Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Tuesday, 14 November 2023 14:25

Proteas hope for fifth time lucky in Australia showdown.

Staff Reporter.

South Africa insist they will not be burdened by scarring from their chequered record in Cricket World Cup knockout matches when they clash with Australia on Thursday for a spot in the final.

The Proteas have made four semi-final appearances in the showpiece - in 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2015 -- but have fallen to defeat every time, twice losing to Australia.

In 1999, they lost to Australia after a dramatic tie at Edgbaston which saw their rivals go through due to a better group stage finish.

Eight years later, South Africa went down by seven wickets after being bundled out for just 149 at St Lucia.

Kolkata's Eden Gardens, however, could be the stage for redemption for South Africa who made the semi-finals by winning seven of their nine league matches.

They have also been racking up impressive totals including the highest score in World Cup history of 428 in the game against Sri Lanka.

The Proteas have won their last four meetings with Australia, including a 134-run thrashing in the league stage of this World Cup in Lucknow four weeks ago.

"There isn't a lot of mystery about what's lying ahead," said fast bowler Gerald Coetzee who has claimed 18 wickets in seven matches.

"We can get calmness out of that, knowing what to expect."

Five-time winners Australia are coming off seven straight wins.

That run included Glenn Maxwell's one-man rescue mission when his unbeaten 201 led Australia to victory from the brink of defeat at 91-7 against Afghanistan.

Rassie van der Dussen, who made 76 in South Africa's concluding group stage win over Afghanistan to take his tournament total to 442 runs, also shrugged off past disappointments.

"I was 10 years old (in 1999), so I don't remember too much," said Van der Dussen.

"In that year they had a really good chance to win the World Cup. I think we have a good chance as well."