Following his match-winning century against South Africa in the second ODI, Australia batter Marnus Labuschagne said that getting to ICC Cricket World Cup spot is not in his control and all he can do is enjoy his game and added that he felt he could have scored more. Australia sealed their place at the summit of the ICC Men’s ODI rankings by dethroning Pakistan following their dominant display against South Africa in the 2nd ODI of the three-match ODI series, beating them by 123 runs.
“Most of them are family. It is always nice, a bit of added pressure. It is nice to be scoring some runs in front of friends and family. I still think I left a few runs out there, thought I could have opened up and taken us to 430. But as the game does, it leaves you wanting more. You have got to be content. I was happy with how we got about it. We got to a great start with the bat and put pressure on them straight away. WC spot is one of those things that is not in my control at all. My thing is just enjoying playing cricket,” said the Australian batter in a post-match presentation.
“Like I said to Shamsi, ‘If I go home, I get to see my daughter; if I go to the World Cup, I will get to play a World Cup for Australia,’ so my job is to keep well,” added Labuschagne.
Since Labuschagne was denied a WC spot due to his lacklustre ODI performances since 2022, the batter has made a timely statement ever since he wore the yellow colours again as a concussion substitute for Cameron Green in the first ODI against Proteas.
With a gutsy 80* in 93 balls in a difficult situation in that match and now a century, Labuschagne has made his intentions clear, that he wants to be a serious white-ball player as well, whose spot in any big tournament should not be questioned.
He has won ‘Player of the Match’ awards in both matches and is the leading run-scorer in the series with 204 runs.
Labuschagne also brought up his 1,000 ODI runs. In 32 ODIs and 30 innings, he has scored 1,051 runs at an average of 37.53 and a SR of 86.85, with two centuries and seven fifties. This year in four innings, he has scored 247 ODI runs at an average of over 82.33, with one century and a fifty.
Coming to the match, South Africa opted to field first. Australia put on an opening partnership of 109 runs between Warner and Head (64 in 36 balls, with nine fours and three sixes).
Then knocks from Marnus Labuschagne (124 in 99 balls with 19 fours and one six) and Josh Inglis (50 in 37 balls with seven fours and a six) helped Australia reach 392/8 in 50 overs, which is their third-highest ODI total, with the second-best score being 417/6 against Afghanistan (2015) and 434/4 against South Africa (2006) being their best score.
Tabraiz Shamsi (4/61) was the pick of the bowlers for SA. Kagiso Rabada took two wickets while Marco Jansen, Andile Phehlukwayo took a wicket each.
In the chase of 393, SA got off to a promising start with Quinton de Kock (45 in 30 balls with six fours and two sixes) and skipper Temba Bavuma (46 in 40 balls with four boundaries and three sixes) stitching an 81-run opening stand.
After that SA sunk to 119/4. Then a 58-run partnership between Heinrich Klaasen (49 in 36 balls with three fours and three sixes) and David Miller (49 in 52 balls with six fours) and 64-run stand between Miller and Marco Jansen (23) took SA near 250 runs, but they could not provide enough fight and bundled out for 269 in 41.5 overs.
Adam Zampa (4/48) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia. Sean Abbott, Nathan Ellis and Aaron Hardie got two wickets each.
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