Australia have set up an exciting semi-final clash with tournament hosts England on Thursday night.

The encounter comes after the Aussies 10-run loss against South Africa on Saturday night, while India’s comfortable win over Sri Lanka put them on top of the table setting up a meeting with forth placed New Zealand.

The one that got away

The Proteas got off to a flyer, laying the ground work for a big total. Opener Quinton de Kock blazed the Australian attack early, smacking 52 from just 51 balls.

Rassie van der Dussen and skipper Faf Du Plessis put together a parternship that would help South Africa to a very competitive score. Du Plessis scored an impressive century before being caught in the deep, while van der Dussen anchored the innings with 95 from 97 balls.

Mitchell Starc did his best to curb the hitting, claiming 2 late scalps but it wasn’t enough as the Proteas ended with 6/325 from their 50 overs.

The Australian’s got off to a poor start in the run chase, with skipper Aaron Finch departing in the third over after balloning one to cover off spinner Imran Tahir.

When Usman Khawaja limped off with a dodgy hamstring and Steve Smith was trapped lbw by Dwaine Pretorius, the Aussies were in a world of pain at 2/33 and a man down.

Opener David Warner withstood the early barrage, looking for a partner to stick around. Marcus Stoinis made his bid, as Warner moved passed 50, but an attempt at a quick single saw him run out for 22. Glenn Maxwell also got a start before knicking a short ball that was smartly reigned in by a leaping de Kock.

Alex Carey would be the one to provide some resistance putting on an 108-run stand with Warner, allowing the opener to notch up his third century of the tournament. It took a brilliant catch at mid-on by Chris Morris to remove him and Australia looked done at 5/227.

Carey continued the fight scoring a half century himself but when he fell in the 45th over, the Aussies still required 50 from the last five. Khawaja briefly returned and some late hitting by the tail wasn’t enough as the reigning World Cup holders fell agonisingly short.

The old foe

The semi-final is sure to be a blockbuster, with the home side making a late charge to finish third in the standings. 

England will go in favourites at Edgebaston, despite going down to the Aussies earlier in the tournement but injuries to Khawaja and Stoinis means Australia will need to shake up the squad ahead of the knock out semi-final.

The match will not only decide who will make it through to the Word Cup final but provides an exciting precursor to an explosive Ashes series.