Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

UPDATE: South Africa keep fighting as Australia tighten their grip

At the end of the 10-over powerplay, Australia had reached 74/2.

South Africa’s hopes of reaching their first Cricket World Cup final were left dangling by a thread on Thursday, with Australia’s top order laying a solid foundation in their run chase in Kolkata.

Needing 213 runs to win their semi-final clash, the Australians got off to a great start, with opening batters Travis Head and David Warner sharing 60 runs for the first wicket at a run-a-ball.

Part-time spinner Aiden Markram removed Warner for 29 runs in the seventh over and Kagiso Rabada had Mitchell Marsh dismissed for a duck just nine balls later.

At the end of the 10-over powerplay, five-time World Cup champions Australia had reached 74/2 with Head on 38 not out and Steve Smith not yet off the mark. They required 139 runs to win with eight wickets in hand and 40 overs remaining.

Proteas innings

Earlier, David Miller hit 101 runs – his sixth career century – to lead a recovery effort after the Proteas were left reeling in the early stages of their innings.

Having won the toss and opted to bat, South Africa were struggling at 24/4 before Miller combined in a 95-run stand for the fifth wicket with Heinrich Klaasen (47).

After they both fell, the SA team were ultimately bowled out for 212 runs in the final over.

The winners of the match will face hosts India in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

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