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Cricket news - Live Blog: Australia vs South Africa, WC 2019

A win in Manchester will ensure Australia will play their semifinal too in Manchester - on July 9

Carey goes!

Is that the game for South Africa? Alex Carey can't believe it. He's holed out to Markram at sweeper cover and Morris has the wicket. Carey has to leave for a splendid 69-ball 85.

Phehlukwayo strikes!

Another twist to the tale here! Cummins didn't read that slower one and ended up skying it. Simple catch for JP Duminy at long off.

The equation is down to 52 off 30 balls!

Warner is GONE!

Oh what a moment in the game. Just before Dwaine Pretorius ran in to bowl this delivery, Chris Morris was brought in from long on to mid on. David Warner tried to clear him but didn't connect well. Morris took a few steps to his left and pouched a superb diving catch to silence the Aussie dressing room. Warner is devastated, and understandably so, as he has to walk off for 122. Over to Carey here.

Fifty for Alex Carey!

What a time to dust of such a brilliant essay. He's supported Warner when none of the top-order batters could and did it while not going into a shell himself. He played his shots where the options were there.

Century for Warner!

And he's keeping South Africa on their toes here! Exceptional knock under pressure and without any support from the top-order. This is top-drawer stuff from the pugnacious Aussie opener. He's done exceedingly well to keep South Africa on their toes. And now even Alex Carey's starting to play his strokes. This game is heading into a thriller category very swiftly. Australia 199 for 4 in 36 overs, need 127 off the last 14 overs.

It's QdK Day!

Another stunner from the excellent wicketkeeper. Maxwell couldn't resist the urge to take a swipe at a short ball, and he ended up edging it behind. The ball was soaring over until De Kock plucked it out of thin air with a one-handed take. Super stuff to reduce Australia to 119 for 4 in 24.4 overs.

Take a bow, Quinton!

End of Marcus Stoinis thanks to an excellent piece of glove work from Quinton de Kock. Warner nudged one to square leg, and called for a quick run. Stoinis, who has been struggling with a side injury wasn't as quick as he'd have liked. Rabada put in a dive and threw quickly to QdK who was standing in front of the stumps. But that didn't hamper him as he smartly deflected the ball onto the stumps, catching Stoinis short of his crease. Straight out of the top drawer from the keeper.

Warner at the wheel!

David Warner is guiding Australia past the early rut here. Marcus Stoinis too 14 deliveries to get his first run, but Warner at the other end has been exceptional - taking on bowlers, swatting away the short balls and keeping Australia alive on a what is still a good batting strip.

Usman Khawaja hobbles off!

It's never a good sight to see a cricketer struggling with injury. Usman Khawaja got a lot of taping to his hamstring in between overs but struggled to continue at the end. Out walks Steve Smith.

Australia will hope the injury isn't serious. It's the last thing they want right before knockouts!

Big, big wicket!

Steve Smith is gone! He thought about a review but decided against it. Dwaine Pretorius bowled got a length ball on the off-stump to hit a hopping Smith on the knee roll as he missed with an attempt to flick the ball towards the leg side. The umpire raised his finger, and brought the two batsmen mid-pitch for a discussion. Smith eventually walked off. A review wouldn't have overturned the decision but wouldn't have cost his side either as it would've been an umpire's call.

Sprint away, Imran!

Aaron Finch is a goner! Early dismissal for the Aussie captain as he chips a flat leg break from Tahir straight to Aiden Markram at short cover. Early jolt for the defending champions in a steep chase.

South Africa finish with 325/6

It's been more than a week since South Africa took the field, but when they did on Saturday, Faf du Plessis carried on from where he left off against Sri Lanka, scoring his first century of the World Cup. The strong opening stand between Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram (79 runs off 11.3 overs) laid a decent foundation before the skipper took charge of the proceedings while Australia bowlers - bar Nathan Lyon - endured an off day.

Du Plessis's century effort came in the company of the No.4 batsman Van der Dussen, who took over the baton of keeping South Africa on course for a massive total once his skipper departed. He eventually finished on 95, but took South Africa to 325 for 6 in 50 overs. With teams struggling to chase in the last few games at the World Cup, Australia have quite a task at hand to retain top spot and earn a Manchester semifinal against New Zealand.

