Australia v South Africa, 2nd semi-final, St Lucia

Australia firm favourites for final berth

Dileep V

April 24, 2007

Text size: A | A

Australia's superb form and South Africa's erratic run make Australia the firm favourites to advance to their fourth straight World Cup final. The Australians comfortably won their group match against South Africa by 83 runs, and haven't looked close to losing a game in this tournament. South Africa, meanwhile, had to sweat to reach the semi-finals. In the four games they've played against each other in World Cups, Australia have won two, South Africa one and the other was the epic tie in the Edgbaston semi-final in 1999.

The batting stats of both teams during the Super Eights show that Australia are way ahead of South Africa. Their run-rate has been consistently high, but even more impressive has been their ability to keep wickets in hand. They average more than 50 in each of the three stages in their innings.

Over-wise break up of Aus and SA batting in the Super Eights
Team First 20 - Runs/wkt RPO 21-40 - Runs/wkt RPO 41-50 - Runs/wkt RPO
Australia 83.42 5.40 75.83 5.62 59.75 7.83
South Africa 42.76 4.6 50.00 4.36 22.72 6.78

The bowlers from the two teams are more closely matched. South Africa have been marginally better at keeping the runs in check, but Australia's attack has been the better in terms of taking wickets. Even in the middle overs they have conceded only 22 runs per wicket.

Over-wise break up of Aus and SA bowling in the Super Eights
Team First 20 - Runs/wkt RPO 21-40 - Runs/wkt RPO 41-50 - Runs/wkt RPO
Australia 17.30 3.72 22.25 4.55 9.92 5.12
South Africa 26.35 3.70 26.66 4.14 22.54 5.41

The Australians have been brutal against all the teams throughout the match, but especially so during the last ten overs. They've also kept wickets in hand, which has given them the freedom to slog during the end. Shane Watson has been outstanding, while Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden have done their bit as well.

Aus batsmen in the final overs (41-50) in the Super Eights
Batsmen Runs Balls faced Dismissals Average Strike rate
Shane Watson 98 58 0 - 168.97
Matthew Hayden 53 27 1 53 196.30
Andrew Symonds 35 38 1 35 92.11
Michael Hussey 25 31 1 25.00 80.65

South Africa also have some clean hitters in their ranks who have fired during the late stages. Herschelle Gibbs leads the way, while Mark Boucher hasn't done badly either.

SA batsmen in the final overs (41-50) in the Super Eights
Batsmen Runs Balls faced Dismissals Average Strike rate
Herschelle Gibbs 71 46 0 - 154.35
Shaun Pollock 33 43 1 33 76.74
Mark Boucher 60 30 2 30.00 200.00
Andrew Hall 17 18 2 8.50 94.44

All the Australian bowlers have been exceptional during the Super Eights but none more than Glenn McGrath. His accuracy and line and length have been immaculate and at the same time has given Australia breakthroughs at regular intervals. He's been at his best during the first 20 overs, when he has taken his wickets at a mere ten runs apiece.

McGrath in the Super Eights
Overs Runs Balls bowled Wickets Average Economy rate
1-20 111 175 11 10.09 3.8
21-40 42 48 2 21.00 5.25
41-50 42 36 3 14.00 7.00

McGrath has done pretty well against Gibbs and Jacques Kallis - both batsmen average only 26 against him. Ricky Ponting has already made a pointed statement about how he would like Kallis to come in early, and the numbers show why - Kallis averages less than 32 with the bat and almost 47 with the ball against them. It's almost exactly the reverse of his batting and bowling stats over his entire career. In his last seven matches against them, the numbers look even worse - he averages 15.71 with the bat, and 68.75 with the ball.

McGrath v South Africa batsmen since Jan 2002
Batsmen Innings Runs Dismissals Average Balls Strike rate
Graeme Smith 7 44 1 44.00 88 50.00
Herschelle Gibbs 10 80 3 26.67 113 70.80
Jacques Kallis 9 53 2 26.50 68 77.94

South Africa's metronome, Shaun Pollock, struggled against Australia in the Super Eights game, going for 83 from his ten. Ponting has already stated that Australia will try to attack him early, and if they do, Matthew Hayden will probably take him on. His partner at the top of the order, Adam Gilchrist, has struggled against Pollock, falling to him 12 times in ODIs, and seven times since 2002.

Pollock v Australian top order since Jan 2002
Batsmen Innings Runs Dismissals Average Balls Strike rate
Matthew Hayden 9 111 1 111.00 148 75.00
Ricky Ponting 16 133 2 66.50 190 70.00
Michael Hussey 7 39 1 39.00 44 88.64
Michael Clarke 4 28 1 28.00 45 62.22
Adam Gilchrist 20 162 7 23.14 241 67.22
Shane Watson 5 23 2 11.50 32 71.88

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Tournament Results
Australia v Sri Lanka at Bridgetown - Apr 28, 2007
Australia won by 53 runs (D/L method)
Australia v South Africa at Gros Islet - Apr 25, 2007
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 111 balls remaining)
New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Kingston - Apr 24, 2007
Sri Lanka won by 81 runs
West Indies v England at Bridgetown - Apr 21, 2007
England won by 1 wicket (with 1 ball remaining)
Australia v New Zealand at St George's - Apr 20, 2007
Australia won by 215 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days