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'Australia Broke South Africa's Back': Faf du Plessis Highlights Reason Behind SF Loss

image-lp2hum0eSouth Africa were toppled by Australia (AP Photo)

Opting to bat under overcast conditions, South African captain Temba Bavuma gambled on their batters against Australia in the ICC World Cup 2023 semi-final clash last evening in Kolkata.

Australia took control of the match from the get-go opening up South Africa's in-form top order, gaining much-needed momentum, and eventually winning the encounter by three wickets, chasing down a 213-run target.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood found rhythm and support from the track and had the likes of Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, and Aiden Markram back in the Proteas dressing room in under 12 overs. 

Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has highlighted Australia's early surge as the main reason behind South Africa's downfall in the semi-final. 

Speaking on ESPNcricinfo, du Plessis stated how Australian bowlers bowled Test line, and induced mistakes from South Africa's top order batters, all while extracting support from a dry surface, which took experts by surprise. 

Here's what du Plessis said

"You have to look at the conditions in the first hour, very gloomy and overcast, so I think everyone expected the pitch to play really good, and it was such a dry surface. A lot of us were surprised with the amount of swing that was there in the first hour of play in the air and of the pitch. That made it a very tricky pitch at the start, but you have to give credit to the Australia fast bowlers. Australia made it look almost like Test cricket, they did not miss a beat and really broke the back of South African side."

The RCB captain also lauded the efforts of David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen, who helped SA post 212. 

"Credit to Klaasen and Miller to get us back into the game, but they were probably 20 runs short on a pitch like that."

Miller scored an exhilarating 101, while Klassen slammed a calculative 48-ball 47.