Farwell, Jean-Paul!

That's that of Duminy's ODI career then! The left-hander was looking to send a Starc delivery over the long on fence but didn't connect too well. Marcus Stoinis took a good low catch which needed the TV umpire to butt in and overturn a soft signal.

100 and gone!

Faf du Plessis is done here! He has been duped by Jason Behrendorff's change of pace, chasing after the ball that was outside the off-stump and edging it. Simple catch for Mitchell Starc at short third man. Can they still get 300-plus? Out walks JP Duminy, for his final ODI innings.

Faf du Plessis powers South Africa

It felt like South Africa were headed downhill again after Lyon's excellent bowling, but out came the captain with a fierce intention of keeping the innings afloat. He's got to a 54-ball half-century here. A big one coming for the skipper? Looks likely.

Fifty and gone - QdK falls!

It's a double strike for Nathan Lyon! He's got the left-handed half-centurion, who has thrown his wicket away after a fine start with the bat. He was foxed by a flighted ball that QdK went for an across-the-line swipe against. It was the result of all the pressure that the off-spinner put on QdK, forcing him to try and break the shackles. He ended up playing against the turn and top-edging it to backward point.

Markram goes!

Nathan Lyon breaks a productive opening stand. Inviting Markram into a drive, the spinner defeated his outside edge to have him out stumped for 34. South Africa are 79 for 1 in the 12th over.

South Africa 73/0 in 10 overs

Turns Hashim Amla's injury has come as an advantage for South Africa here - who'd have thought we'd write this sentence down one day. Anyway, it has worked for them so far because this opening pair of QdK and Markram has worked very well today - the conditions look perfect for batting and the two are making hay as the sun shines brightly on Manchester.

South Africa off to a brisk start

Where has this confidence with the bat been all World Cup? Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram have taken on Australia, and have been handed an advantage by Mitchell Starc's rare ordinary start. Aaron Finch has taken off his pacers after just five overs here.

What the captains said at the toss...

Faf du Plessis: Going to have a bat. Looks a good wicket. Forced change. Playing a second spinner. Hashim Amla got hit on the knee yesterday, he's missing. Chance to look at Shamsi. Haven't played our best cricket. Today is a big occassion. SA-AUS games are a big occasion to be part of.

Aaron Finch: Nice to recharge the batteries, had a hectic period for a bit in the middle. That's what's been pleasing from our point of view. Have continued to improve in all areas of the game. Unchanged again. Behrendorff has been bowling beautifully with the new ball. Starc, Cummins, Lyon, everyone's been chipping in, even with the bat.

TOSS: South Africa opt to bat. Hashim Amla misses out due to knee injury

Playing XIs

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon

South Africa: Quinton de Kock(w), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, Jean-Paul Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi

As we wait for the toss, you could indulge in a few stories...

- Bharat Sundaresan on Alex Carey, the guy everyone loves

- You could also check this out, where Pradeep delves deep into the history of the World Cup to see how what these two sides have done against each other.

- And then there's this from Rob Johnston on Imran Tahir, who is one of the few South African players who will bow out of the 50-over game tonight.

FYI...

Prelude: Australia vs South Africa - What could've been...

About a month and a half ago, if you'd run your eyes through the World Cup fixtures, you'd come to sudden stop right at the end and chuckle, and nod in approval for the schedule makers. World Cup returned to England after 20 years, but the powers that be at the ICC decided to tempt fate and hope for a re-match of sorts. And hence came, Australia vs South Africa on the list of fixtures, right at the very end - in the hope that the 2019 World Cup league stage will have a madcap finish like it did in 1999.

But much to their and everyone's massive disappointment, that's just not going to be the case. South Africa have nothing but a few swansongs to look forward to this evening after enduring an underwhelming campaign that included just two victories. They've crashed and burned in all other fixtures, while their opposition have soared like they always do in these big tournaments. Such has been Australia's gallop that there's already talks of a sixth World Cup title. Before they can set sights that far, they have the small task of taking all the points from this fixture so that they finish on top of the points table, and get to play in the first semifinal on July 9 at the same venue as today - Manchester.

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