ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd quarter-final, World Cup 2011, Mirpur

Smith in disbelief after loss

Firdose Moonda at the Shere Bangla Stadium

March 25, 2011

Comments: 94 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Smith is not a small man. He towers above six foot, has shoulders broader than a lock forward, a chest that can puff out even if he is not proud and logs for legs. His personality can be even bigger: the larger than life leader of South African cricket for the last eight years, who will bat with a broken hand and will bounce back, bullish as ever, after a broken heart. Add to that the meaty guffaw and booming voice, and you have a massive character. But, on Friday night, in his last game as captain of the one-day team, he looked a small, small man indeed.

His gestures, usually open and friendly, were limp. His smile, usually broad, was absent. His frown, usually menacing, had been wiped off, and his eyes, usually alive, were empty. This was a man who was gutted. At the beginning of his post-match press conference, it was almost as though he was battling to speak. Each word was laboured, each breath was long. He had, perhaps a little too literally, been stunned.

"It's hard to describe [how we feel] at such short notice. It's kind of disbelief; I felt that we certainly had what it took to win," Smith said. Few will disagree. South Africa were the team that was talked up as the most balanced unit in this tournament. They had a plethora of options, particularly in the bowling department. It was in that discipline that South Africa shone in the group stages, as the only team to take sixty wickets in six matches.

Their quarter-final was the first match of the tournament in which they did not bowl out the opposition. Still, they restricted New Zealand to 221 for 8, below the average first-innings score of 236 at the Shere Bangla Stadium. Smith showed creativity in the way he rotated the bowlers and used them in short spells; they displayed control and were assisted by a superb show of ground fielding. Smith said he thought they "certainly bowled well enough to win today."


Graeme Smith reacts to South Africa's loss, New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd quarter-final, Mirpur, World Cup 2011, March 25, 2011
Graeme Smith said he could not fault the way his team prepared for the World Cup © Associated Press
Enlarge

The problem came with the bat and, inevitably, with the mind. When Smith and Jacques Kallis were laying the platform for the chase, and then again when AB de Villiers was starting to look in good touch, the win was there for the taking. When Kallis and de Villiers were dismissed, the wobble started. Two hundred and twenty two moved further and further away, and the South African middle order slipped further and further in pursuit of it.

"The batting let us down in the middle period," Smith said. "New Zealand squeezed us, the ball got soft and we needed to show a little more composure in that period." He didn't go as far as saying it was inexperience that cost them, but a middle order consisting of JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Johan Botha and Robin Peterson is only powerful if one of them can come off in a big way. Although all capable, they are relatively untested and even though they survived the pressure against India, Ireland and Bangladesh, against a rampant New Zealand, it was too much. "We lost four or five wickets quickly and it's difficult to recover on a wicket like this."

Small as he felt, Smith would not make others feel smaller, and even though he identified the batting as the problem in this game, he was not on a witch hunt and had no more blame to dish out. He maintained that the squad he brought to the subcontinent had given their all and even though they had fallen, they would not be weighed down by South Africa's history of exiting major tournaments in the knockouts. "We've trained hard, we worked on our skills and I cannot fault the way this team has played. When we go homes there's going to be swords and daggers. We are not the only World Cup team that has not gone on to win."

Towards the end of his press conference, Smith had regained some of the confidence that has become synonymous with him over the years. He was still a long way from being a large man, but he had started to show fluency and conviction in what he was saying. He was being frank and honest and that's something South African cricket will need to be after this episode.

It's going to be a long process of rebuilding, not the personnel, but the mindset, and Smith started it before leaving his chair. "We've just got to be honest with ourselves, that we weren't good enough tonight. Simple as that."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 94 
Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 18:16 GMT)

They missed Albie Morkel in this line-up... I am pretty sure, they might have even won the WC with Albie in the team!

Posted by CricketChat on (March 28, 2011, 17:17 GMT)

Smith can go out with his head held high. He is primarily responsible for forging out a world beating team in the last few yrs even when he was not at his best form. He held the team together and instilled self belief and aggressive nature. Hope he can continue to play for a few more yrs as a batsman.

