Alex Carey’s blistering 69-ball 85 and another David Warner World Cup century proved not enough for Australia when the team lost 10 at South Trafford to South Africa.
Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock gave South Africa a race start at Old Trafford after Faf Du Plessis won the match, and decided on bat. The opener put 73 in the top 10 overs to give the Proteas the most productive powerplay of the tournament.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon entered the fight, and his exploratory lines saw him remove Markram and De Kock. Rassie van der Dussen struggled early in his innings against the precision of Lyon, but gained in confidence next to his skipper.
Van der Dussen went to his third half of the tournament before moving on to Plessis – who finished unbeaten at 96 against Sri Lanka on Monday – to his twelfth ODI-hundred. He threw the next ball at Jason Behrendorff, but continued to run out of van der Dussen’s racket.
Unfortunately, for the right-hander, he missed a first World Cup ton when he lost 95 in the last ball of the innings. Nonetheless, he received a lot of applause and his strike helped South Africa to an impressive 325/6.
The South Africans had an excellent start when Imran Tahir, who played his last ODI, brought down Aaron Finch from the first ball of the third ball. Usman Khawaja left the field with a hamstring problem before Steve Smith fell to Dwaine Pretorius for 7. Marcus Stoinis prevailed with David Warner against 62, before a moment of brilliance from De Kock tripped the all-rounder. De Kock followed suit with a great catch to remove Glenn Maxwell and make matters worse for Australia.
Nonetheless, Warner continued and rose to his third hundredth of the tournament. With Carey at his side, Australia reached the 40th place in the game with 99 runs, but the left-hander succumbed to a superb diving success from Chris Morris. Carey then raised his gears with some great hits to keep hopes alive for a win.
The left-hander threatened to get something special before he fell victim to Morris. An injured Khawaja returned – and Mitchell Starc struck a few pleasurable blows – but it was all in vain when South Africa lost the champions and relegated Australia to second place in the group standings.