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South Africa vs. Australia Highlights


Cricket  •  8 Sept, 2023  •  1,640 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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In an unforgettable encounter in Bloemfontein, the first ODI between South Africa and Australia saw a surprise hero rise from the ranks. Marnus Labuschagne, who wasn't initially a part of the Australian squad, delivered a match-winning performance as a concussion substitute.

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Unexpected Hero: Labuschagne

Marnus Labuschagne admits mixed feelings over century as Australia battle  to regain Ashes | Evening Standard
Image Credits: Evening Standard

Marnus Labuschagne, stepping in as a concussion substitute for the injured Cam Green, proved pivotal in Australia's pursuit of 223 runs. Despite not being in the original line-up for the ODI World Cup 2023 or the South Africa series (he was called up as a backup for an injured Steve Smith), Labuschagne delivered an exceptional unbeaten 80, batting at No.8.

Critical Partnership

Marnus Labuschagne | Marnus Labuschagne could be the X factor for Australia  - Telegraph India
Image Credits: Telegraph India

Australia seemed in trouble at 113-7, thanks to the lethal South African pace attack. However, the tide turned when Labuschagne, along with Ashton Agar batting at No.10, stitched a game-changing 112-run partnership for the eighth wicket, navigating Australia to a three-wicket victory.

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A Shaky Start for Both Teams

Family have a ball following Marnus Labuschagne in South Africa | The  Australian
Image Credits: The Australian

While Labuschagne and Agar provided stability, the rest of the Australian lineup struggled. Travis Head was the only other player to surpass the 20-run mark, as the likes of Warner, Inglis, Carey, and Abbott fell cheaply. On the other hand, the South African innings was heavily reliant on Temba Bavuma's brilliant 114, with only Marco Jansen managing to contribute substantially. Josh Hazlewood's three-wicket haul, supported by Marcus Stoinis's dual strikes, restricted the hosts effectively.

Injury Concerns

Cameron Green reveals injury timeline ahead of India series
Image Credits: ICC Cricket 

Cam Green's early exit from the match raised concerns. Struck by a Kagiso Rabada delivery that hit his helmet, Green took no further part in the game. He's scheduled for a return in the series finale on September 17 after undergoing precautionary scans.

Conclusion

Labuschagne's unexpected heroics earned him the Player of the Match title, with a touching revelation post-game that his mother, Alta, had intuited his significant role in the match. This win sets the stage for an electrifying series and the upcoming World Cup. Teams now have until September 28 to finalize any adjustments to their World Cup rosters.

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