Cricket World Cup: De Kock reaches century as South Africa deepens Australia’s pain | Cricket World Cup 2023

South Africa beat Australia by 134 runs to secure their second win of the World Cup as Quinton de Kock scored his second hundred in as many games and Aiden Markram hit a half-century before the bowlers defeated the five-time champions on Thursday.

Needing 312 to win, Australia got off to a shocking start, losing their first five wickets for 65 runs and having no answer against Kagiso Rabada (three for 33), Marco Jansen (two for 54) and Keshav Maharaj (two for 30 ), as they got out for 177 in 40.5 overs with Marnus Labuschagne making 46, their only first-class batsman firing.

South Africa’s victory was masterminded by De Kock, who scored 109, while Markram scored 56, helping the Proteas score 311 for seven in 50 overs. South Africa were asked to bat first after Australia captain Pat Cummins won the toss. South Africa got off to a watchful start and capitalized on their luck before De Kock picked up where he left off in the win over Sri Lanka with eight fours and five sixes in his 106-ball knock.

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma was twice relieved, scoring 35, as Australia failed to capitalize on their difficult chances before being dismissed by Glenn Maxwell (two for 34), but the Proteas marched on as De Kock twice beat Josh Hazlewood into the stands 23rd over.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa removed the dangerous Rassie van der Dussen for 26 but De Kock continued to plunder runs and added to his 19th ODI century by pulling Cummins for a huge six just after the pace bowler dropped Markram as he had only scored one run.

Maxwell bowled De Kock with a shot that came through after hitting the left-hander’s bat as he attempted a reverse pull, and Markram fell to Cummins after an airy delivery as the Australian bowlers slowed South Africa’s score.

Cummins could have had two more wickets but Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Starc missed chances on a sloppy day in the field, but a brace from Starc (two for 53) in the final over prevented South Africa from increasing the score. In the end, 311 proved to be more than enough.

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After Australia’s second defeat of the tournament, Cummins told Sky Sports: “I thought Quinton in particular batted really well, we couldn’t get a breakthrough but as they were we were pretty happy (with 311). On that wicket we felt it was trackable. At night it looked like hard work. Their bowlers bowled really well. It looked like it was maybe buzzing around more than during the day, but (we were) way off. If we want to pose a challenge in this tournament we have to try to find a way in all conditions. I don’t think much needs to be said tonight, everyone is feeling bad. We have a few days, the next game is here too, so we will regroup and try to make it up to you.”

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