That’s it from us from the group stages. India and New Zealand will face-off at Old Trafford on July 9. England will face Australia at Leeds on July 11.

Du Plessis: It will be an India and England final but I must say India and Australia play the big games very well. I have tried to figure out why I bat nicely against them, it’s about reflecting it just a night before. New Zealand’s form has dipped in the last three games.

Finch: We have to wait for Khawaja’s scan. Not sure about Stoinis too, tough to know. The whole Australian team is here, the four day guys and one-day guys. It’s going to be a block-buster against England, hopefully it’s a great game.


Lyon is the last man to be out. He tries to clear the rope but the slow ball does the trick for Phehlukwayo. Du Plessis at wide long on takes the catch and the South Africa fans are cock-a-hoop. India top the table with Australia on second. It was an enthralling encounter.

After 48.5 overs, Australia 306/9 – Mitchell Starc out!

Kagiso Rabada’s stumps is cleaned up as Rabada goes full and straight. Starc tries the big heave down the ground, misses, and perishes. South Africa now might breathe easy.

M Starc b Rabada 16 (11)

After 48.1 overs, Australia 301/8 – Usman Khawaja out!

Khawaja tried to be cute on that occasion and it could have been a cheeky boundary to him. Unfortunately, the ball clips the stumps as he goes for the paddle. Unfortunate for the left-hander, who made a brave re-entry after pulling his hamstring.

U Khawaja b Rabada 18 (14)

After 48 overs, Australia 301/7 – Khawaja 18, Starc 16

Big over! Seventeen from it. Lusty hitting from Starc. It goes clean off his arc and manages to clear long on. Then, he smashes a full-toss down the ground for a four. Khawaja moves across and flicks it away to the deep square-leg fence. What an over. Australia are in the chase, they need 25 from 12.

After 47 overs, Australia 284/7 – Khawaja 12, Starc 5

A wayward delivery on the leg side is punished from Rabada and gets a paddle down to fine leg for a four. Just seven off it. Australia need a big one in the 48th.

Usman Khawaja is back on the field

After 45.2 overs, Australia 272/7 – ALEX CAREY OUT!

That will be the end of the chase. Carey tried to chip in the extra cover region but the ball hit him high on his bat and Markram made no mistake at deep cover. This innings deserved a better ending. Carey, you are amazing.

A Carey c Markram b Morris 85 (69)

After 44.4 overs, Australia 272/6 – Pat Cummins out!

Breakthrough for South Africa but it might not be the wicket they need right now. Cummins tries to go for a big heave but doesn’t get the distance on it. Simple catch for Duminy at mid-on.

P Cummins c Duminy b Phehlukwayo 9 (15)

After 44 overs, Australia 269/5 – Carey 83, Cummins 8

Twelve from the over and Carey is seeing it like a football. The last four overs have cost the Proteas 42 runs. The spin ploy of Du Plessis is not working at the moment. Tahir and Shamsi were taken apart at will. The South Africans need to do something. We are sure the Indian fans are tuned into this.

After 43 overs, Australia 257/5 – Carey 72, Cummins 7

Brilliant batting from Carey. Simply majestic hitting and Tahir goes for 16 runs in that over. He plays a straight bat to get boundaries. One delivery fell in the slot and the left-hander heaved that over long-on for a big six. This is incredible. Are we witnessing something special? Even Cummins is in on the act.

After 41 overs, Australia 236/5 – Carey 58, Cummins 1

Don’t count out Carey. He steps out and bashes a lose one from Tahir down the ground for a boundary. Decent over Australia but now, the run rate has crept above 10. They need these two to play a blinder. No word out on Khawaja yet.

After 40 overs, Australia 227/5 – David Warner out!

What a catch and South Africa have the wicket they needed. The idea was right but Chris Morris, running sideways, took a magnificent catch diving to his left. Incredible from the South Africa all-rounder and Warner can’t see it through. What a knock!

