Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

UPDATE: Miller ton carries Proteas to 212 against Australia

Batting at No 6, Miller hit the sixth century of his ODI career.

David Miller led a comeback with a magnificent century on Thursday, which helped South Africa recover from an early collapse as they compiled 212 runs all out in their Cricket World Cup semi-final against Australia in Kolkata.

While confidence was raised among supporters after the Proteas won the toss and chose to bat (having achieved their best results by setting targets at the showpiece) they got off to a horrible start.

Captain Temba Bavuma, who had been cleared to play after recovering from a hamstring injury, was removed for a duck in the first over. In-form opener Quinton de Kock then fell for just three runs.

Slow run-rate

Even more shocking, however, was the slow run-rate in the powerplay, with Australian frontline pair Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood giving away just 18 runs in the first 10 overs.

And wickets continued to tumble, with Rassie van der Dussen sent packing for six and Aiden Markram for 10.

While a brief rain delay disrupted the innings, no overs were lost, and Miller and Heinrich Klaasen fought back on their return to the field, combining in a 95-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller
Heinrich Klaasen (left) and David Miller during South Africa’s World Cup semi-final against Australia. Picture: Matthew Lewis/ICC/Getty Images

Klaasen was eventually removed by spinner Travis Head in the 31st over after contributing 47 runs, and all-rounder Marco Jansen was dismissed with the next delivery.

Tail-ender Gerald Coetzee made 19 runs in a crucial 53-run partnership with Miller for the seventh wicket, helping carry them to a defendable target.

Miller was removed for 101 runs in the 48th over, after hitting only the sixth ODI century of his lengthy career. He faced 116 balls in an innings which included eight fours and five sixes.

Australia, who bowled out the SA team in the final over of their innings, will be chasing 213 to win, as both sides aim for a place in Sunday’s final against hosts India.

Read more on these topics

Cricket World Cup proteas cricket team

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits