The Proteas didn't choke.....that's just nonsense

Forum » Cricket » The Proteas didn't choke.....that's just nonsense

Nov 17, 2023, 05:57

this article is a fair and accurate summary of the game.

There were more wrongs than rights for Temba Bavuma and Co. Let’s take a look at where South Africa lost the plot against Australia in the 2023 Cricket World Cup semi-final in Kolkata.

South Africa came close, yet so far, in the 2023 Cricket World Cup semi-final against Australia in Kolkata on Thursday.

While at the start of the match, South Africa struggled for runs in overcast conditions, a valiant century from David Miller (101) and a handy knock from Heinrich Klaasen (47) led South Africa to 212.

Still, that total was below-par, but it was the bowlers who gave the Proteas a fighting chance in the contest.

Although Australia started strongly with David Warner and Travis Head forging a 60-run stand for the opening wicket, South Africa’s bowlers fought tooth and nail before going down.

More importantly, they took the game as deep as they could, before succumbing to the inevitable defeat, as Australia secured a World Cup final date with India with a three-wicket win.

Unfortunately, for the Proteas, who are synonymous for their “chokers” tag in ICC events, a maiden World Cup final wasn’t meant to be.

In fact, there were more wrongs than rights for Temba Bavuma and Co. Let’s take a look at where South Africa lost the plot against Australia:

Dropped catches

By no means can we say South Africa choked this time. Especially in the run chase. However, there were a few chances which the Proteas should have taken, a few dropped chances.

The South African fielders dropped as many as five catches on Thursday, but most of them were tough. There first dropped catch was in the 12th over, when Travis Head was on strike. Head had played the cut towards deep point, and Reeza Hendricks, running from sweeper cover, put up a diving effort only for him to lose the grasp of the ball.

Just three overs later, in the 14th, South Africa had the opportunity to get rid of Steve Smith, but Bavuma, running in from backward square went for the dive but fell just short.

Lack of slip fielders were a major cause of concern for the Proteas and in the same over, Klaasen had a tough chance to dismiss Head, but eventually went begging.

Quinton de Kock would also go onto drop a catch in the 18th over, but not once, but twice during the match he dropped catches. Arguably his costliest drop catch came in the 45th over, when de Kock just couldn’t get hold of the ball following a drive from Pat Cummins, with Australia skipper getting a slight inside edge off his bat.

They say catches win matches, and this is where the game could have changed completely had the Proteas been successful in these attempts.

Too many extras

Apart from dropped catches, extras cost South Africa dearly. Tabraiz Shamsi and Marco Jansen were mainly the culprits of conceding extras.

Jansen struggled with his line and length on more than one occasion and ended up giving four wides, whereas Shamsi bowled as many as three out of his five wides to Marnus Labuschagne.

In total, the Proteas conceded as many as 17 extras, including three leg byes, 12 wides and two no-balls.

Slow start to their batting

South Africa had opted to bat in overcast conditions, but their decision to do certainly backfired. There was swing and bounce from the Australia pacers early on, especially Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who opened Australia’s bowling attack.

And Temba Bavuma, the South Africa skipper, playing this game despite being not “100 per cent fit” only raised more questions than getting answers.

Bavuma, in fact, was dismissed for a four-ball duck, and the Proteas’  top order collapse amid a slow start did not help their case.

Quinton de Kock, playing his last ODI for South Africa, felt the pressure, and fell to a Hazlewood length ball and miscued to Cummins at mid-on. He was dismissed for just three off 14 balls. And that was South Africa’s top run-scorer this World Cup.

Starc would get the wickets of Bavuma and Markram, whereas Hazlewood dismissed de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen.

Proteas were off to a slow start to their innings, so much so that they were going at less than two runs per over at one stage.

It was almost like Test match cricket at the start, until the first boundary of the day came from Markram, flicking over square leg off Starc’s ball for a four in the ninth over.

South Africa would get to the 50-run mark in 16.5 overs, but by then the Proteas had lost their top four batters, and had it not been for the Klaasen-Miller stand, things could have ended a lot worse for the Proteas.


"South Africa had opted to bat in overcast conditions, but their decision to do certainly backfired. There was swing and bounce from the Australia pacers early on, especially Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who opened Australia’s bowling attack."

With the exception of Bavuma who is just useless the above pretty much explains the top order collapse, Starc and Hazelwood took full advantage of the conditions and were allowed to bowl deep into their first spell before they were given a break.

The summary is a fair and honest description of why the Proteas lost, it clearly shows multiple reasons why they lost, choking wasn't one of them. But what the article fails to mention is that the Ozzie fielding in the first power play was brilliant, it created even more pressure and the early loss of Bavuma further increased that pressure.

The Ozzies on the other hand got off to a great start, assisted by Jansen who in his first 3 over spell went for 27 runs.

My disappointments are with Marco Jansen who became a victim of the occasion and also with Markram who I believe has technically fallen by the wayside.

Clearly there is an abundance of reasons why the Proteas lost only a fool would stereotype their loss as choking.

Nov 17, 2023, 06:17

And then this from

Top-order collapse and dropped catches hurt South Africa in latest Cricket World Cup heartbreaker

Once more, the semifinals proved to be the ceiling for the Proteas at the Cricket World Cup.

And once again, the knockout blow was delivered by Australia, whose ability to rise to the occasion on the biggest stage in limited-overs cricket remains unmatched — and in such contrast to South Africa.

There was no choking — the word that is synonymous, perhaps harshly, with South Africa at World Cups — in their tense three-wicket loss at Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Yet it was still a fifth semifinal elimination in this tournament, after 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2015. Three of those painful exits have now come at the hands of Australia.

In ’99, the South African meltdown came in a chaotic last over at Edgbaston in England, capped by that famous run-out of a stranded Allan Donald which allowed Australia to advance courtesy of a tie.

In ’07, the collapse came early in St. Lucia when falling to 27-5 after choosing to bat, and eventually losing by seven wickets with 111 balls remaining.

For that reason, there were similarities to 2007 in Thursday’s painful loss.

Under a gray, threatening sky and up against brilliant swing and seam bowling of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, the Proteas lost captain Temba Bavuma (0) in the first over, ground to a halt on 10-2 after eight overs following dangerman Quinton de Kock’s dismissal for 3, and then slumped to 24-4 after the departures of Aiden Markram (10) and Rassie van der Dussen (6).

David Miller, with a determined innings of 101, guided the team to a below-par but ultimately respectable 212 all out, but it needed a near-flawless performance in the field to hold back the Australians.

That didn’t happen.

South Africa fans were seen shaking their heads in the crowd as pacer Marco Jansen bowled three wides in a four-ball span in the third over of the reply.

Kagiso Rabada gave David Warner a free hit because of a no-ball — and saw the veteran opener use it to smash him for a second straight six.

Travis Head was dropped by both sub fielder Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen in the space of 14 balls. Four overs later, De Kock, the wicketkeeper, couldn’t hold onto Steve Smith’s edge off spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. There were five dropped catches in total.

It made the late-innings comeback all the more infuriating for South Africa’s fans as spinners Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj tied down Australia’s batters on a pitch that spun plenty. Again it was a case of what could have been as first Josh Inglis, then Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins eked out the final crucial runs in an increasingly tense atmosphere in Kolkata’s storied stadium.

“It was a bit of dogfight,” Bavuma said. “Looking at the result of the game, the way we started with the bat and the ball was probably the turning point and where we lost it quite badly.”

In the end, South Africa will rue the fact that its powerful batting lineup — one that struck fear into opponents for much of the group stage — failed to fire.

De Kock hit 591 runs in the group stage and just three in the semifinals in what proved to be his last ODI. Bavuma didn’t make more than 35 in a single innings this tournament and finished with a duck. Markram, so overpowering at his best, had a strike rate of just 50 against Australia, which fielded energetically and bowled precisely.

“They were outstanding for a large part of the game today and thoroughly deserved the victory,” Bavuma said of Australia.

“I thought Hazlewood and Starc were ruthless. They exploited every bit of advantage that was presented to them and really put us under pressure. When you are 24-4, you are always going to struggle to get a competitive total.”


Nov 17, 2023, 10:23

Well no excuses as the postings captured everything.

Sadly the Proteas lost the game after the toss and then the bowling and fielding assisted the Aussies to no end.

Plus the extras at the start of the Aussie innings was a major issue with me as well.

When the Proteas team was announced prior to the start of the CWC I was not at all impressed with the bowling selection and mentioned that in one of my postings prior to the start of the WC.

Yes dropped catches don't win matches and in this semi the Proteas proved that point.

But in truth the Proteas faired better than I expected in this CWC.

Onward now to the WC final.

The Aussies must be on top of their game against India to even stand a chance of winning.

As the Indians have shown they are a class team who have performed very well thus far, but can they produce one more final winning game to win this CWC.

I think thet can and will.

Unfortunately I will be travelling on game day and will only be able to watch the recording after all the excitement has settled.

Nov 17, 2023, 11:25

Well you can bet your bottom dollar that the Ozzies will give it their best even though their best might not be good enough against the best ODI side in world cricket.

Nov 17, 2023, 12:39

De Kock choked, playing possibly the single worst cricket shot  at the WC considering the stakes and the ball. He always does when the pressure is on. 

Nov 17, 2023, 17:32

Crap de Kock did not choke

Nov 17, 2023, 18:52

Totally did….particularly after Bavuma had gone. It was hit and hope cricket. The man is a serial flop in the games that count. If by some miracle we had made the final, he would have been a deer in the headlights again.

Nov 21, 2023, 12:13

Up until that semi, I thought De Kock had a fantastic world cup ... and I have always rated him no sour grapes from me.

But one cannot argue that given the stakes, and how that pitch was playing... and the ball that he faced ......he did arguably play the most senseless and stupid shot of the world cup.... it was bloody infuriating.

Patience under those harsh conditions were exactly what was needed, especially from a player with the experience that De Kock has...

I would have expected that kind of rash shot from a player like Brevis etc etc, not a seasoned player like De Kock .... it was utterly stupid.

Nov 21, 2023, 13:54

Spot on DA, nice to see at least  one other poster registered how destructive that shot was.

Nov 21, 2023, 14:49

I believe we will really miss De Kock when he is gone.... especially in the ODI's..... I know I definitely will.... I am a huge fan of his attacking play in general .... but at the same time, I also cannot excuse reckless shots like that one in the semi final.... when we seriously really needed him to anchor down the innings a bit.... precisely like Miller did.

Nothing at all wrong with keeping to your natural aggressive style of play ... but hell man... adapt a little bit more and better to the situation your team is currently in at the time.... again, just like Miller did.

You need to Log in to reply.
Back to top