23 June 2019

South Africa: Out! Proteas' CWC Misery Over With Pakistan Defeat

Lord's — South Africa's 2019 Cricket World Cup campaign is now well and truly, mathematically and definitively, over.

Sunday's 49 -run defeat to Pakistan at a packed Lord's in London saw to that.

England losing to Sri Lanka last Friday had given the Proteas a sniff at qualifying for the semi-finals if other results went their way, but they went into Sunday's contest needing to win their last three matches to stay alive.

Instead, the Proteas dished up another performance that shows exactly why they are languishing near the bottom of the World Cup log with just a solitary win over lowly Afghanistan.

In what was easily their worst ever performance at a World Cup, the Proteas have now lost five matches to England, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand and Pakistan.

It was once again a case of South Africa's big-name players not standing up.

The Proteas were happy to field first after losing the toss, but their fast bowling attack was woeful as Haris Sohail (89 off 59) and Babar Azam (69 off 80) guided Pakistan to a score of 308/7 from their 50 overs.

In response, the Proteas were well behind for most of the contest, eventually finishing on 259/9 .

Skipper Faf du Plessis batted well for his 63 (79) while Quinton de Kock survived being dropped on the first ball he faced to make 47 (60), but South Africa needed one of those two players to kick on.

It has been a problem for this team throughout the campaign, and it continued at Lord's where the sheer number of Pakistani supporters in the stands made it a home game for their side.

It didn't help that the South Africans found themselves 4/1 with Hashim Amla (2) lasting just three balls before he was trapped LBW by the pace of Mohammad Amir, giving yet another strong indication that the sun has set on a glorious international career.

Aiden Markram (7 off 16) was equally disappointing, and the wait for him to do something ... anything ... that matters in a Proteas ODI shirt continues.

Rassie van der Dussen (36 off 47) and David Miller (31 off 37) gave supporters hope of the unthinkable, but by the time they got going they were already far behind the rate and could not catch up.

Miller played, missed, was dropped and found the fence on a few occasions, but even he looked all at sea when needed most.

There was late entertainment from Andile Phehlukwayo (46* off 32) and Chris Morris (16 off 10), but by then even the Pakistani supporters were cheering boundaries, so safe was the result.

The truth, though, is that South Africa lost this match in the field.

Kagiso Rabada's disappointing World Cup went from bad to worse as he went 0/65 (10). It leaves South Africa's main strike bowler with just 6 wickets all tournament at a staggering average of 50.83 .

Of the frontline bowlers, only spinner Imran Tahir (2/41 from 10) went at less than a run a ball.

Lungi Ngidi (3/64 in 9) cashed in on some wickets towards the back-end of the innings as Pakistan went after everything, but he was also disappointing up front.

As well as Pakistan batted, South Africa will look back and wonder what their World Cup might have looked like had the real Rabada arrived in England.

It is tough to lay the blame squarely at his feet, but so much depended on the 24-year-old's success at the tournament, especially after Dale Steyn returned home injured.

In the aftermath of their exit reasons will be sought why it just hasn't happened for South Africa at this World Cup from the second they arrived.

Injuries, struggles for form and an off-field drama involving AB de Villiers have all played their part, but the only thing that matters in the end is that South Africa have played incredibly poor cricket.

They have nobody to blame but themselves.

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

Source: Sport24

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