South Africa’s Choking Continues in Twenty20 World Cup Loss

South Africa's Choking Continues in Twenty20 World Cup Loss

From needing 30 runs off 30 deliveries with six wickets in hand to win the Twenty20 World Cup title, South Africa succumbed to defeat by seven runs.

Once again, the Proteas failed to hold their nerve, breaking the hearts of millions of fans back home.

Heinrich Klaasen smashed 22 runs, including two sixes and two fours, against Axar Patel, making 24 runs in the 15th over. At this point, the game was in South Africa’s grasp, requiring only 30 off 30 to win the World Cup.

After 16 overs, Klaasen was batting on 52 off 26 balls, and David Miller was unbeaten on 15 off nine balls. The Proteas needed almost a run a ball for the remaining overs.

South Africa had a golden chance to cement their name in cricket history, but they faltered significantly.

As the game started slipping away, India’s skipper Rohit Sharma brought in their best weapon, Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah bowled two magnificent overs, displaying world-class fast bowling in the death overs, and putting a halt to South Africa’s run-scoring spree.

Bumrah conceded just four runs in the 16th over, making the equation 26 off 24 with two well-set batsmen at the crease.

Another strategic move by Rohit was bringing Hardik Pandya back into the attack. Pandya delivered exactly what India needed at that moment.

Pandya picked up the wicket of Klaasen on the first ball of the 17th over, rekindling India’s hopes. Klaasen, who had been blazing all around the park, chased a wide delivery casually and edged it to wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.

That Pandya over yielded only four runs, leaving South Africa needing 22 from 18 deliveries.

Bumrah worked his magic again in the next over, conceding just two runs and taking the wicket of Marco Jansen with a brilliant inswinger.

This two-over spell from Bumrah and Pandya’s crucial wicket of Klaasen turned the momentum towards India. Arshdeep Singh conceded just four runs in the 19th over, leaving 16 runs for the final over.

On the first ball of the last over, Miller was dismissed thanks to a stunning catch by Suryakumar Yadav at the long-off boundary.

Eventually, South Africa fell seven runs short of the target.

This loss adds another sad chapter to South Africa’s history of World Cup heartbreaks, reminiscent of Birmingham in 1999, Durban in 2003, and Auckland in 2015. Barbados now joins the list as they lost yet again with the finishing line in sight.

This defeat will perhaps hurt them the most, as they were inches away from becoming world champions but failed to score 30 off 30 with six wickets in hand on a solid batting wicket in a T20 match.

South Africa continues to bear the label of chokers, as the old ghost haunted them once more on the world stage.

What do you think?


Written by Bobby Boucher


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