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2023 ODI World Cup digest: South Africa’s record-breaking batting; India-Australia offer mouthwatering match-up


2023 ODI World Cup digest: South Africa’s record-breaking batting; India-Australia offer mouthwatering match-up


The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup is underway in India and will run from October 5 until November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you insights from our reporters on the ground.

Top Story: Markram, van der Dussen and de Kock flay centuries in huge South Africa display

South Africa 428 for 5 (van der Dussen 108, Markram 106, de Kock 100) beat Sri Lanka 326 (Asalanka 79, Mendis 76, Shanaka 68, Coetzee 3-68) by 102 runs

A trio of centuries, including the fastest ever in a World Cup, saw South Africa lay down a commanding marker as they kicked off their World Cup campaign with an authoritative 102-run win over Sri Lanka in Delhi. Progressively more emphatic centuries from Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram would in the end prove to be the decisive contributions as a valiant Sri Lankan outfit fell foul of a scary good South African outfit flexing their batting might.

Match analysis: South Africa defy the gloom

This is a different South African team to the ones we are used to. They come here with great numbers against spin. Since the start of 2022, they average 42 against spin in the middle overs at a-run-a-ball, the best by a distance. In Markram and Heinrich Klaasen, they have two of the most-sought-after middle-overs batters. And yet even those building them up were a little circumspect because, after all, they did lose to spin in a T20 World Cup that they were among the favourites to win last year.

Starting in Delhi against a side that relies on slower bowlers was going to be challenging, but a relaid surface didn’t quite test South Africa on the conditions front. With that rider out of the way, South Africa did serve a warning to other contenders. The highest World Cup total, the quickest World Cup century, three centuries in one innings should be enough for the world to sit up and take notice, but it was the assured, unhurried manner in which they went about doing it that will concern the others.

Mehidy stars as Bangladesh make early mark against Afghanistan

Bangladesh 158 for 4 (Shanto 59*, Mehidy 57) beat Afghanistan 156 (Gurbaz 47, Mehidy 3-25, Shakib 3-30) by six wickets

Shakib Al Hasan’s three-wicket haul and Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s all-round show helped Bangladesh kick off their 2023 ODI World Cup campaign with a thumping six-wicket win in Dharamsala. For Afghanistan, it was their 13th successive defeat at the World Cup, a streak stretching back all the way to 2015.

After being sent in, Afghanistan got off to a solid start before Shakib changed the momentum with the wickets of Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah. Afghanistan could never recover from there, slipping from 83 for 1 to 156 all out. Mehidy, who had contributed to that collapse with a three-wicket haul of his own, then struck a half-century, albeit a chancy one, from No. 3. Najmul Hossain Shanto, too, continued his excellent form with an unbeaten 59 as Bangladesh wrapped up the game with more than 15 overs to spare.

Match analysis: How it fell apart for Afghanistan

First with the bat and then in the field, they brought about their own demise. Rahmat Shah’s dismissal, miscuing a slog sweep against the spin off the first ball after drinks, set about a capitulation of 9 for 73. Perhaps surprised by a slower pitch than most had anticipated, nobody in their middle order managed more than 22.

Hashmatullah Shahidi, their captain, personified a collective failure to find the right tempo with the bat. He had pledged on the eve of their tournament opener to play positively, but struggled painfully to 5 off 22 at one stage, rendered shotless by Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Shakib.

Must Watch: Steyn reflects on South African pain from past World Cups2>

News headlines

  • Concerns have been raised about the standard of the sandy outfield in Dharamsala with Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott saying Mujeeb Ur Rahman was lucky to escape serious injury.
  • Match preview

    India vs Australia, Chennai (2pm IST; 8.30pm GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)

    The air will crackle with anticipation, but there’ll be a tinge of anxiety too, for this is India’s first match in a home World Cup that they start as favourites. It’s hard to imagine the pressure a team can go through in these situations, and it’ll come as a relief to India’s players when the umpires call “play”, and there’s a ball to focus on, or a batter and a set of stumps at the other end.

    It’ll be a stern test right off the bat, because they’re playing Australia, and is there anything as spine-jellifying in sport as the prospect of facing Australia in a cricket World Cup?

    Team news

    India (probable XI): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill/Ishan Kishan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer/Suryakumar Yadav, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Siraj

    Australia (probable XI): 1 David Warner, 2 Mitchell Marsh, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Alex Carey (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Pat Cummins (capt), 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Adam Zampa

    Feature: Mitch Marsh is huge and is six-hitting his way to new heights

    So, what makes Mitchell Marsh brutal? His explosive power and clear thinking. Okay, Marsh has always had that natural ball-striking ability but has now stopped worrying about proving people wrong and has shifted his focus towards maximising his strengths: hitting sixes. Free off all the burdens, he has pumped 22 sixes in ten innings in ODI cricket this year. Among players participating in this World Cup, only Rohit Sharma (36), Shubman Gill (29) and Heinrich Klaasen (25) have struck more sixes than Marsh in ODIs this year.

    Captain Pat Cummins spoke glowingly of Marsh’s six-hitting on Saturday. “I mean first of all his size is huge and he’s always been a power-hitter,” Cummins said. “I think that’s kind of his most natural trait as a batter. He’s super powerful and can clear the ropes easily.


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