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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

World Cup 2023: Quinton De Kock hits century as South Africa outplay Australia by 134 runs

This was Proteas’ second straight win and that too, another big one, which does imply they are keen to make a statement in this tournament

Our Bureau, PTI Calcutta/Lucknow Published 13.10.23, 07:45 AM
Man of the Match Quinton de Kock after completing his second successive century of this World Cup on Thursday.

Man of the Match Quinton de Kock after completing his second successive century of this World Cup on Thursday. PTI picture

Quinton de Kock showed his class with a second successive hundred while the bowlers kept striking at regular intervals as South Africa outplayed Australia by 134 runs at the Ekana International Stadium in Lucknow on Thursday.

This was the Proteas’ second straight win and that too, another big one, which does imply they are keen to make a statement in this World Cup. Australia, on the other hand, suffered their second consecutive defeat in the competition with yet another very much un-Australia-like showing.

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Their bowlers struggled on the batsmen-friendly surface first up after captain Pat Cummins again won the toss and put the Proteas in. Australia’s batters, after a tough time on Chennai’s tricky pit­ch, showed no improvement at all in better conditions as they were all out for 177 after De Kock’s 109 and Aiden Markram’s 56 propelled South Africa to 311/7.

Not to take any credit away from the South African batsmen, but Australia were butter-fingered in the field once again. Last Sunday, Mitch Marsh dropped a sitter to let Virat Kohli and India off in Chennai, but on Thursday, Australia’s catching was worse as they dropped several easy ones to allow South Africa extra runs.

With the bat too, far better was expected from the big names in their line-up, most of whom played loose strokes. Having said that, quicks Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Marco Jansen also deserve credit for obtaining swing under lights and bowling at the right channel that forced mistakes from some Australian batsmen.

Earlier, the 30-year-old De Kock, who will retire from the format after the World Cup, hit eight boundaries and five maximums, while Markram’s knock comprised seven boundaries and a six.

De Kock paced his innings well and kept troubling the Australian bowling attack.

After a rather sedate start, De Kock, who calls the venue ‘home’ being a player of Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL, put a move on things. He used Mitchell Starc’s pace to flick one over deep backward square leg to get the first six of the match in the fifth over.

Both Temba Bavuma (35) and De Kock skilfully nullified the early threat that the Australian pacers generally pose. In fact, skipper Cummins was at his wit’s end and kept shuffling between all his bowlers to find a breakthrough.

The back-to-back maximums off Josh Hazlewood over fine leg and the majestic six over mid-wicket for his hundred were the highlight of De Kock’s innings. The wicketkeeper-batter eventually fell to a freak dismissal as the ball deflected from the back of his willow into his chest and onto the stumps.

Markram, who was drop­ped on one by Cummins off his own bowling, then made Australia pay the price.

“We assessed conditions well and played accordingly, stuck to our strengths and came out on top,” De Kock said.

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