South Africa in shock upset loss to Netherlands, miss semi-finals

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“If you would have said to us that we have got the Netherlands to play to get into a semi-final and got to beat them, we would have taken that. These things happen. It’s not the only upset that has happened in the tournament.”

The Netherlands’ Brandon Glover and Logan van Beck celebrate a South African wicket.

The Netherlands’ Brandon Glover and Logan van Beck celebrate a South African wicket.Credit:Getty Images

Moreover, cricket’s global governors have finally been bold enough to break away from a 15-year period in which the formats of tournaments were largely dictated by a single factor: how many guaranteed games do India play?

The early knockout of India from the 2007 50-over World Cup in the Caribbean, following a surprise defeat by Bangladesh in an early group of four, caused palpitations for broadcasters and administrators and led to things such as the reductive 10-team format and the T20 Cup’s odd first week where teams must qualify for the Super 12.

In the four-year, $US3 billion deal just signed by the ICC with Disney Star for global events, it was agreed that future Twenty20 events will adopt a format where there are four groups of five, creating many more scenarios in which an emerging team such as the Netherlands might get the better of an established force such as South Africa.

That took some degree of courage, but the raucous scenes in Adelaide on Sunday served as a reminder that, if cricket is to genuinely grow beyond its British Empire origins, this is certainly the way forward.

Another World Cup nightmare for South Africa

The equation was simple for South Africa at Adelaide Oval. Score 159 runs to defeat the Netherlands and secure a Twenty20 World Cup semi-final berth. They could only manage 145.

It was the latest in a long history of World Cup disasters for the Proteas. They were infamously robbed by rain on return to international tournaments in 1992’s 50-over World Cup semi-final. They needed 22 from 13 balls to beat England, play halted because of a shower, and on resumption they required 22 from one delivery.

At the 50-over cup semi-final in 1999, South Africa required just one run from the last four balls to down Australia – they imploded, the game was tied, and they failed to advance.

At the 2003 cup, Boucher himself celebrated prematurely after thinking he’d hit the runs that sent his nation into the knockout stage; they’d miscalculated and were one run short when rain stopped play.

Boucher was appointed head coach in 2019 and Sunday’s game against the Netherlands was his last in charge.

Asked if was the worst loss of them all, he replied: “Probably as a coach, yes.

“Each one is an individual event,” he said. “I know that there is a lot of history behind South African cricket and World Cups.

On Sunday, the nervy Proteas’ top-order failed to fire and they were 4-90 in the 13th over.

With six overs remaining, South Africa still needed another 60 runs. They lost another two batsmen in the 16th over to slip to 6-113 and yet another in the 18th over to be 7-120 – the Proteas were in a midst of a 4-30 slump.

To compound their predicament, No.8 batsman Keshav Maharaj was hobbled by a left leg injury and forced to literally hop when running between wickets.

Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada required 26 runs from the final over but fell short.

The Dutch posted 4-158, with Colin Ackermann top-scoring with an unbeaten 41 from 26 balls.

The Dutch made a bright start, with openers Stephan Myburgh (37 from 30 balls) and Max O’Dowd (29 from 31) featuring in a 58-run partnership.

And Australian-born Tom Cooper, whose mother was born in Dutch New Guinea, struck two sixes in making 35 from 19 deliveries.

South African paceman Anrich Nortje continued his fine tournament, taking 1-10 from four overs, and left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj claimed 2-27.

with AAP

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