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2023 Cricket World Cup Semifinals Preview: India vs New Zealand, South Africa vs Australia: Schedule
- The knockout stage of the 2023 Cricket World Cup will start on Wednesday
- Hosts India will face New Zealand in the first semi-final in Mumbai
- South Africa will lock horns with Australia in the second semi-final in Kolkata
And then there were four.
India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand are the only teams still alive in the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
Sports Brief examines the two semi-final matchups as the tournament enters the knockout round.
India vs. New Zealand
The first semi-final will be a showdown between hosts India and New Zealand. The game will occur on Wednesday, November 15, at Wankhede Stadium. The match starts at 2:00 pm local time.
The Indians head into this clash with momentum on their side, having won all nine games in the group stage.
Virat Kohli has been in superb form for India, leading the tournament in runs scored with 594, per Sporting News.
He has scored two unbeaten hundreds in this year’s World Cup against Bangladesh and South Africa.
Rohit Sharma also has been in fine form, racking up 503 runs for India. This is the first time two Indian players scored at least 500 runs in a World Cup.
India defeated New Zealand by four wickets the last time they faced each other in the group stage on October 22.
That being said, the knockout round is a whole different animal.
The Indians know that fully well, having lost to the Black Caps by 18 runs in the semi-finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup despite entering that contest as the top seed.
New Zealand again enter this year’s semis as the underdogs after finishing the group stage with a 5-4 record.
They had to beat Sri Lanka in their final group match to qualify for the knockout stage.
Trent Boult starred in that victory with a 3 for 37, stretching his career wicket tally in World Cups to 52.
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Rachin Ravindra continued his excellent form with the bat, chipping in 42 to help with the run chase.
He has been excellent for New Zealand in this tournament, as he is ranked third in runs scored with 565.
South Africa vs. Australia
The second semi-final will feature South Africa and Australia, with their showdown set to take place on Thursday, November 16, at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The Proteas qualified for the semi-finals after finishing second in the group stage with a 7-2 record.
Their only losses came against the Netherlands and India.
South Africa destroyed Australia by 134 runs in their last meeting in the group stage. Quinton de Kock was named player of the match, scoring 109 runs off 106 balls in that contest.
De Kock is ranked second in runs scored in this year’s World Cup with 591, just three behind India’s Virat Kohli.
Australia also finished the group stage with a 7-2 record but fell into third place because of a lower net run rate than South Africa.
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David Warner and Mitch Marsh delivered the firepower for Australia in the group stage, scoring 499 and 426 runs, respectively.
The main concern for the Aussies heading into the knockout round is the threat of rain washing out the semi-finals.
According to WWOS, a ‘cyclonic circulation’ is headed towards the Kolkata region, where the match will be played.
If the semis is washed out on both Thursday and Friday, the Proteas will directly qualify for the World Cup final scheduled on November 19.
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De Kock reaches 500 runs first
Sports Brief also reported on de Kock becoming the first player to score 500 runs in this year's World Cup.
He did it in style, notching his fourth century of the 2023 World Cup in the game against New Zealand.
He scored 114 off 116 balls in that contest for South Africa.