D Warner c Morris b Pretorius 122 (117)

After 38 overs, Australia 220/4 – Warner 121, Carey 45

Good comeback from Morris, using his cutters well and keeping it to the stumps. Just five singles from the over but the batsmen complete their 100-run stand.

After 37 overs, Australia 215/4 – Warner 118, Carey 43

This is incredible from Warner. He is manipulating the field like a chess Grand Master at the moment. The southpaw goes behind square and lofts it over extra cover. Carey set the tone at the start of the over by bashing it down the ground. There was no man in the deep. The runs keep on coming. Sixteen from the over. Shamsi goes for plenty.

After 36 overs, Australia 199/4 – Warner 109, Carey 36

Carey attacks Tahir and Warner goes after Morris. This is sumptuous batting from Australia. The South Africans are bereft of ideas at the moment and are looking for the batsmen to do something silly. At the moment, they are cruising at a little over an eight runs an over. The Proteas still have the measure of the required run rate.

After 34 overs, Australia 183/4 – Warner 101, Carey 29

Another hundred for Warner as he steers the ball down to the third man fence. He got to 97 with a flick to the fine-leg boundary. Not a good comeback over for Morris. It has been another sensational ton for the opener. There are some boos but he won’t care. What a World Cup he is having. Australia’s chase is on, even if it is improbable. It’s his 17th and fourth in World Cups.

After 33 overs, Australia 174/4 – Warner 93, Carey 28

Shamsi, Duminy....and now Tahir is back into the attack. Spin continues to be Du Plessis’ go-to route of attack for the time being. Warner enters the nineties with a chip to the extra cover boundary. Carey, once again, is his busy self and is harmlessly knocking it around. The chase is on if this partnership keeps motoring along in this manner.

After 31 overs, Australia 157/4 – Warner 88, Carey 17

Warner continues to go from strength-to-strength and continues to target Shamsi despite coming close to giving his wicket away. A good partnership will lift Australia’s hopes. With spin in operation, the big shot is on. Warner is on course for a century.

After 29 overs, Australia 141/4 – Warner 78, Carey 11

Ohhh...Warner steps out and tries to clear long-on but the ball falls just over VDD, who was running backwards. Nervy times for Australia fans. They are one wicket away from a freefall.

After 27 overs, Australia 131/4 – Warner 67, Carey 8

The South Africans have kept the run flow in check. Shamsi has been getting turn and bounce and Warner and Carey have to contend with taking singles. The required run rate is steadily going up. The Aussies need a couple of big overs.

After 24.1 overs, Australia 119/4 – Warner 67

WICKET! Maxwell is gone! Australia are under the pump! The right-hander goes for a pull but gets an edge, QdK does the rest and completes a stunning catch. Kagiso Rabada has his first wiwkcte. Alex Carey is the new man at the crease.

Maxwell c De Kock b Rabada 12 (20)

After 21 overs, Australia 107/3 – Warner 61, Maxwell 6

Well, we have a chase on our hands? Maxwell and Warner get boundaries off Phehlukwayo and the scoreboard keeps ticking. Will we have a Maxi special?

After 18.3 overs, Australia 95/3 – Marcus Stoinis out!

Brilliant from Dhoni..apologies..De Kock. Australians were taking a cheeky single and De Kock, without looking, runs the ball onto the stumps. This is potentially game-changing and special bit of work from the keeper.

M Stoinis run out (Rabada/de Kock) 22(34)

After 16 overs, Australia 81/2 – Warner 47, Stoinis 16

Warner is middling it like a dream now and Stoinis is giving him good support n the middle. Morris’ slow delivery didn’t fetch him any luck and Warner dispatched it to the stands. Australia are building good overs in a stretch.

After 13 overs, Australia 62/2 – Warner 33, Stoinis 11

After consecutive good overs for Pretorius, Stoinis plays a classy drive through point for a boundary. Then, Warner deliberately runs it down to the third man fence for another four. A big partnership is the need of the hour for Australia.

After 12 overs, Australia 51/2 – Warner 28, Stoinis 6

Warner continues to punish anything outside off and Morris does not enjoy a good welcome to the crease. The South Africa pacer corrects his line and goes straight. Dot balls from the rest of the over.

