Auckland, March 24: Morne Morkel, captain AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and other South African players were in tears after crashing out of the ICC World Cup 2015 in a tense last-over semi-final finish at Eden Park today.
As soon as Grant Elliott, the South African-born right-handed batsman smashed Dale Steyn for a six to seal the World Cup last-four epic with 1 ball to spare, crowd erupted in joy. (Elliott does a Dhoni)
Elliott raised his arms in celebration but South African cricketers were in tears at the every moment. Morkel was sobbing as he sat on the ground. A World Cup trophy remained elusive again. (Full text: De Villiers speaks on 'painful' exit)
Morkel had bowled superbly to take 3 wickets including the crucial one of Corey Anderson when the game was drifting away. But his efforts were not enough as the Kiwis booked their spot in the March 29 final.
New Zealand were handed a Duckworth/Lewis target of 298 in 43 overs. Elliott stayed till the end with an unbeaten 84 to break millions of Proteas' hearts.
The game was so close that either of the team could have won. But it was the hosts' day today.
Sport is such that the heartbreak of a loss cannot make you hide your emotions. Later in the press conference too, De Villiers could not hold back his tears.
It was a tearful exit for the South Africans. They wait for another 4 years to try and attempt to win a World Cup. They have failed since 1992, bowing out at semi-finals 4 times including today.
Here are those heartbreaking images
Feel v sad fr Sth Africans..they gave it all & still finished up sobbing.No shame shedding few tears in public,only sportsmen cn und'stand!!
Feel v sad fr Sth Africans..they gave it all & still finished up sobbing.No shame shedding few tears in public,only sportsmen cn und'stand!!— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) March 24, 2015