Australia vs South Africa at Manchester weather update, World Cup 2019: With their place in the semi-finals sealed with two group games to spare, Australia's players might have been forgiven for briefly easing off amid a long and grueling Cricket World Cup schedule.
Hasn't turned out that way.
The defending champions fielded a full-strength team in their penultimate group match — an 86-run win over trans-Tasman rival New Zealand — and are likely to keep the big guns in the lineup for Saturday's contest against South Africa in Manchester as they look to clinch a first-place finish in the standings.
The intensity has persisted in training, too.
Just ask Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell.
In what proved to be a brutal net session on Thursday, Maxwell was hit on the right forearm by left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc before Marsh was struck on the right wrist by another quick, Pat Cummins.
Both players were hospitalised, with Marsh — a middle-order batsman — ruled out of the tournament because of a bone fracture that requires surgery.
A sore Maxwell was given the all-clear, while batsman Steve Smith and pace bowler Jason Behrendorff were declared okay despite hurting their fingers in fielding practice.
An eighth group-stage victory for the Australians would guarantee them top spot, no matter what second-placed India do against Sri Lanka earlier on Saturday in Leeds. That would mean Australia returning to Old Trafford to take on New Zealand again in the semifinals, a repeat of the 2015 title match.
As for the Proteas, they were planning for this game to be potentially made or break for their hopes of qualifying for the semifinals.
All the jeopardy has been removed because of a disappointing campaign in which the Proteas have won just two of their eight games.
The previous game at Manchester between India and West Indies went smoothly without any disturbances due to weather. According to Accuweather, the weather for the last game of the tournament is great as well. The last fixture is a Day and Night affair with partial cloud cover and sun during the start of the match while as the day progresses and after the sun sets it will remain very cloudy through the evening with no real rain disturbance expected. The temperature in Manchester is predicted to float between 20 degree Celsius, the maximum, and 12 degrees minimum.
With inputs from AP