It was a devestating day for South Africans as the world’s number one ODI team crashed out of the showpiece event during Tuesday’s dramatic Cricket World Cup semi-final clash between South Africa and New Zealand. New Zealand was able to reach their maiden CWC final after a four wicket victory over the Proteas.
South Africa, going into the game as favorites, put in a brave fight but were outdone by a mixture of bad weather, and a master class from New Zealand’s Johannesburg batsman, Grant Elliot who hit 84 not out.
The Proteas were restricted to 281-5 over 43 overs, in a game in which the Duckworth-Lewis method was implemented as a result of the rain. The score was adjusted to 298, one short of the Black Caps 299 all out.
Despite the result, South African supporters and cricket neutrals took to the various social media platforms with strong sentiments. Whilst some lamented the team living up once again to its chocker tag, others recognized the effort and fight put in by the Proteas against a resilient Black Caps side.
“SA remain chokers and have become idiots. You put up a formidable score and go and give away the game. How can you give away runs upfront of an innings? In the first 10 overs you keep it simple as you are not under pressure. LINE AND LENGTH, PITCHING THE BALL IN THE RIGHT SPOTS is all you need to do. You rather allow your opposition to take control of the game. I do not see them ever getting to another final in many years to come. Missing catches and run outs at crucial stages do not do you any favours. CHOKERS!!! CHOKERS!!! CHOKERS,” said an outraged Hanif Loonat.
A disappointed Ashraf Kenny said he was still proud to call himself a Protea.
“We’ve waited for the chance to see you lift that CWC trophy and it pains me to know that we will have to wait another 4 years to see you give it a go.Too many missed opportunities and rookie error’s from senior players sealed our fate. We took them to the wire and got electrocuted with 1 ball to spare,” he added.
“The subscriber you have dialled is drowning his sorrows,” said a disappointed Robin Adams, Al Jazeera’s sports anchor.
“@officialCSA #Proteafire South Africa is very proud of you guys and we know that you gave it your all. Let’s keep the @Proteafire burning,” tweeted user @Tshepiso_rueben.
His sentiments were mirrored by @MusaGazu, who recognized the efforts of Captain AB De Villiers and the rest of the team.
“@ABdeVilliers17 and the boys, well done a true representation of your country, a true fighting spirit #ProteaFire”.
“@OfficialCSA people may call you chokers but you’re the real champions! So far the best match in 2015! #NZvsSA #CWC15 #Proteafire” said Twitter user @SrujanaDeva
On social news site Reddit, sports fans hailed the match as amongst the best games of cricket seen in recent memory.
“What a match, riveting stuff. Fantastic effort by both teams. Elliot, you are the man! I don’t think I would have the nerve to see such a match between India and Australia on Thursday,” said user ‘Rockus’.
There was also some humor in the face of despair, with @Icarus82 commenting:
“Congratulations, Grant Elliot. The first South African to take his team to a World Cup final!”
Australia and India will meet in Sydney on Wednesday to determine who will meet New Zealand in the final. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)