NEWS SPORTS

Aussies in for a hiding, provided complacency does not overwhelm the Proteas in WC semis

SA Proteas are raring to get off that monkey off their backs as they face Australia in the semi-finals of the Mens Cricket World Cup in India, on Thursday.

In earlier stages, Proteas thumped Aussies by 134 runs to make it to the knockout stages.

The team has been receiving much needed support, following the win by the Springboks in defending their RWC in France recently.

In relaying the same support, the Portfolio Committee on Sports, Arts and Culture has wished the South African Cricket team well in the semifinal on Thursday.

The Chairperson of the committee, Beauty Dlulane, said the entire country is behind the Proteas and that the team needs to focus on the job at hand.

“We want the team to know that they are carrying the hopes of so many South Africans, but the enormity of the expectation need not overwhelm them. South Africa is equally aware of the task at hand, as they do,” said Dlulane.

“Temba and the team need to draw courage from the Springboks and what they had just achieved, and how they went about realizing their dream,” she added.

Dlulane said South Africa was a proud and motivated nation and that will be on full display on Thursday. 

“Would it not be beautiful if the Proteas won the semifinal, and progress to the final for the first time in their history. What makes this fixture enticing is the possibility of having to play 1 and 2 in world, as well as world’s favourite and host; exactly as was the case with rugby World Cup in France.”

South Africa plays Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, while the first semifinal will be contested by India and New Zealand at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

On Bavuma, the captain tweaked his hamstring in the Proteas’ win over Afghanistan last week, and there was a real fear he wouldn’t recover in time for the semi-final.

The 33-year-old strained his right hamstring while fielding on Friday, and struggled with the bat, scoring 23 as the Proteas successfully chased down Afghanistan’s 244 to win the game by five wickets.

Bavuma has played well for the Proteas this year, and remains a key figure in the team despite struggling to get going in this World Cup.

According to a report in Rapport, Bavuma took part in training on Monday, watched by physiotherapist Sizwe Hadebe and conditioning coach Runeshan Moodley.

Image (Proteas captain Themba Bavuma, is recovering from injury. They play Aussies in the semis on Thursday).

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