Another semifinal defeat, another appearance in the championship game
1992, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2015, and 2023 – Another semifinal exit for South Africa, this time against an opponent with whom they don’t have the best of semifinal memories – Australia, who is playing in their seventh 50-over World Cup final. Australia won a low-scoring match in Kolkata by holding their nerve against South Africa’s spin challenge. Their edge in the first powerplay with both bat and ball was the differentiating factor. Travis Head’s all-around performance eclipsed David Miller’s magnificent century.
The passing of the baton
According to Telford Vice, nine of South Africa’s 15 men’s World Cup squad players are likely to complete their international careers as they began – without a World Cup trophy. It wasn’t a choke this time, but rather a fight to the finish. But will that be enough to remove the stigma they’ve carried for over two decades? For the time being, they’ve passed the torch to the next generation.
Unleashing zeal and retaining receipts
Adam Zampa may not have had the finest of performances in the quarterfinal against South Africa, but it’s been a season to remember for the leggie, who is comfortably atop the list of World Cup 2023 wicket-taking spinners. In an exclusive interview with Bharat Sundaresan, the leggie discusses his dislike for the continual discourse about the “Australian way,” wanting to be his own man, why he doesn’t always sing the national anthem, and how Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Seinfeld have influenced his life.
The promise that faded
New Zealand endured a difficult and severe campaign. They struggled to purchase a win for a time after rising early and dominating the first half of the league phase. In the end, it was their win in their final league game that secured their semifinal berth. But they were outplayed by a rampaging Indian side, a team they’d got a measure of in the past, despite Daryl Mitchell’s fighting century. Pratyush Sinha reflects on their campaign of broken promises.