Posted by TysonSid on (March 28, 2011, 16:14 GMT)

Dont compare Smith and Ponting... Ponting is not a gentleman where as Smith is one of the better men in the game.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 14:48 GMT)

you know when i look at the match up for the quarters,i pick all the winners in the other games but,New Zealand/South Africa i had a big question mark there, just couldn't pick a winner,New Zealand is a very unpredictable cricket team,so Sri Lanka had better watch out don't ever take them lightly,they know how to squeeze the life out of you to get a win.SA just didn't know that about them.Sri Lanka/New Zealand another big question mark.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 14:04 GMT)

The last sentence of the article says it all: not good enough on the day. I think slight complacency, especially devillier's run-out cost them the match.Its not the first time though. Even in ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY 2002, they were crusing against india chasing 220 odd b4 gibbs got retired-hurt & rest fell apart.Still they r damn good team & have always started as favourites in all WC campaigns, but failed to win any.Its time to accept the fact & move on.

Posted by TSJ07 on (March 28, 2011, 12:10 GMT)

+1 to Srinivasan's comments below.In major tournaments you need to strenghten batting by having at-least batting all-rounder if not proper batsman.This is where Indian has been winning many matches.There is always a need for extra batsman round the corner.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

This is were albie needed. Best player in pressure situations in SA campaign. If they replaced the Robin peterson with Albie, they might have won this title. Dhoni didnt let him off from his team (CSK). How SA selectors did it. It hugely paid them off. He is extra batsmen + Handy bowler. Robin spin can be replaced with the Smith or other part timers like Yuvraj. I am sure, in the next world cup. You dont have the same furious Steyn or Morkel in your lineup.

Posted by pritam_nd_pomi on (March 28, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

The two semi final are now very much contarsting...one (Ind-Pak) a high voltage match...another (SL-NZ) a very timid one...If S.A were there in the second then it would have been a great match as well.....

Posted by   on (March 28, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

I am still stunned, un happy... why oh why do they do this? best chance they had to win the WC... I am very very sad

Posted by I-Mac on (March 28, 2011, 3:22 GMT)

South Africa were magnificent in bowling out 6 teams in 6 games in the round robin. The problem is you don't need to take 10 wickets to win a 50 (or 20) over match - you need to get the most runs on the day and they just didn't have the experience in their batting, after no.4, to do that. A load of the middle order with no international experience of the sub-continent conditions was their downfall. They missed a trick leaving Boucher out. They will bounce back as they always do - and if, new favorites, India go on tow win they will take heart in the fact that they will be the only side that beat them in the WC...and it will be a great end to Gary Kirsten's tenure as India's (most successsful?) coach - before he takes on the SA job!

Posted by gordonbarlow on (March 28, 2011, 1:10 GMT)

I'm surprised there has been no praise for Daniel Vettori. In an upset like this, the captain must take a lot of the credit. He's the one who kept all the pressure on, that drove SA to the wall. Full respect to him!

Posted by schnoggs on (March 27, 2011, 23:25 GMT)

always a batsmen light, would of been nice to have Boucher there who has a bit of steel and experience in the middle order. Faf shouldnt of been there, his run out turned the match and we should of had a stronger middle order. Agree with the first post, we dont need seven bowlers!! Look at India - they got Raina coming in at 7 and we got Botha coming in at 7. Thats the difference on paper, but the mental strength is probably the biggest problem of all.

Posted by Ash_Pali on (March 27, 2011, 18:35 GMT)

I don't think it had anything to do with the combination of team. this team requires someone and at least one player to be solid as a rock mentally.. others will revolve around him. I don't want to jinx it but in India it is Yuvraj right now and at times Dhoni used to be that person couple of years back.. but if you're looking across the world then best example used to be Inzamam.. Though Australia have had their fair share of such folks who used to feed off each other's strength which made that team so invincible for so long.

