Exactly one month ago, South Africa beat Australia by 134 runs in Lucknow.
A fighting Quinton de Kock then scored his second century of the tournament, while Aiden Markram and David Miller also hit quick runs in the Protea innings of 311/7. After that, Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj restricted the Aussies to 177 runs.
But that is in the past and since then a lot of water has already flowed into the sea.
South Africa showed that its batting giants sometimes have feet of clay when they have to chase a score, while Australia won seven matches in a row in the run-up to the play-offs.
According to Rassie van der Dussen, the Lucknow triumph will count for little when the two teams play in one of the World Cup semi-finals at Eden Gardens on Thursday.
“It’s going to be very different because a lot of their players have been in knockout match situations before and as a cricket playing country they know how to win World Cup tournaments,” said the Protea batsman.
Australia has already walked away with the World Cup laurels five times in its cricket history (in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015), while in 2019 the team played in the semi-final.
“However, we approached the tournament with the attitude that we have to win every single game and that is not going to change now. It promises to be a good showdown – they are a strong team.”
South Africa came up short against Australia in two previous semi-final matches (in 1999 and 2007), but Van der Dussen believes that things can now fall into place for the Proteas if they play to their full potential.
“The final is on November 19 and we will be where we need to be; regardless of whether we hold up the silverware or not. What has to happen will happen, but we will undoubtedly give our very best.”
- Semi-Final Fixtures:
Wednesday: India vs New Zealand at 10.30am
Thursday: South Africa v Australia at 10.30am
South Africa’s path to the semi-finals:
Beat Sri Lanka by 102 runs
Beat Australia by 134 runs
Lost to Netherlands by 38 runs
Beat England by 229 runs
Beat Bangladesh by 149 runs
Beat Pakistan by one wicket
Beat New Zealand by 190 runs
Lost to India by 243 runs
Beat Afghanistan by five wickets
Australia’s path to the semi-finals:
Lost to India by six wickets
Lost to South Africa by 134 runs
Beat Sri Lanka by five wickets
Beat Pakistan by 62 runs
Beat Netherlands by 309 runs
Beat New Zealand by five runs
Beat England by 33 runs
Beat Afghanistan by three wickets
Beat Bangladesh by eight wickets