After 10 overs, Australia 44/2 – Warner 23, Stoinis 4

Over-pitched from Rabada, who hasn’t done much wrong so far and Stoinis creams it for a boundary through the covers. The all-rounder also gets off the mark.

After 9 overs, Australia 39/2 – Warner 22, Stoinis 0

If someone hasn’t told you yet, India are top of the table. Australia need to win to leapfrog them and play New Zealand. Just a leg-bye from the over and South Africa are on top at the moment. Pretorius is giving nothing away.

After 8 overs, Australia 38/2 – Warner 22, Stoinis 0

Warner is clearing out his front leg and going for his shots. The Australian opener is not holding back. He pulls Rabada and the ball goes to the fine leg fence for a four.

After 6.3 overs, Australia 33/2 – Steve Smith out!

Big, big wicket for South Africa and Pretorius strikes in his first over. The batsmen deliberate over the decision but Smith walks off to cheers and boos from the English public. Australia are effectively three-down.

S Smith lbw b Pretorius 7 (6)

After 6 overs, Australia 29/1 – Warner 17, Smith 3

What a miss! The batsmen decide to go for a suicidal third run and Tahir’s throw was good. De Kock returned the ball to Rabada, only for the pacer to miss it. Smith survives. Warner pours scorn in Rabada’s wounds the next ball, pulling him for a six over deep mid-wicket. As Tony Greig would say, “It’s all happening here.”

After 5 overs, Australia 20/1 – Warner 11, Smith 0

Smith is in the middle and this is not good news for Australia, almost nothing going their way so far. Two runs from the over.

Khawaja is walking off the field after suffering a hamstring injury.

After 4 overs, 18/1 – Warner 10, Khawaja 5

Slightly short from Rabada and Warner comes up with his trademark short-arm jab for a four. But then, Rabada comes up with two gems outside off. There is some extra pacer for the South Africa pacer. South Africa have a spring in their step.

After 3 overs, 13/1 – Warner 5, Khawaja 5

Khawaja plays a lovely cover drive for a boundary to end the over. Australia’s chase gathers some momentum but there was nearly a mix-up between these two.

After 2.1 overs, 5/1 – Aaron Finch out!

Nothing shot from Finch and Tahir is up and away and almost reaches the boundary ropes. The leg-spinner is surrounded by his teammates and what a big wicket this is. Good catch by Markram in the covers.

A Finch c Markram b Tahir 3 (4)

After 2 overs, 5/0 – Warner 2, Finch 3

Careful from Warner and Finch in the early overs. Warner not taking any chances against Rabada early on after the Proteas opened with Tahir first up. Good start for South Africa in the first two overs. The pressure is on the Aussies straight away.


What a pity. VDD tried to smash one out of the park in the last ball of the innings but couldn’t get the timing on the slow delivery from Cummins. Simple catch for Maxwell at deep mid-wicket, who also sushes the crowd following his take. VDD finishes at 95. A future leader for South Africa for sure. The Proteas are in command.

After 48.5 overs, South Africa are 317/5 – Dwaine Pretorius out!

That’s more like it for Starc. Over the wicket and the ball jags away from Pretorius at the last second and sees his stumps cleaned up. That’s wicket no 26 for the left-armer. Simply sensational from Starc, who, as we mentioned earlier is struggling a bit.

After 48 overs, South Africa are 313/4 – Van der Dussen 90, Pretorius 1

VDD is in supreme touch! Cummins goes short to test the batsmen and gets clubbed for a six and four on the leg side. This is imperious. This man averages 80 in ODIs and for a good reason too. South Africa are looking at 340 and one suspects that they already have a match-winning score on the board.

After 46.4 overs, South Africa are 295/4 – JP Duminy out!

Fine catch at long on by Stoinis. Starc gets his 25th wicket of the tournament as Duminy tries to slog one out of the park. Is this his last international innings? We’ll find out. Starc is still struggling and this is not good news.

