SOUTH Africa were dumped out of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament yesterday, ending yet another abysmal attempt at landing a major limited overs trophy.
South Africa’s fate was decided even before they took the field for their final Super Eight fixture against India last night. For the record, South Africa, despite a fine 65 from Faf du Plessis, slipped to a one-run defeat in the match against the Indians to complete three losses in as many Super Eight games. The result did not help India either, as they too were knocked out of the event as a result of an inferior net run-rate, having needed to beat South Africa by 31 runs or more.
Australia qualified for the semifinals despite losing to Pakistan and will play the West Indies on Friday, while hosts Sri Lanka face Pakistan in the other semi tomorrow.
A dejected South African captain AB de Villiers was at a loss for words, not for the first time in this tournament.
“Every time we put this shirt on it’s a huge honour. We gave it our best again tonight. Unfortunately we weren’t good enough,” said De Villiers.
“I don’t think it was the conditions. We just did not play good cricket. It started against Pakistan where we got ourselves into a winning position and somehow managed to find a way to lose that. We just never clicked in this tournament. We did all the preparation, we fought very hard. It’s very disappointing, especially with all the support we got.”
The Proteas needed Australia to beat Pakistan in the early match yesterday for them to have any chance of progressing to this week’s semi-finals. But the Pakistanis produced a stunning performance with the ball to resign the Aussies to their first defeat of the tournament.
They used a five-pronged spin attack to strangle the life out of the Australians’ pursuit of their 149/6, eventually restricting them to 117/7 to register a crushing 32-run win.
The South Africans will be left rueing the loss against Pakistan in their first Super Eight fixture. It was a game they should have won from a position of strength.
Instead, that result probably secured their flight home. The exit comes after yet another poor performance at an ICC event and the search for elusive silverware continues. In four World T20s, South Africa have only made the semifinals once, in 2009 when they lost to Pakistan in England.