ODI World Cup digest: Pakistan need a miracle; Australia seeking seven wins in a row

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The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup is building towards the final on November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you the insights from our reporters on the ground.

Top Story: van der Dussen and Phehlukwayo seal nervy chase for South Africa

South Africa 247 for 5 (van der Dussen 76*, de Kock 41) beat Afghanistan 244 (Omarzai 97*, Coetzee 4-44) by five wickets

A 62-ball partnership of 65 between Rassie van der Dussen and Andile Phehlukwayo shepherded South Africa to a win against Afghanistan in their last league-stage game of the 2023 ODI World Cup, ensuring they didn’t stutter in a tricky chase before their semi-final against Australia.

Phehlukwayo came in as the No. 7 with South Africa needing 63 but with Afghanistan’s spinners then possessing the game’s momentum. Phehlukwayo finished the game with 6, 4, 6 to finish unbeaten on 39 while van der Dussen controlled the chase with his 95-ball 76*.

Rassie van der Dussen held the chase together•AFP/Getty Images

In the afternoon, Gerald Coetzee (4-44) and Keshav Maharaj (2-25) had ensured Afghanistan could only make 244 in 50 overs. In fact, the target could’ve been much less had it not been for Azmatullah Omarzai’s unbeaten 97 that expertly held the crumbling Afghanistan innings together.

News headlines

South Africa’s captain Temba Bavuma could be a doubt for their semi-final against Australia – more than likely to be in Kolkata on Thursday – after sustaining a hamstring injury during their final league match against Afghanistan in Ahmedabad.
Allan Donald is ending his time as Bangladesh’s fast-bowling coach after their World Cup campaign. He informed ESPNcricinfo that he had initially agreed to a one-year extension to his contract, but has since realised that he wants to give more time to his family back home.

Must Watch: Did Temba Bavuma take a risk too many?

Match previews

Australia vs Bangladesh, Pune (10.30 IST; 5.00 GMT; 4.00pm AEDT)

Before Glenn Maxwell unleashed the most surreal batting imaginable, Australia appeared headed for a hefty defeat against Afghanistan and almost getting into must-win territory against Bangladesh. That nervy scenario was alleviated by Maxwell, who powered Australia into a semi-final against South Africa. But Australia won’t be treating this as a dead rubber and will field their strongest available line-up for the clash in Pune.

Even though Australia have won six consecutive matches, after such a rocky start, their form has been patchy at times. They’ve been relying on individual brilliance – none more so than Maxwell’s tour de force – rather than a collective.

Team news

Australia (probable): 1 David Warner, 2 Travis Head, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Steven Smith, 5 Josh Inglis (wk), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Marcus Stoinis/Marnus Labuschagne, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Bangladesh 1 Litton Das, 2 Tanzid Hasan/Anamul Haque, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto (capt), 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 7 Nasum Ahmed/Mahedi Hasan, 8 Towhid Hridoy, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Shoriful Islam

England vs Pakistan, Kolkata (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)

So here we are: one last time in the group stages at Eden Gardens, and for both of these sides – almost certainly – one last time at this World Cup. As title defences go, it was an all-timer of a disaster for England, comparable not just with other cricketing fizzle-fests, but perhaps all sport: think France at the FIFA World Cup in 2002, or Lleyton Hewitt’s first-round exit at Wimbledon the year later. England went nearly a month between their only two World Cup wins, with six defeats – many of them pastings – littering their campaign, one so poor it could yet knock them out of the 2025 Champions Trophy.

Against Pakistan, though, they have the chance to sign off a wretched tournament on something resembling a high. Several of this England squad may not wear an ODI shirt again – certainly not in a World Cup – and it’s perhaps fitting that the last side they play against before their likely break-up is Pakistan.

Team news

England 1 Jonny Bairstow, 2 Dawid Malan, 3 Joe Root, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Jos Buttler (capt/wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 David Willey, 10 Gus Atkinson, 11 Adil Rashid

Pakistan 1 Abdullah Shafique, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Iftikhar Ahmed, 7 Agha Salman, 8 Hasan Ali, 9 Mohammad Wasim Jnr, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf

Comment: England’s golden generation faces the end of an era

It is the end of an era. England will lose their status as reigning champions in both men’s white-ball formats next Sunday, and the golden generation of players who underpinned their unprecedented limited-overs success will splinter. Saturday’s fixture against Pakistan in Kolkata will be the final match of several storied ODI careers.

David Willey has already announced his international retirement, and while there is no incentive for others to follow suit – they all have central contracts which run until September 2024 or beyond – there is widespread recognition that England need to rejuvenate. After all, 11 of their 15-man squad are aged 30 or older.

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