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Choke hold: South Africa’s all heart-breaking losses in World Cup events

Choke hold: South Africa’s all heart-breaking losses in World Cup events

South Africa will be playing their first ever World Cup final against India on Saturday.

South Africa and World Cup semifinals used to be a sporting tragedy but not anymore. Removing the unwanted tag of “chokers” the Proteas marched into their maiden T20 World Cup final. South Africa are now set to take on team India in the final match of the marquee event. Ahead of the IND vs SA T20 World Cup final, let us take a look at all South Africa’s losses in World Cup knockout events.

South Africa vs Australia, 1992 World Cup semi-final

Not quite a choke but just bad luck. Emerging after 22 years of exile, South Africa had everything going for them. However, in the semifinal, rain came, and the equation went from a reasonably gettable 22 off 7 balls, gettable to 22 off just one ball, thanks to a miscommunication on their revised target.

South Africa vs West Indies, 1996 World Cup quarter-final

Having won all their group games, Hansie Cronje and his men started firm favourites against West Indies in the quarterfinal. But Brian Lara played an absolute blinder while spinners Roger Harper and Jimmy Adams spun a web to inflict a 19-run defeat on the Proteas.

South Africa vs Australia, 1999 World Cup semi-final

Chasing a modest 214, South Africa needed nine off the final over with the final pair at the crease. Klusener smashed the first two balls for fours to level the scores, but Allan Donald was run out and the game was tied. Australia went through to the final as they had won the previous game between the teams in the super sixes stage.

South Africa vs Australia, 2007 T20 WC semi-final

South Africa’s decision to bat first backfired dramatically. The revered line-up, including the likes of Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher, was shot out for 149. Australia finished the game off with nearly 20 overs to spare

South Africa vs Pakistan, 2009 T20 WC semi-final

The Proteas had defeated New Zealand, England, West Indies and India to reach the last four stage high on confidence. But a miserly spell by Shahid Afridi stopped them as they failed to chase a reasonably decent 150.

South Africa vs New Zealand, 2011 World Cup quarter final

A line up boasting of AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy failed to chase down a small target of 222 against New Zealand. At 108 for 3 in the 25 overs, South Africa looked set to cruise to victory but then lost next seven wickets for 64 runs.

South Africa vs India, 2014 T20 WC semi-final

South Africa’s semifinal curse continued as they failed to get over the line in another crunch match. This time against a clinical Indian unit.

South Africa vs New Zealand, 2015 World Cup semi-final

The tide didn’t turn for the Proteas. A golden generation of South Africa cricketers, at their peak, had all bases covered. But were knocked out by New Zealand again in the semifinals stage giving yet another heartbreak.

South Africa vs Netherlands, 2022 T20 WC Super 12

A solitary win away from the semifinals, South Africa choked, suffering a 13-run shock defeat at the hands of a spirited Netherlands side.

South Africa vs Australia, 2023 World Cup semi-final

The Proteas galloped through the league stage, even inflicting a massive 134-run defeat on Australia. But when it came to the crucial last four game, South Africa meekly surrendered to the men from Down Under in the semifinals, for their fifth semifinal exit in 50-over World Cups.

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