Six Moments At ICC Tournaments South African Fans Would Rather Forget


“South Africa to win need 22 runs off 1 ball”

To find the start of the Proteas’ abusive relationship with ICC tournaments, one has to go back to their first World Cup in 1992.

In the semi-final against England in Sydney, the 22 runs off 13 balls required looked gettable. Then it rained briefly, and in these dark age pre-Duckworth Lewis times, the scoreboard showed that the chase got changed to 22 runs off 1 ball.

In truth, they actually needed 21 runs off 1 ball, but stressing that point is a bit like correcting grammar after hearing a eulogy.

They say the first cut is the deepest. How wrong that turned out to be.

That run out

Nope, sorry. 17 years ago and still not ready to talk about it.

Hello Duckworth, my old friend

South Africa gave an important World Cup lesson for the world to learn in 2003 in Durban. Now everyone knows that the score written on the D/L sheet is what’s required to tie, not win.

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Rain. Confusion. Disbelief. Knocked out. Captain Shaun Pollock holding his head in his hands. A nation united in mass swearing.

Strangely, it’s never seemed that painful. That’s probably because the situation was almost impressively inconceivable. Looking back is a bit like laughing while reading through the Darwin Awards.

“What do you mean we’ve been knocked out?” in 2007

Let’s move away from all the unseemly ODI exits, even though there are many, many more. After all, the World T20 has also presented the Proteas with many weird and wonderful ways to get knocked out.

Take the inaugural tournament held in South Africa for example. Unbeaten going into their final group game, the Proteas didn’t even need to beat India. They didn’t even need to tie. They just needed to not get totally hammered to get through on net run rate.

India batted first and scored 153. South Africa needed just 126 to skip their way to a home semi-final. They only managed 116 in their 20 overs and yet another extraordinary form of tournament exit was found.

Hopes going Boom Boom at Trent Bridge

Like the ODI World Cup, the most tragic World T20 exit happened in England because that was the team that had the best chance of winning it.

South Africa romped to a semi-final against Pakistan with the foreign press continually throwing around words like ‘favourites’, ‘relentless’ and ‘juggernaut’.

Then Shahid ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi spent 45 minutes slogging and helped Pakistan get to 149. Then he took the wickets of Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers in successive overs. Jacques Kallis’ lone hand innings eventually ended and the Proteas were all match-winnered out.

It all ended so quickly. Suppose that’s how T20 cricket is supposed to be.

Not being good enough to choke in 2012

The exit in the World T20 in Sri Lanka had one silver lining; the Proteas couldn’t be accused of choking because they weren’t even playing when they got knocked out.

South Africa had lost both their group games, but would have had a glimmer of net run rate hope in their final game if Australia beat Pakistan.

Australia then got duly thrashed, meaning South Africa got to play a dead rubber against India which they lost, rendering all ‘what ifs’ well and truly moot.

Will the Proteas give us a similar exit to any of the above in 2016? Or will there perhaps be a combination of two or more? A nation holds their breath. A sensible move when worried about choking.

Source: The South

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