London — The Proteas have been knocked out of the last two Cricket World Cups by New Zealand , and if they lose to the Black Caps in Birmingham on Wednesday then there will surely be no way back for them in the 2019 edition of the tournament, either.
With just one win from five, South Africa can't afford any more slip-ups if they want to book an unlikely spot in the semi-finals.
New Zealand, with three wins and a 'no-result' so far in the competition, are often a side that flies under the radar at World Cups.
They made it all the way through to the final in 2015 having broken South African hearts in that famous Auckland semi-final, and they have not taken long this year to command attention
A top order that includes the likes of Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Colin Munro is complemented by fast bowlers Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson.
For South African all-rounder Chris Morris, it makes for one of the most balanced sides at the World Cup.
"In my opinion, I think they are one of the favourites," Morris told media in Cardiff on Saturday after South Africa's 9-wicket win.
"They've got a really good team that is well balanced and well led.
"I don't want to call them dark horses, because I think they deserve more than that. They are a world class team, so our discipline is going to have to be even tighter against them. They're that good.
"They've got a seriously good bowling line-up and a destructive batting line-up and if they get going they're difficult to stop.
"We're going to work hard in the next few days that we've got on our analysis and we'll assess conditions when we get to Birmingham, but we'll have to be at our best to beat those guys."
Morris insists that the mood in the South African camp has always been positive despite the poor results, and he says the situation the Proteas find themselves in currently makes things a lot clearer.
"It's pretty simple ... we have to win," he said.
"There are no two ways about out. I think that possibly could bring out the best in all of just because we know there is nowhere to slip up. If we slip up, we're done."
Wednesday's match starts at 11:30 (SA time).
@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...