Posted by sjissac on (March 27, 2011, 17:35 GMT)

Now Smith would realize the potential of Klusner!, winning ODI series is different, winning a major tournament is different. Only Klusner, Kirsten, Cronje showed that character.

Posted by stifller on (March 27, 2011, 16:04 GMT)

i am always with smith, he is d best captain i ever seen, neither ponting, nor dhoni but SMITHY. though am an Indian still i support SA and SMITHY coz the tym he took d responsibility was a tricky tym for SA, the situation neither ponting nor dhoni came across, and still SMITHY not only came across dat but also represented SA as a SUPER POWER in world cricket. hats off to him. also SMITHY needs to get back his fluency and his prolific form and i hope to see him performing in next WC. SMITHY, with such a broad shoulder and chest not an ordinary man, he is a tiger, a scary tiger suffering from wound, he will back, SMITHY will bounce back. ALL D BEST TO HIM. and AMLA sud be next SA captain, he did it before in SA U_19s. now is d tym. and i wanna see duminy to b more responsible and deliver dat. De villiers is my IDOL, so i wanna see him in d master class of GREAT SACHIN. ABD is surely capable of dat, AMLA sud take d place of SMITH in captaincy and d place of KALLIS in d whole team. BOL SA

Posted by   on (March 27, 2011, 13:41 GMT)

Dilshan and Taranga showed that it is the openers job to chase small totals. Smith's poor batting & fielding is the burden that team had to bear and that costed them the match finally. Dhoni's poor batting was about to cost India the match but yuvi just managed to save the team. ..................Dhoni & Smith are most overrated players and must be sacked immediately for good.

Posted by rakeshh1212 on (March 27, 2011, 12:30 GMT)

south africa needs some charcter who can relax the team atmosphere in tense situation.as this team is very serious team who does not enjoy there game.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2011, 11:59 GMT)

Had SA to go all the way.

Posted by Hermandw on (March 27, 2011, 11:05 GMT)

South Africa was excellent in this World Cup. There are signs of a new can-do spirit and a willingness to try new things in this team that gladdens me. I do not believe that they shamed themselves in their loss against NZ. They can only improve from here and should be an unstoppable force by the time the next World Cup rolls around. Sorry about this loss, but good luck for the future Graeme Smith & the Proteas!

Posted by Kev75 on (March 26, 2011, 23:42 GMT)

Disbelief??? How can you be in disbelief when you continue with an already failing wicketkeeper experiment and leave one of the best in the business at home (Mark Boucher); take some young gun all-rounder to a world cup on the subcontinent where he has never been before and leave behind an all-rounder retained by an India based franchise currently the best in the world (Albie Morkel); and Heschelle Gibbs who has a great record in India and in world cups.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (March 26, 2011, 22:32 GMT)

SA should reset their target as they should hereafter must think they won the WC if they get to QF.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 17:44 GMT)

Though i am an Indian,I always support SA apart from India..My best wishes for SA in future..One day SA will definitely win the WC..The interview of Smith after Quarterfinal match really brought tears..

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 17:38 GMT)

Sorry for Smith and Co.,SA should now look for a good Coach and attacking openers.. Devilliers should be made the Captain..

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 17:30 GMT)

Gerald Majola need to be blamed. Right from the loss of 2003 world cup, the team needs a senior like Boucher or Even Pollock to lead and after 2007 Smith might have given captaincy. Like Ricky Ponting, Smith lost directions after long years of Captaincy. Anyhow Cricket South Africa is not in a good position right now

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 17:25 GMT)

SA doesnot have good batsmen.Their openers never dominate the opposition.They should have selected Albie Morkel who is a good finisher.Atleast they should have included Ingram in the final 11 instead of going with additional bowler. Its time for SA to look at some talented players like Davy Jacobs..

