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Cricket World Cup History: 5 times South Africa choked at the World Cup 

Yogen Sood
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
1.84K   //    30 May 2019, 14:44 IST

Faf du Plessis appears dejected after the loss to New Zealand in the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup
Faf du Plessis appears dejected after the loss to New Zealand in the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup

One of the unluckiest teams in the history of the World Cup, South Africa will enter the World Cup 2019 with purpose, in a bid to clinch their first ever title win. Ever since making an ODI debut after re-admission in 1991, South Africa has produced some world class players and has gone into most World Cups as a pre-tournament favorite with an imposing team on paper.

However, even after four semi-final appearances, South Africa has not been able to lift the trophy, failing to make it to the finals even on a single occasion. The team just seems to lose plot under pressure and combined with some bad luck, this has led to many heart-breaking moments for the fans that have labeled the South African team with the 'chokers' tag.

As yet another World Cup beckons, here are five famous occasions when South Africa choked, leaving their hopes of winning a World Cup all in a distant future.


#5 1992 World Cup semifinal (vs England)

The final moment that left a lasting impression
The final moment that left a lasting impression

In the 1992 World Cup, South Africa faced off against England in the second semifinal and put into bat by South African captain Kepler Wessels, England scored 252/6 in 45 overs.

The chase was on track for South Africa until it came to a stage when they needed 22 to win off 13 balls, with batsmen Brian McMillan and Dave Richardson at the crease. That is when the rain gods intervened and the umpires decided to stop play.

What transpired after the rain break is among the most ridiculous incidents in the history of the game. According to the prevalent rain rule, the reduction in target was supposed to be proportionate to the lowest scoring overs of the side batting first. This meant that when play resumed, two overs had been deducted from the chase and yet the required runs came down by just a solitary run.

This led to South Africa needing an impossible 21 to win off 1 ball. There was confusion and anger among the fans as the scorecard incorrectly displayed 22 off 7 balls and was quickly changed to 22 off 1 ball, and finally 21 off 1 ball. In the end, Brian McMillan just took a single off the last ball and walked off furiously to the pavilion.

This was only the beginning of South Africa's horrors in World Cup knockout matches.

Also read - World cup ties

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