South Africa vs Australia predictions: Big-hitting Proteas can reach first World Cup final
- South Africa have won their last four ODIs against Australia
- Australia spinner Adam Zampa was the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup league stage with 22
- Recommended bet: South Africa to win
South Africa have never reached a World Cup final but they finished second to India in the league stage of the 2023 tournament after some commanding all-round performances.
The Proteas demolished Australia by 134 runs in their second game, although they can expect a tougher test against the resurgent Aussies in the semi-final at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.
Australia, the most successful team in World Cup history with five titles, are on a seven-game winning streak after their opening defeats to India and South Africa while the threat of rain interruptions in Kolkata only adds to the tension of the occasion.
South Africa rested fast bowler Marco Jansen and spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for their final league game against Afghanistan but both are in contention for recalls.
Captain Temba Bavuma, who suffered a hamstring strain against the Afghans, is back in training. If Bavuma is not fit to play, Aiden Markram will captain the side with Reeza Hendricks coming in to open the batting.
Australia have a settled top three and bowling attack but their middle-order has been an issue.
Wicketkeeper-batter Josh Inglis should keep his place but Marcus Stoinis's spot is under pressure from Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green.
South Africa have won their last four ODIs against Australia.
The Proteas have hit 91 sixes in nine matches at this tournament.
South Africa's Quinton de Kock scored four centuries in the league stage, more than any other batter.
Australia batter Glenn Maxwell (201 not out), Mitchell Marsh (177 not out) and David Warner (163) have made three of the four highest scores at the World Cup.
Aussie leg-spinner Adam Zampa was the leading wicket-taker in the league stage with 22.
Australia lost their first two games of the tournament but have won all seven subsequent matches.
South Africa are hard to trust given their history of knockout-stage heartbreak at major tournaments but their current crop of players should be backed to buck that trend.
They were bowled out for 83 by India's rampant attack at Eden Gardens in their penultimate league fixture but bounced back with a composed five-wicket win over Afghanistan to seal second place in the table.
The Proteas have struck regular blows with the new ball at this tournament and they are capable of exposing a vulnerable Australia middle-order.
The Aussies won their last seven games but they rode their luck in a five-run victory over New Zealand and needed a once-in-a-lifetime innings of 201 not out from Maxwell to avoid a thumping defeat to Afghanistan.
South Africa's De Kock, the second-highest runscorer in the league stage, scored a century in the 134-run win over Australia, who also lost the last three matches of September's ODI series against the Proteas by margins of 111, 164 and 122 runs.