Posted by slcrickcrazyfan on (March 26, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

where were Albie & Boucher.....!!! I have asked this question before in a different article posted by cricinfo....and I've also pointed out AB is better off keeping...well anyway he wasn't all that messy yesterday, but the inability to come up with triumph under pressure was telling again in the SA's performance....I knw it might be harsh but u've got to accept it....!!! tahir was boosted too much & so did the whole teem...expected more or wanted to hide their inability.....they weren't performing all that well against Pak & Ind in recent past....you've got to ask the question from yourselves why you guys boosted this SA teem too much, just because words can't win a match, u need performance to go with it....!! but mind you, I must agree that you guys(SA) played well against the Indians

Posted by sweetspot on (March 26, 2011, 16:37 GMT)

I wonder if SA recognize luck as a major factor in sports. To win a cricket match is not the same as winning a running race. The hardest training won't guarantee victory. SA seem to plan too much, try to prepare too much, and totally lose the plot when something does not go according to plan. There is a plan B, but it is to make plan A work, or what?

Posted by AnkitSizzles on (March 26, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

Srinivasan... you have hit the nail on its head!!!. going in with 5 bowlers including 3 spinners was a baffling decision.... When you have players like duminy and smith who can powl spin along with the likes of Kallis bowling medium pace, why do you need the 3rd spinner hence weakening your middle order?? thats really a ridiculous team selection from Smith!!!

Posted by monis11 on (March 26, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

They lose to England for the same reasons which caused them to lose against NZ. Not only that they had experienced defeats for same reasons in the ODI series against India before the world Cup. The part that played be Brian McMillan, Lance Klusener, Boucher, Pollock... No body was there to take up that job. No powerful hitters No skillful batsmen Sorry you have gone out deservingly

Posted by ash_symby on (March 26, 2011, 12:42 GMT)

Watching RSA since 1992, they always end devastatingly. In 1992, the Duckworth Lewis system made an achievable 13 ball 22 runs, to just 1 ball 22 runs. This was against England in the semi finals, bad luck. In 1996, under Cronje's leadership, the side crashed out in the Quarter finals against the WI with Lara scoring a 100, RSA then failed to chase. The campaign ended for RSA with losing just one match. Then came 1999, despite Klusener's all round efforts, RSA crashed out in the most thrilling world cup tie ever against Australia. In 2003, despite being the hosts, the side exited in the first round with Stephen Fleming playing his best knock while chasing. In the match again the rain spoilt RSA's plans and despite scoring 300+ they crashed out. In 2007 despite batting first the team could not cross 150 and gave Australia way to win their 3 successive WC.

Hew RSA not to worry, 2015 is not that far. All the best

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

Bad luck South Africa !! Well played New Zealand !! One of life's irony is rankings often dont reflect the real story. Taking nothing away from New Zealand's fantastic performance, we have to believe that South Africa deserved to be in the semi finals. Thank you South Africa for some wonderful memories and the way you conducted yourselves on the field. Oh and not to mention some exotic names like Du Plessis and Van Wyk for suggesting cricket to be much more cosmopoliton sport than it actually is..

Posted by teammate on (March 26, 2011, 12:20 GMT)

Even a spectator like me , is deeply upset. The only match they lost was timed so bad, they had to exit a premier tournament. You did not lose , South Africa..You won lot of hearts like mine.

Posted by hamwil80 on (March 26, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

So you lost a one day match - so what? life goes on. how many captains have achieved away test victories in England and Australia. That is a real cricketing accomplishment. The abiding memory of Smith will always be his coming out to bat with a broken hand at the SCG in 2009.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

They should have strengthened the Middle order, instead of having Botha/Pietersen. All teams are playing only with four bowlers. What was the need for 5 bowlers for SA. Botha, Pietersen, Tahir, Steyn, Morkel? Add to that you have Kallis and Duminy! Baffling selection policy!

Posted by Tjoeps on (March 26, 2011, 7:26 GMT)

The batting problem is not with the middle order, but with the front 6, their we lost the game, it was their responsibility to take ownership of that score, we all knew that the underbelly is a soft one, it was picked like that! .... Against England it happened and nobody saw the red lights flashing! In how many run outs must AB be involved with, before he learns to run properly? Choke? no try stupid! From a very disappointed Protea supporter.