After 46 overs, South Africa are 290/3 – Van der Dussen 73, Duminy 11

SIX, FOUR....there is nothing that is not coming off for the South Africans today. Maxwell goes for plenty. You can’t go full on this wicket. VDD adds another stylish six to his tally. Duminy is up and away by making room and spanking it through the covers.

After 45 overs, South Africa are 276/3 – Van der Dussen 64, Duminy 6

Good comeback over from Starc, giving away just five singles from it. Australia have pulled it back nicely in the last four overs. However, there is a little bit of a worry for the Aussies as Starc was seen struggling following his run up.

After 44 overs, South Africa are 271/3 – Van der Dussen 62, Duminy 3

Maxwell continues to contribute to the extras tally. Duminy and VDD are happy to rotate strike in the over. Seven from it. Starc has been given the ball.

After 43 overs, South Africa are 265/3 – Du Plessis out!

Du Plessis gets to his century and goes. Finally, a breakthrough for Dorff. The slower ball does the trick for the left-armer. Du Plessis goes for a mighty heave, gets a top edge and Starc once again takes a catch at short third-man. What an innings. You could see what that meant to Du Plessis.

F Du Plessis c Starc b Behrendoff 100 (94)

After 42 overs, South Africa are 257/2 – Du Plessis 97, Van der Dussen 55

Lyon comes back into the attack but the boundary hitting doesn’t stop. Clever reverse paddle from VDD, who continues to motor along nicely. Six from the over.

After 41 overs, South Africa are 251/2 – Du Plessis 96, Van der Dussen 51

Fifty for Van der Dussen! He gets there with a quick single. There was a direct hit that was referred to the third umpire but his dive saved him. Another fruitless over for Behrendorff and the South Africans have got to the 250-run mark.

After 40 overs, South Africa are 245/2 – Du Plessis 92, Van der Dussen 49

Four from the over and much needed respite for the Australians. VDD has been susceptible with the short delivery and and yet again, Cummins tests him with a quick one.

After 39 overs, South Africa are 241/2 – Du Plessis 90, Van der Dussen 47

Another SIX! What a hit from VDD, carting Behrendorff deep into the deep mid-wicket stands. Terrific pickup and smash from the South African batsman. Finch is unable to stop this onslaught at the moment and Australia are looking at a huge total.

After 37 overs, South Africa are 227/2 – Du Plessis 86, Van der Dussen 37

Everything going South Africa’s way at the moment. Behrendorff goes for two boundaries in the over. On both ocassions, he lofted the ball over the mid-on fielder. Carey coming up to the stumps didn’t help Australia. The runs are coming and thick and fast and the Australian bowlers are looking a pale shadow of what they were in the last few games.

After 36 overs, South Africa are 217/2 – Du Plessis 77, Van der Dussen 36

SIX! Hundred partnership between Du Plessis and VDD. The latter steps out and hits it over long off. Maxwell goes for runs now and that also brings up the 100 partnership between the two players.

After 35 overs, South Africa are 208/2 – Du Plessis 75, Van der Dussen 29

SIX! Faf du Plessis is feeling it! Nathan Lyon tosses it up and the South African skipper hits a superb slog-sweep for a maximum. That went over the long boundary. The Proteas will go well past 300 if Faf goes on like this.

After 33 overs, South Africa are 193/2 – Du Plessis 65, Van der Dussen 24

Big over for South Africa! Stunning strokeplay from Faf du Plessis. The right-hander steps out to Pat Cummins and thumps it straight back for a six. He follows that up with a fierce square-cut for four. 14 runs come from that over.

After 31 overs, South Africa are 175/2 – Du Plessis 51, Van der Dussen 22

VDD is looking to cut loose and for the third time, the ball bounces in front of a fielder as he goes for a big shot. Du Plessis gets to his fifty in the meanwhile. Can he convert this into a big score? No luck for Starc today. The pacer has just completed his sixth over and has been expensive.

