Thank goodness for David!

Henry

Thank goodness for David Miller.

The 34-year-old batsman came up with a one-man show against the Australian bowling attack to ensure that the South Africans were mercifully able to scrape together more than 200 runs in the World Cup semi-final.

Miller’s fighting innings of 101 runs meant that South Africa could at least score 212 in 49.4 overs after the team had earlier staggered with its score at 24/4.

On a cloudy day in Kolkata, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood let the ball do the talking and combined with excellent fielding they got Temba Bavuma (0), Quinton de Kock (3), Rassie van der Dussen (6) and Aiden Markram ( 10) disposed of.

In the blink of an eye, the heart and soul of the Protea batting line-up was back in the dressing room.

Fortunately, Miller is a man for a crisis situation and together with Heinrich Klaasen (47 runs) and Gerald Coetzee (19 runs) he was at least able to pull the chestnuts out of the fire a little.

The hot-claw batsman hit five big sixes in his innings and he immediately sent the ball sailing over the boundary rope to celebrate his century from Pat Cummins’ bowling.

According to the smart men with the calculator, Miller’s great effort is the first hundred ever by a player who batted sixth or lower in the batting order of a World Cup knockout match.

But with Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh in its ranks, Australia has already shown that it can chase much higher scores very successfully.

Maxwell played the best ever ODI innings against Afghanistan, while Marsh won the match for his side against Bangladesh.

There is indeed an uphill battle awaiting the South Africans, but at least they have something on the scoreboard.

Australia have yet to make the runs.

  • Summary of the scorecard:

South Africa 212/10 in 49.4 overs: David Miller 101, Heinrich Klaasen 47 and Mitchell Starc 3/34.