Posted by steb on (March 26, 2011, 7:21 GMT)

A real loss to the tournament, great all round side, keep going blokes

Posted by Ranchoboyz on (March 26, 2011, 7:07 GMT)

How the high and mighty have fallen! It's a pity that the likes of Smith and Ponting choose to be humble in defeat, only if they had been humble in victory, the wouldn't have to face defeat!

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 7:04 GMT)

it is sad for Smith , who lived his cricketing life like a king had to bow down to the underdogs, taking nothing from their performance , which should be highlight of the event.

Posted by mitchmclean on (March 26, 2011, 6:07 GMT)

SA just choked. New Zealand played well

Posted by kamalotus on (March 26, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

. . . yeah, one thing's for sure, DON'T take ANYTHING for granted !!! . . . :)

Posted by salehafaisalpal on (March 26, 2011, 5:23 GMT)

yesterday i was making fun of yardy(eng) for the "depression thing" but today i can understand what the depression is...I haven't slept the whole last night thinking about what happened yesterday and why did it happen???????????why do they always choke in knock out rounds???? and today this video made me cry with tears..i always loved team africa and will do it in the future.all my prayers r with team africa..best of luck for the next WC

Posted by ssenthil on (March 26, 2011, 5:13 GMT)

As a Albie Fan, I m Laughing at SA Fate, you deserved this. Get Back Albie in place of a Spinner and you have a team to beat, Hope Johan Botha or ABD will be handed the Captaincy

Posted by masterblaster1971 on (March 26, 2011, 4:56 GMT)

yep stunned by a better team, now get over it! NZ will continue it's march to victory

Posted by harshthakor on (March 26, 2011, 4:53 GMT)

I can't express how sorry I feel for South Africa who were the best balanced and performed team till this defeat just like in 1996 and 1999.It just proves that in a World Cup the best team can be eliminated on an offday just like West Indies in the final in 1983 .One has to question wehether the World Cup is the moral world championship as thee are numerous times where the best team has not won.Remember the deats of West Indies in 1983 ,Pakistan and India in 1987,Australia and England in 1992,South Africa in 1996 and 1999.Only West Indies and Australai have been the best teams.Such upsets are charasterictic of he 50 over game.

Sadly South Africa proved that they still do not posess that match-winning killer instinct and temperament which earlier Australia,Pakistan,Sri Lanka and West Indies posessed at their best.It is this temperament that is required to win a World cup which tragicaly has still eluded South Africa.

Posted by theilluminated11 on (March 26, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

Very good article about the tough man. What a sad demise it has been, SA are definitely the wrong team to be going out. SA has always worked so hard, so committed always its really hard to believe why glory has been evading them, perhaps there's something extraordinary in store for them in their dry harsh destiny. Perhaps they have a bigger, a much colossal glory ahead of them. God is Great.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

Greame Smith a best captain i have ever seen. But it was a bad luck again i would say.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (March 26, 2011, 4:03 GMT)

Well, the much hyped team bite the dust. Fast bowlers are not enough for winning a big stage game. You must know how to handle pressure. We predict it when India toured SA. SA not able to handle big pressure and spin bowling. Thats a reality.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 3:59 GMT)

Absence of Albie Morkel is the key reason for the defeat.........

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 3:47 GMT)

I love the South Africans and their brand of cricket.....and tis guy Smith in particularis one of my top favs.They have the armoury....they hav the skills , they hav the talent, they gel together super, as a team,,now what could be wrong? Overconfidence? see the way they opened their world cup campaign..Lethargic...they looked kinda bored....they simply must find the real reason as to why they fail to deliver in critical situations..ASAP...I wish

Posted by Abhiramb on (March 26, 2011, 3:43 GMT)

It is sad but true - Captain Smith should look at his lack of contribution to the team rather than expecting his lieutenants to deliver all the time because he does not! When was the last time he scored a one day 100? What is his average for the past 2 years? Why did he not stick around till the 35th or 40th over in the NZ match?

