ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Semi-Final – South Africa vs Australia Tips and Betting Preview

The second semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup takes place in Kolkata on Thursday and is a repeat of the famous match at the same stage of the 1999 tournament as South Africa go up against Australia in a real heavyweight clash.

India await the winner of this one in the final. Australia won that 1999 semi and will look to make the final again having exited at this stage four years ago. South Africa go in search of a place in their first final so this is deliciously poised.

South Africa

South Africa were fancied by many heading into this tournament and they have shown why that was the case with a very solid group campaign which saw them deliver seven wins from their nine matches. It will be one of the matches that they didn’t win which would be a concern, not just because it was against the Netherlands but also because it exposed their weakness, which is chasing a total. They look nowhere near as confident chasing a score down as they do posting one.

They look a real quality outfit when they post a score with their batters all knowing their role and what is expected of them and perform it to the letter. That takes some of the pressure off of their bowlers too. Pressure is the key thing here. South African sides before this one have often choked in matches of this magnitude. The stage is there for this generation to show that they have learned from the mistakes others have made in the past and break new territory and head through to their first World Cup final.


It was a pretty slow start to the tournament for Australia with losses in their opening two matches but they powered their way home in the group phase and remarkably head into this semi-final off the back of seven consecutive wins. It can’t be said that all of those wins were convincing but even in tight situations they got the job done which bodes well for them. They might actually be better served having had to work themselves out of troubled positions rather than had they not been tested in those wins.

The key for Australia here will be their bowling. While it has got better the longer the tournament has gone on, they did take their foot off the gas against Bangladesh last time out. They certainly can’t afford to do that with this South African batting, especially if they are in the field first. The big positive for them here is a number of this side either won the World Cup of this format in 2015 or the T20 version in 2021 so they are used to delivering in semi-final finals and big matches. That might end up being the big difference here.

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Team News

South Africa rested Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada for their last game but both are expected to return here. Usually the only selection has come down to conditions as to whether Gerald Coetzee plays or Tabraiz Shamsi does.

Australia rested Glenn Maxwell in their last game after his heroics of the match before but he is expected to return to the side for this one. The choice will come down to whether they play the extra batter or Marcus Stoinis.


These two teams know each other pretty well. They played a five match ODI series in South Africa just prior to the tournament beginning and they have already faced each other in this tournament as well. The majority of those matches were high scoring. The first game had a first innings score of 222 which was chased down with nearly 10 overs remaining. Since then the first innings scores have been 392/8, 338/6, 416/5, 315/9 and 311/7.

That is no surprise because the mantra of these two teams is to be aggressive with the bat, particularly when they are batting first. That makes me think we are in for another high scoring game, especially with Eden Gardens not exactly being the biggest of grounds. The last match here saw England and Pakistan hit 14 sixes in a game which wasn’t massively high scoring. Admittedly that one had nothing on it and this one does but these two batting units are going much better than those two. I think a 12.5 sixes line covers here.


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