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Australia hold nerve against South Africa to reach Cricket World Cup final

Australia hold nerve to reach Cricket World Cup final
© Reuters
Australia hold their nerve in a tense finale to reach the Cricket World Cup final with a three-wicket victory over South Africa.

Australia have recorded a three-wicket victory over South Africa to reach the Cricket World Cup final.

When reducing their opponents to 24-4 early in the match, Australia would have felt confident about breezing into Sunday's showdown with India.

However, after South Africa recovered to make 212 all out, the Baggy Greens were reliant on an eight-wicket partnership of 22 to get them over the line.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood had blitzed their way through South Africa's top order, eventually recording figures of 3-34 and 2-12 respectively.

Nevertheless, Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller kept the innings together, the former making 47 from 48 balls before the latter defiantly took centre stage.

Miller contributed eight fours and five maximums during a knock of 101 from 116 deliveries, spending over 36 overs at the crease to keep the Proteas competitive.

Pat Cummins (3-52) and Travis Head (2-21) ensured that South Africa did not make more of an impact with the bat, yet their 212 all out from 49.4 overs was more than enough to keep Australia honest on a pitch that had proven unpredictable.

In response, Australia quickly made 60 from just 37 balls, seizing control of the contest with Head (62) and David Warner (29) moving Australia well ahead of the required run-rate.

Steven Smith made a patient 30 to keep things ticking over, but Gerald Coetzee (2-47) and Tabraiz Shamsi (2-42) made an impact with the ball, reducing Australia to 193-7.

Josh Inglis had made 28 before his dismissal, yet it was left to Starc (16*) and Cummins (14*) to win the game for Australia, remaining at the crease for 7.3 overs as they delivered the remaining 20 runs.

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