South Africa: Under Pressure Proteas Brace for 5 'Quarter-Finals'

(file photo).

Cardiff — The Proteas are fully aware that they must win all of their remaining five pool matches to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals.

That road to what seems an unlikely playoff berth starts on Saturday with a clash against Afghanistan at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

If the weather plays ball and South Africa emerge victorious, as would be expected, then it would be their first win of the competition.

With three straight losses registered so far, including their slip-up against Bangladesh at The Oval, the Proteas can't slip up again.

"I think the situation and the weather is quite contradictory to the mood in the camp," Proteas batsman Rassie van der Dussen told media from a rainy Cardiff on Thursday.

"We're quite positive. We've had a bad week, and I know that everyone says it, but it is the reality, we've got five games to go and I suppose five quarter-finals ... that's how we see it."

"We know what we need to do and we're positive and confident about it.

"We have one or two very strong teams, but we're also playing one or two teams that we've beaten recently, and we know we can beat."

After Afghanistan the Proteas must still play against New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia, and the pressure to win every game will be immense for a side that does not have a history of doing well in clutch games.

Van der Dussen, though, is not a player tainted by previous World Cup failures.

He only made his ODI debut in January this year, and has thrived in his short international career so far.

"Pressure is nothing new ... as a sportsman you are always under pressure," he said.

"It's about learning to deal with the pressure and perform under pressure and we know how to do that ... we've done it before.

"In the last three games we just for some reason weren't at our best. I wouldn't put it down to pressure or thinking the wrong things.

"You've got to be realistic and the sooner you accept pressure and occasion, because pressure is a lot of the time the person's perception of the situation, and the sooner you make peace with that you can deal with it."

Play on Saturday gets underway at 14:30 (SA time).

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...

Source: Sport24

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