Posted by Bhupal_Pandey on (March 26, 2011, 3:25 GMT)

How Australia must have loved to face SA rather than India in QF's. Had Aussies lost to Kiwi earlier, they would have faced SA, and may have marched to Semi-Final. Alas! With SA out, a final spot is more or less assured for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is one of the most consistent team against the inconsistent teams. I predict two comprehensive victories for the Lankans, resulting in a Pakistan vs SL or an Ind vs SL final which Sri Lanka has a better chance of winning. A second WC for the Lankans is waiting.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 2:49 GMT)

better luck next time dude..

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (March 26, 2011, 2:18 GMT)

Smith should be surprised if SA won because they are the chokers.

Posted by Mahee123 on (March 26, 2011, 1:40 GMT)

Why the reporters are asking stupid question like chokers n jokers. I feel sry for smith. Some things u can not explain. They played poorly. Thats it!.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 1:38 GMT)

It's NZ fielding that won match for them. Simply terrific. Never gave up anything.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 0:59 GMT)

In hindsight , the middle order is really a bunch of mavericks of the South Africans ! They gambled and it just was'nt their day. ( as its so happened previously )

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 0:42 GMT)

South Africa has an awesome team, regardless of this match result. When it comes to the knockout stages, you never know what you will get from your opponent because the pressure is immense so there will be surprises. You win some, you lose some. Keep your heads up, SA...your time will come.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2011, 0:39 GMT)

dont agree with best balanced side... yes the bowling dept is no1, they light on the batting, dont care what icc says amla a great bat but not no1.. not in the sub continent! de villiers and kallis the only ones who are a threat..

Posted by cricinfo.nag on (March 26, 2011, 0:04 GMT)

have to face it.... very sad though... If the world cup is to be won by a team other than the sub-continent teams then it should have been SA.. :(

Posted by MadeInIndia on (March 25, 2011, 23:59 GMT)

Not to take too much out of it. It was just one off-day.

May be the Organizers need to re-think the Knockout Model for next year. How about a Round-Robin for top 6 to select two teams that play the final?

Posted by Guduji71 on (March 25, 2011, 23:52 GMT)

Best team of the WC is out, I can not believe that. I have got the feeling that the teams with higher expectations are not going to have good time anymore in this WC. I can see SL and India in trouble in their comming matches. I have got the feeling one of the underdog is going to win this WC, NZ, Pakistan or England, one of these teams will go all the way and win the WC.

Posted by stationmaster on (March 25, 2011, 23:38 GMT)

I love the fact that everyone in NZ is always bagging the team, but STILL the Black Caps carry on fighting, often with little home support, I love those guys - they rock !

Posted by Sulaimaan91 on (March 25, 2011, 23:07 GMT)

A SriLankan fan but im so so disappointed, i expected so much from this SA team.They had the most well-balanced team.The 2007 format would have helped, where you didnt have the knockouts until the semis.SA were the best team in the group stages.Feel so sorry for SA fans, their best chance for the title and they have missed it, like in 99.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 22:52 GMT)

This sets the stage for the most anticipated WC final: Pak vs NZ

Posted by KingOwl on (March 25, 2011, 22:10 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan, I must say that I feel for Greame Smith. He deserved more.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 22:09 GMT)

yeaaaaaaaah New Zealand, maybe for once South Africa won't take you lightly next time

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 21:58 GMT)

Excellent article.I am a fan of SA team who watched the last hour of the match in total disbelief.My sympathies are with G.Smith, a high class fighter deserved honors at this moment.

Posted by nlambda on (March 25, 2011, 21:36 GMT)

Long before the WC started, I suspected this would happen. I had commented on cricinfo during the India series that this would be the outcome of the SA campaign. Didn't know who the opponents would be, but that would not have mattered...

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 21:34 GMT)

south africa still i love you ,the way u play . nevermind u are heroes for ur style and cool mindness. my heart sunk for a while when i heard the news but yesterday dies and tommorow is waiting for you. you are the champs even u don get the cup. u have the capability to trash any side. its not the end.

