Mark the date and place. It's India vs Australia in the grand finale of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, and the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedad to host the feast on the coming Sunday (19th November).
Plenty of agonies and goodbyes! Yesterday, it was the whole-hearted Kiwis bowling out of the tournament, today, it's the Proteas. They always fight till the last breath, and tonight again showed that resilience. Quinton de Kock bids adieu to ODI cricket, and the veteran of the game from South Africa fails to climb the flight to Ahmedabad.
This is me AkshayaKrishna Polya, signing off on behalf of my esteemed co-commentators Akshay Bhide, Arijit Kundu and Sidharth Gulati, who, alongside our scorer/analyst Zeeshan Naiyer brought you all the live-action of this nerve-wracking game of cricket.
We will meet again in the summit clash. Until then, stay tuned with us for the matches across the globe. Goodnight and cheers!
Most number of losses in World Cup semi-finals:
7 - New Zealand 4 - India 4 - Pakistan 4 - South Africa
Teams reaching the World Cup final most times:
8 - Australia 4 - England 4 - India 3 - West Indies 3 - Sri Lanka
Most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in a single edition of a World Cup:
21 - Adam Gilchrist (2003) 21 - Tom Latham (2019) 20 - Alex Carey (2019) 20 - Quinton de Kock (2023)
Most wins in a single edition of an ODI World Cup:
11 - Australia (2003) 11 - Australia (2007) 10* - India (2023) 9 - India (2003) 8 - Sri Lanka (2007) 8 - New Zealand (2015) 8* - Australia (2023)
Most wickets in a single edition of an ODI World Cup for South Africa:
Pat Cummins (Australia Captain): "I think it's easier out there than sitting in the dugouts. But really good performances from the guys and a great game.
We thought it was going to spin. But Joshy bowled really well upfront. It was going to spin later on. But it was gloomy and the bowlers started brilliantly. So wasn't too unhappy with it.
We have talked about the fielding a lot. We were not at our best in the first two games. We were scratchy. But, Davey, 37, diving on the field, was just incredible and everyone were just so good.
That's been the feature of the whole tournament. Picking up wickets in the middle overs and Travis was up for it today. He bowled beautifully as Klaasen was going nicely for them.
(About Inglis' knock) He played beautifully. He looked in total control out there, especially against two quality spinners on a tough wicket.
The good thing is that a few of us have played the final before. A couple of guys have played T20 final. Maybe we can draw something from it. It is going to be a packed house and a one-sided support maybe. But we will be looking forward to it.
World Cup 2015 was the highlight of my career. I wasn't playing but it was a great experience. Same will be the case on Sunday while facing India in front of a packed stadium."
Temba Bavuma (South Africa Captain): "Yeah, cannot put in words. First of all, congratulations to Australia. Wishing them a good luck in the final. They played really well today, and credit should go to them. They were outstanding for a large part of the game and thoroughly deserved victory.
We displayed a brilliant character today, it came out throughout the game. We showed a lot of resilience.
The way we started with the bat and the ball was the telling point, that's where we lost the game. The conditions dictated terms, and it combined well with their pace attack, which is, without a doubt, a quality one. They put us under a lot of pressure.
You are always going to struggle to put up a competitive total when you are 24/4. We were gaining some momentum when Miller and Klaasen were out there, but unfortunately, he couldn't carry on a bit longer.
Miller's knock was superb. The way he batted shows the character of the team. Miller showed what he could do as a player, and his mentality was excellent. It was extraordinary to do that in such a pressure situation and in a World Cup Semi-final.
They batted well in the first 10 overs and got away 70+ runs, which allowed the rest of the batters get settle in the middle. Markram and Maharaj were fantastic with the ball, and they really put them under pressure. Credit to Shamsi as well for the way he bowled.
We had a few chances, tough chances that we put down. It could've been a bit close had we held on to them. Could have been more proactive, but you need things to go your way.
As a young guy, Coetzee really was the warrior for us. There wasn't much happening for the pacers, but for him to change the angle and come around the wicket and to take the wicket of Smith was simply incredible. He was struggling with cramps, but still, he wanted to keep bowling.
Quinton de Kock would have probably wanted to end his career on a different note (by winning the World Cup). Despite the result, I think he'll remember his time. We have enjoyed playing with him. de Kock will go down as one of the greatest in South African Cricket, a legend of the game in South African Cricket."
THANK YOU- QUINTON DE KOCK! Right from the series against the then MS Dhoni-led India back in 2013, where the swashbuckling left-handed opener impressed everyone with a hat-trick of centuries!
155 ODIs and Innings', 6770 Runs, Average 45.74, Strike Rate- 96.65, 21 Hundreds and 30 Fifties. The career-best score of 178 came against Australia back in 2016 in Centurion!
Travis Head (Player of the Match):"Yeah. Very hot seat next to me in the dressing room and I didn't move an inch for the last half an hour. But happy to get across the line.
I think we knew how it was going to play. We knew we had to adapt. We had two to three days to practice here. Go to sleep and think about it. But we adapted to it quickly.
I thought I wasn't going to be here. But nice to be here and contribute to the side and hopefully, we will step up in two days time again.
Klaasen had smacked me a few times before. I know I had to hold my nerves because he had hit two boundaries.
We know how the wicket behaves in subcontinent. I had to be prepared to bowl a couple of overs when needed. We always have had the positive approach. We just try to get ahead of the rate. I was disappointed to get out because it was the match-up against the left-arm spinner.
It's an unbelievable attack (India's bowling attack). But that's why you are here and they have been playing outstanding cricket and have been the best team in the tournament. We have to be switched on. Thank you and cheers."
Player of the Match: Travis Head
INDIA: 10 consecutive victories
AUSTRALIA: 8 wins in a row after losing their opening two games
Earlier in the afternoon, a half-fit Temba Bavuma won the toss and decided to bat first, irrespective of the overhead conditions. It backfired for South Africa as the two new ball bowlers of Australia- Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, made the ball talk both ways and reduced South Africa to 24/4 in the 12th over.
Starc and Hazlewood bowled long spells, with the former bowling the longest of his ODI career, delivering seven overs on the bounce. The Proteas were squeezed down to 18/2 in the first Powerplay, which was the second-lowest total in the first 10 overs in this competition.
Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller applied themselves and punished the loose deliveries, taking calculative risks, and especially loved taking down Adam Zampa. Klaasen and Miller batted excellently on either side of the rain break, adding 95 runs for the 5th wicket to lift the Proteas from the slump.
Travis Head (5-0-21-2) came into the attack in the 31st over and turned the game on its head with a double-wicket over. Head castled Klaasen’s (47 off 48) stumps before trapping Marco Jansen for a golden duck. Gerald Coetzee hung around with Miller as the dup stitched a partnership of 53 runs for the 7th wicket before Coetzee (19 off 39) got bounced out by the Aussie skipper Pat Cummins in the 44th over, only to know that he didn’t get any glove on it in the replays after getting settled in the dressing room.
Killer-Miller was left all alone at the other end, and the southpaw showed his brutal batting display to hammer an outstanding century. Miller scored 101 runs off 116balls, hitting 8 fours and 5 sixes, and was the only South African to hit a century in the World Cup semi-finals. Miller was holed out in the 48th over before the Proteas got bundled out for 212 in 49.4 overs.
For Australia, Mitchell Starc (10-1-34-3) was simply magnificent, while Josh Hazlewood (8-3-12-2) was unbelievable with his bowling figures. Cummins (9.4-0-51-3) was good at cleaning up a few batters. Zampa was taken to the cleaners while Maxwell bowled a fantastic economical spell.