After 29 overs, South Africa are 167/2 – Du Plessis 48, Van der Dussen 18

Starc’s comeback over was going well before he over-pitches in the final ball of the over. Four more for Du Plessis and the Proteas are chipping away. Where was this version of them all tournament?

After 28 overs, South Africa are 162/2 – Du Plessis 44, Van der Dussen 17

Two twos for Du Plessis from the over. The South African captain has been responsible today and the two batsmen are ticking the strike over well. The Australians are getting a little twitchy on the field.

After 27 overs, South Africa are 157/2 – Du Plessis 42, Van der Dussen 16

Finally, VDD is getting a move on with the scoring rate as Maxwell and Stoinis are bowling in tandem here. While the batsmen are not getting boundaries, they are able to rotate strike a lot better now.

After 26 overs, South Africa are 148/2 – Du Plessis 38, Van der Dussen 9

Australia are sloppy on the field and they are leaking singles and twos. Du Plessis has got a start and with the field spread out, he is able to rotate strike well.

After 24 overs, South Africa are 136/2 – Du Plessis 31, Van der Dussen 5

MISS! What a big let off that was. VDD, who has been out of sorts, steps out and Alex Carey makes a mess of it. Maybe, there was tennis ball bounce as the ball came to him.

After 23 overs, South Africa are 133/2 – Du Plessis 29, Van der Dussen 4

Marcus Stoinis is introduced into the attack and we presume that Glenn Maxwell will also be coming into the attack at some stage. Lyon has completed eight overs on the trot. The batsmen are ticking over but VDD is struggling.

After 21 overs, South Africa are 124/2 – Du Plessis 23, Van der Dussen 3

The scoring rate has dropped and VDD gets a nasty hit on the helmet off Cummins. The pacer, though, has been poor with his lengths today and the batsmen continue to milk him for runs.

After 17.4 overs, South Africa are 114/2 – De Kock out!

Another one for Gazza and De Kock, like Markram, throws it away after a good start. He goes for a slog sweep and Lyon gets turn away from the batsman. It’s a top edge and Starc at short third-man takes a simple catch.

Q de Kock c Starc b Lyon 52 (51)

After 17 overs, South Africa are 112/1 – Fifty for De Kock

Smith’s first ball is a lose half-tracker and De Kock dispatches it to the the deep square-leg boundary. Fifty for him, his third of the tournament. However, the former Australian captain comes back well in the over, dragging his length back and bowling it slower through the air. He gets four dot balls before De Kock gets a single of the final ball of the over.

Steve Smith is into the attack suprise, surprise....there are boos.

After 16 overs, South Africa are 107/1 – De Kock 41, Du Plessis 15

Whoa, where was this De Kock all tournament? He paddles Lyon down to the fine leg boundary. Four more. Terrific batting from the southpaw and South Africa look good for a big one. Drinks called and Australia need it more than anyone.

After 15 overs, South Africa are 102/1 – De Kock 41, Du Plessis 15

Out of form, you said? Du Plessis plays a superb cut short behind point to get a boundary. Starc then over-pitches and gets punished again, another four to finish the over. There was four leg-byes too. Will the real Australia please stand up. The left-armer went around the wicket but had no luck.

After 14 overs, South Africa are 90/1 – De Kock 41, Du Plessis 6

Once again, Lyon is teasing the batsmen outside off. He nearly had Du Plessis bowled but South Africa milk out a couple of twos from the over. Six from the over. The strip is still ideal for batting.

After 13 overs, South Africa are 84/1 – De Kock 38, Du Plessis 4

Australia have pulled things back nicely. Dorff comes back and Du Plessis is up and away with a drive. Just four from the over.

After 11.3 overs, South Africa are 79/1 – Aiden Markram out!

There goes the wicket of Markram. There is drift and turn for Lyon. Carey is quick behind the stumps and the opener can’t get his foot behind the line. Oh dear, Markram was lookin in solid touch.

A Markram st Carey b Lyon 34 (37)

After 11 overs, South Africa are 78/0 – Markram 34, De Kock 36

Behrendorff concedes just one from the over and Australia have some much needed breathing space. Cummins, meanwhile, is struggling to get his lengths right. Steady batting from South Africa.

