ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Blowouts to Cliffhangers: South Africa's ICC World Cup 2023 Campaign So Far

A look at table-toppers South Africa's ICC World Cup 2023 campaign so far.

Published
World Cup
5 min read
story-hero-img
i
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large
Hindi Female

Dominance and drama- the perfect way to describe South Africa’s campaign in the ICC World Cup this year. On Friday night, the Proteas leapfrogged India to move to the top of the points table after they defeated Pakistan by just 1 wicket in what is being considered the match of the tournament so far.

As far as South Africa's history in World Cups is concerned, they would have certainly wanted to test themselves under pressure, and so they did. Chasing 271 on a tricky Chennai pitch against Pakistan, tailenders Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi took their side home by the barest of margins.

It has been a rollercoaster ride for South Africa in this World Cup but they have managed to hold their nerves more often than not. Let’s take a look at their journey in this tournament that has positioned them as strong contenders to claim the World Cup title.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
A look at table-toppers South Africa's ICC World Cup 2023 campaign so far.

Chennai: South Africa's batters Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi celebrate after winning the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match against Pakistan, at MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.

(Photo: PTI)

South Africa's World Cup campaign began with a statement of authority. In their opening match against Sri Lanka, they displayed a brand of cricket that was both commanding and clinical. Put into bat first, Quinton de Kock slammed a ton before van der Dussen followed up with his maiden World Cup century. Aiden Markram followed it up with a 49-ball century which was the fastest in World Cups until Maxwell broke it later against Netherlands. They recorded the first instance of scoring three hundreds in a single World Cup innings posting a massive total of 428. The Lankan batsmen made a spirited fightback but Rabada led the charge for South Africa and secured a resounding victory by 102 runs, illustrating their dominance.

0
A look at table-toppers South Africa's ICC World Cup 2023 campaign so far.

Quinton de Kock scored 109 as South Africa beat Australia by 134 runs.

(Photo: PTI)

Up next it was the five-time World Cup champions- Australia, in Lucknow. De Kock was in no mood to let go of his form from the first match, crashing 109 at the top of the order. Crucial contributions from Markam, Klassen and Jansen helped them put 311 on the board. Australia were completely rattled in their chase as they were bundled for just 177 runs. The pacers steamed in early picking up key wickets while the spinners controlled things in the middle overs. A 134-run victory against Australia in a World Cup is no joke- South Africa means business.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
A look at table-toppers South Africa's ICC World Cup 2023 campaign so far.

ICC World Cup 2023: Netherlands Shock South Africa in Thriller

(Photo: PTI)

Dominance was becoming a recurring theme but the Dutch had other plans. The iconic Dharamshala was witness to one of the “great upsets” in the WC after the one in the T20 World Cup last year.

South Africa were still un-tested in one department- chasing. Netherlands were off to a sloppy start, they were down to 112 for 6; but a reckless approach in the field and brilliant batting display from the Dutch captain, Scott Edwards, took them to a total of 244 in 43 overs in a game shortened due to rain.

The South African top order seemed to fumble early in the chase, reeling at 44 for 4 after which they never recovered. The Dutch bowlers scripted a memorable win as they beat them by 38 runs registering only their 3rd win in WC history.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
A look at table-toppers South Africa's ICC World Cup 2023 campaign so far.

Mumbai: South Africa players celebrates after winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 match against England, at Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

(Photo: PTI)

South Africa had a lot to reflect upon after the loss against Netherlands especially with their captain, Bavuma, sitting out the next match against England. In a high-stakes encounter, South Africa imposed a mammoth total of 399 runs- credits to an extraordinary finish from Heinrich Klassen and Marco Jansen. Once again, it was too easy for the bowlers to run over the opposition in the second innings as they beat England by 229 runs. The “upset” over Netherlands was certainly forgotten with this one. 

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD
A look at table-toppers South Africa's ICC World Cup 2023 campaign so far.

Mumbai: South Africa's Aiden Markram celebrates his half century with Quinton De Kock during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match between Bangladesh and South Africa, in Mumbai, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023.

(Photo: PTI)

In the following match against Bangladesh, they continued to dominate. De Kock played a special innings at the Wankhede missing out on a well deserved double-century. Klassen and Markam provided the finishing touch to post another huge total batting first. Bangladesh were no match for South Africa, to say the least.

A look at table-toppers South Africa's ICC World Cup 2023 campaign so far.

Chennai: South Africa's batters Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi meet Pakistan players after winning the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match against Pakistan, at MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.

(Photo: PTI)

4 out of 5 wins with a massive NRR meant that they needed a win against Pakistan somehow to top the table. The commanding victories created a buzz but oppositions knew their weakness in chasing. Babar Azam chose to exploit the same batting first in Chennai posting a decent total of 270 on the board.

Once again, the South African top order succumbed under pressure. Markram steadied the ship for them before departing cheaply of Usama Mir who came in as concussion sub for Shadab Khan. Before they could realize, they were down to 250 for 8. The contest swung in the balance after Rauf took an exceptional catch to dismiss Ngidi off his own bowling. It was all down to the last pair. South Africa had a point to prove themselves. Maharaj and Shamsi did the unimaginable beating Pakistan by just 1 wicket to clinch their first victory in the WC, chasing.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

South Africa's history in World Cups gives them that extra motive to go through and win the tournament for the first time. They have been pretty clinical so far but there are obviously some areas that need to be addressed when the team is chasing. 

However, this year, the  blend of dominance in commanding wins and a penchant for tight finishes has established them as genuine contenders for the World Cup title. The depth of their batting squad, their ruthless style, the versatility of their bowlers, and the wealth of experience in their ranks have made them a formidable force.

As the World Cup reaches its second phase, all eyes are on South Africa, a team with the potential to etch their name in cricketing history.

“Tsamina mina zangalewa. This time for Africa?”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from sports and world-cup

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
×
×