LUCKNOW: Quinton de Kock scored his second consecutive century before a combined bowling effort led South Africa to thrash Australia by 134 runs in the 10th match of the ICC World Cup 2023.
Chasing a massive 312-run total, Australia succumbed to their second consecutive defeat in the ongoing mega event after they were bundled out on a paltry 177 in the 41st over.
The five-time champions had a poor start to the pursuit as they lost both their openers Mitchell Marsh (7) and David Warner (13) with just 27 runs on the board.
Marnus Labuschagne joined experienced Steve Smith in the middle and looked to anchor the run chase with a cautious partnership.
The duo, however, could add just 23 runs to the total before Smith perished after being trapped lbw by Kagiso Rabada, a decision which caused a debate among cricket fans.
Smith could score 19 off 16 deliveries before walking back to the pavilion in disbelief.
Australia then lost three more wickets in quick succession to further slip to 70/6 in the 17th over.
Following the slump, Labucshagne put on a fighting seventh-wicket partnership with Mitchell Starc and added 74 runs to the total.
The duo frustrated the ruthless South African bowling attack before Marco Jansen drew a much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Starc, who scored a gutsy 51-ball 27.
Marnus Labuschagne soon followed Starc back into the dugout in the next over.
He remained the top-scorer for Australia with 46 in 74 deliveries, hitting three boundaries.
Australian captain Pat Cummins scored a 21-ball 22 at the backend but could not save his side from succumbing to a massive defeat.
Kagiso Rabada led the bowling attack for South Africa with 3/33, followed by Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi and Tabraiz Shamsi, who picked two each.
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De Kock carried the momentum from South Africa’s crushing 102-run victory over Sri Lanka in their ICC World Cup 2023 opener, where he scored an 84-ball century.
After being put into bat by Australia, De Kock raised his half-century in 51 balls, while his opening partner Temba Bavuma (35) played an anchoring innings on the other end.
Together they put up a 108-run opening stand, which was broken by Glenn Maxwell when Bavuma in an attempt to shift gears caught by David Warner at deep mid-wicket.
Rassie van der Dussen joined de Kock and added 50 runs for the second wicket before Zampa got him out at a total of 158 in the 29th over.
De Kock on the other end continued to bat fluently and reached his 19th ODI hundred in 90 balls, but Maxwell struck again and bowled the left-hander on 109. His 106-ball knock featured eight boundaries and five sixes.
Following de Kock’s departure, Aiden Markram took control and added 60 runs with Heinrich Klaasen for the fourth wicket, completing his half-century in the process.
He was dismissed by Pat Cummins after scoring 44-ball 56, featuring seven boundaries and one six.
Klaasen could only manage 29 off 27 before Marco Jansen propelled the South African total to 311 with a 22-ball cameo of 26 runs.
Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc picked two wickets each, while Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa managed to take one apiece.