After 9 overs, South Africa are 72/0 – Markram 32, De Kock 33

Width on offer again from Cummins and De Kock cuts away to the fence. What can Finch do? Australians have been short and wide and the runs continue to flow.

After 8 overs, South Africa are 66/0 – Markram 32, De Kock 27

Cummins comes in and he goes for a boundary as well. That was drilled hard down the ground and once again, Finch is unable to leak the flow of boundaries. Nine from the over.

After 6 overs, South Africa are 48/0 – Markram 25, De Kock 20

Markram’s boundary hitting spree continues and he gets another four. Now, Nathan Lyon gets the treatment. The Australians need to do something about this quickly.

After 5 overs, South Africa are 42/0 – Markram 20, De Kock 15

De Kock comes to the party with a crisp cover drive. Starc then strays on the leg side and the South African keeper flicks off his pads to get eight from the over.

After 4 overs, South Africa are 34/0 – Markram 20, De Kock 7

More good shots for Markram and he gets back-to-back boundaries. His on drives have been a treat to watch and yet again, Behrendorff pays the price for over-pitching. The runs keep coming thick and fast for the Proteas.

After 3 overs, South Africa are 25/0 – Markram 12, De Kock 6

Starc is more at the stumps this time but also delivers a wide. Markram is timing the ball sweetly at the moment. The Australians have been ragged so far.

After 2 overs, South Africa are 21/0 – Markram 12, De Kock 3

Aiden Markram is off to a fluent start at Old Trafford. Jason Behrendorff does well to concede just three runs in his first five balls but bowls the last one slightly full, Markram leans forward and plays a wonderful on-the-rise cover-drive for four. Good start for the Proteas.

After 1 over, South Africa are 14/0 – Markram 8, De Kock 0

Not an ideal start for Australia with the ball. Mitchell Starc runs in for the first delivery and bowls it way wide down the leg side for five wides. Aiden Markram then plays two fine square-cuts for fours. 14 runs come from the first over.

5:48 pm: Pitch and conditions report by Pommie Mbangwa and Michael Slater –

“Fantastic that the weather’s been good. Been some rain earlier but the clouds seem to have burst away. Probably the quickest pitch in England going around. 293 is the average total recently. Don’t be put off by the straw colour. The pitch is so hard underneath. Other element to know is that the cloud cover is going to clear. Going to be batting friendly, but it’ll be quick as well for the pacers.”

5:46 pm: Australian captain Aaron Finch at the toss –

“Nice to recharge the batteries, had a hectic period for a bit in the middle. Pleased that we’ve continued to improve in all areas of the game. We’re unchanged again. Behrendorff has been bowling beautifully with the new ball. Starc, Cummins, Lyon, everyone’s been chipping in, even with the bat.”

5:43 pm: South African captain Faf du Plessis at the toss –

“Looks a good wicket. We have one forced change. Playing a second spinner. Hashim Amla got hit on the knee yesterday, he’s missing. Chance to look at Shamsi. We haven’t played our best cricket in this World Cup. Today is a big occasion. South Africa-Australia games are a big occasion to be a part of.”

5:40 pm: Australia are going in with an unchanged team. Here’s their playing XI –

David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (w), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon.

5:38 pm: South Africa have rested Hashim Amla. Here’s their playing XI –

Quinton de Kock (w), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Jean-Paul Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.

5:33 pm: TOSS

Faf du Plessis wins the toss and South Africa will BAT first!

5:15 pm: Hello everyone and welcome to live coverage of the final league match of this World Cup. Today, Australia take on South Africa at the Old Trafford in Manchester.

This match gains prominence because the defending champions have the opportunity to finish at the top of the points table. If Australia defeat South Africa, they’ll face New Zealand in the semi-finals.

However, if the five-time champions lose to the Proteas, and India beat Sri Lanka, then Australia will finish second on the table and face third-placed England in the semis.