Auckland, March 24: South Africa failed to clear the second-last hurdle yet again. In a closely fought rain-hit semifinal with New Zealand played at the Eden Park here, the Proteas lost the match by wickets.
Lady Luck seems to be in no mood to bless South Africa as they bowed out of the World Cup semifinal for the fourth time in seven editions.
The South African batting was first hit by rain in the 38th over as the team looked favourites to post a big score. When the match resumed after one hour, the match was reduced to a 43over affair. The South African momentum was undoubtedly hit by the disruption and they could scored 281 in the allotted overs.
The Proteas did not do particularly good while bowling as well. New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum's 59 off 26 balls and a couple of half-centuries from Grant Elliot and Corey Anderson set the tone for New Zealand's chase. Some poor fielding by the South Africans helped the hosts' cause.
The easy run-out opportunity that South African skipper AB de Viiliers missed clearly showed that the South Africans were hit by panic. May be this time hasn't learnt on how to overcome the poor experiences of 1992 and 1999. In 1992, they were hit by luck while in 1999, panic cost them the semifinal.
Was it a combination of the two this time?