Eden Gardens, Kolkata. (Photo Source: BCCI)
South Africa and Australia are set to lock horns in what promises to be a mouth-watering second semi-final at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday, November 16.
Rain Gods have been kind for most parts of the marquee event. However, fans are always worried about how the weather is going to shape up on a particular matchday as rain has played spoilsport on many occasions in major ICC events in the past. It hasn’t rained in Kolkata for the last few weeks and the four games that were held at Eden Gardens in the ongoing World Cup saw no rain interruptions.
However, there is a 24 percent chance of rain on Thursday, as per Weather.com. At night, the rain threat increases as there is a probability of 64 percent. Eden Gardens has one of the best drainage facilities going around in Indian cricket and that should keep the fans hopeful. There is also a reserve day on Friday. However, the forecast for that day is even more concerning. It is important to note that in case the game ends in a no-result, the Proteas will advance as they finished higher on the points table after the league phase, in comparison to Australia.
How is the pitch expected to behave?
The Eden Gardens has provided one of the most balanced pitches so far in the ODI World Cup 2023. There has been enough assistance for bowlers, while batters have also scored runs when they have given themselves a bit of time in the middle.
Three out of the four games have been won by the team batting first. The pitches have also favoured spinners as games have gone on. South Africa have two frontline spinners – Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi, while Australia have the in-form Adam Zampa in their ranks. South Africa have the advantage of playing one game at this venue in this tournament but it didn’t turn out to be a memorable affair. Temba Bavuma and Co. lost to India by a mammoth 243 runs. In the league stage, the Proteas defeated Australia by 134 runs but the ‘Men in Yellow’ have subsequently registered seven consecutive wins. Cricket enthusiasts can expect a humdinger of a contest when these two sides collide once again.