During the second semi-final match of the 2023 World Cup between Australia and South Africa at Eden Gardens, a youthful cricket enthusiast in the stands recreated Sourav Ganguly's iconic shirtless celebration on the Lord's balcony. The match was closely contested on a challenging surface, making it a thrilling encounter that went down to the wire in the second innings.
Choosing to bat first, South Africa faced a setback and was dismissed for 212 in 49.4 overs. Australia, in response, had a strong start with a 60-run opening partnership within six overs. However, the Proteas spinners slowed down the scoring pace and secured crucial breakthroughs, bringing their team back into contention.
The spectators at Eden Gardens were deeply engaged in the thrilling contest between bat and ball. Their enthusiastic cheers echoed through the stadium for every pivotal moment during the second innings. A notable incident unfolded around the 40th over when South African pacer Gerald Coetzee dismissed Josh Inglis, reducing Australia to 193/7.
In the stands, a young child celebrated the wicket by energetically removing his shirt and twirling it around. This spirited celebration evoked memories of Sourav Ganguly's iconic shirtless celebration on the Lord's balcony after India's victory in the Natwest series final in 2002.
Watch the video here:
Way we started with the bat and the ball was probably the turning point: Temba Bavuma
The outcome of the World Cup semi-final in Kolkata on Thursday was largely influenced by the first ten overs in each innings. Opting to bat, South Africa found themselves at 24 for 4 in under 12 overs, while Australia, chasing a target of just 213, raced away to 74 for 2 in the initial ten overs. According to Temba Bavuma, these early stages decided or shifted the game in favour of Australia. Bavuma praised Australia's "outstanding" performance in their narrow three-wicket win and admitted that South Africa faltered "quite badly" in those crucial few overs.
"Quite hard to put into words. They were outstanding for a large part of the game and thoroughly deserved victory. Looking at the result, I think the way we started with the bat and the ball was probably the turning point. We lost it quite badly there and we always had to play catch-up to get ourselves back into the game," Bavuma said at a post-match conference.