended the group stage with 22 wickets, more than any other player. Back him to take 2+ wickets (1.72) for what would be the seventh time in his last eight games and also consider a stake on Zampa to be Australia’s top bowler (4.00) in this match.
There are plenty of players within this Australian team who are capable of clearing the boundary rope, especially on ground such as Eden Gardens. One of those is Mitchell Marsh, who has racked up 20 sixes across his last five appearances in this World Cup. Marsh is coming off the back of a brutal 177 not out from 132 balls against Bangladesh, which included nine sixes, and he is unlikely to alter his style of play vs the Proteas, so backing Marsh to score over 0.5 match sixes (2.00) here is a smart move.
In a showdown of such importance, though, it would be no surprise to see David Warner’s quality at the top of the order come to the fore. Warner’s experience is a priceless asset on such an occasion, and he already boasts 499 runs to his name in this tournament with a batting average of 55.44. Whether Australia is setting or chasing a target, expect Warner to try to seize control of the contest and back him to record over 32.5 runs (1.83).
CRICKET 8’S EXPERT PREDICTION
This blockbuster match will be the third time South Africa and Australia have faced off in an ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final, with Australia advancing to the final in each of the last two encounters. The Proteas have never gone beyond this stage of the competition, having been eliminated in all of their four previous semi-final games. Australia, meanwhile, have gone on and lifted this most coveted of trophies five times and are looking well-placed to make it six if their recent form is anything to go by.
However, a curveball could be on the horizon come Thursday with the potential of rain in Kolkata. The forecast for Friday’s reserve day is even worse, and should a game not be completed across the two days; then South Africa will go through to the final due to their higher standing in the group stage. Despite this threat, it would be a surprise if we weren’t to see a completed match on Thursday, even if it is rain-reduced. South Africa has already lost one game at this World Cup, which was rain-affected, that being against the Netherlands in the group stage.
Ultimately, though, Australia contains the personnel within their squad who understand what it takes to win knockout games such as this, while the same cannot be said for South Africa. The depth and experience within the Australian batting line-up is vast, as is that of the bowling attack. Combine that with Australia’s recent winning streak, and it makes them worth backing to prevail in this semi-final.
AUSTRALIA TO WIN (1.72)