Posted by pipsonian on (March 25, 2011, 21:24 GMT)

This proves wrong the assertion by many that Group A was an easier group as compared to group B. With New Zealand going through and Australia being involved in a nail biting game, i think Group A was a lot tougher than what it seemed on the paper.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 21:21 GMT)

Seems quite surprising fact that both teams which won against Bangladesh are out of the touranment all in matches played in Bangladesh.

Posted by WC2011_Del on (March 25, 2011, 21:20 GMT)

Poor fellows, i thought SA is the favorite for this world cup, but now INDIA will easily take away this world cup.

Posted by dalok on (March 25, 2011, 21:19 GMT)

Oh South Africa. How do you manage to get these defeats. I for one always thought SA batting line up is too brittle after Amla, Kallis and Devilliers are gone. They no longer have the finishers like Kluesner, Pollock and Boucher. Their bowlers are no longer as good allrounders as they used to be at one time.

Posted by PradeepSandra on (March 25, 2011, 21:08 GMT)

I have been seeing this since childhood...SA lose the crunch games.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 20:55 GMT)

Nothing is ever certain in cricket

Posted by Navaneethqatar on (March 25, 2011, 20:38 GMT)

What a moment for NZ..? The match was lost by SA as my wife always says these people are most talented but not gifted with much luck.. I Love SA atleaset for my wife Vani.. BRING IT ON INDIA

Posted by sulthan_arif on (March 25, 2011, 20:35 GMT)

Sad to see Smith in this situation. yet another knock out loss..but somehow i feel they missed Boucher who would be worthy middle order and stabilize the batting. It is not a worthy one to blame batting technique of international player who have 292 ODI under his belt. South African team needs Coach change first.....Bring back Micky Arthur !!

Posted by inswing on (March 25, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

Feel bad for them. Prob. the best team in the tournament. Kallis' shot was irresponsible and careless. They never need big hits. AB did a Gambhir with crazy attempts at running. Can't blame anyone else.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 20:09 GMT)

Good try South Africa, luck is just not favoring you. New Zealand are just as unpredictable as Pakistan. They'll lose 4 matches on the trot to Bangladesh and then give Pakistan a real tough time in the home series followed by this kind of excellent performance against the most balanced team in the world. They sure are a hot contender for the title now.

Cheers!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 20:00 GMT)

This has been a most disappoinitng world cup as far as south africa is concern...australia would not mind with their defeat but its all that south africa....very rear people in world would have aspected the black caps can b a china wall for south africa....ricky ponting being outstanding in his clash with india but compare not black caps with india,smith the calm and cool leader has expressed with his face not eith his words,how much disppointing the loss is....hope south africa will show their potential in upcoming series against the title holder of 2011 wc....best of luck for army lead by big man -smith for future....

Posted by SzlyAr on (March 25, 2011, 20:00 GMT)

Feel really sorry for such exceptional bunch of Cricketers...probably the only team who looked GOOD for the Cup but now that's a forgone story.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:59 GMT)

Lol.......NZ should be the one in disbelief not SA....

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:58 GMT)

South Africans lived upto their expectations of exiting the world cup when knock out stage gets going..It's heartning to see one of the world cup favourites failing to go past QF's..Really feel sorry for them:(

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:57 GMT)

I feel for Smith! it was a devastating loss and it was totally unexpected but being half kiwi I'm mighty proud that NZ are into the semi's.. good luck to them.

Posted by Faizal23 on (March 25, 2011, 19:56 GMT)

no words to mention...................... u r the best team in this world cup in all department............. even though................best of luck for the future...

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:54 GMT)

oh man.he can't believe this .SA always perform whole year.but when the big event comes they can,t handle pressure...so sad for SA

Posted by bumsonseats on (March 25, 2011, 19:52 GMT)

i thought SA would win the world cup. the leggie that was added was just the icing on the cake. only thing i thought was missing was a good bowling allrounder. but then they were found out by the quality of their batting in the 6/7/8 positions in indian conditions they needed to get 50/60 runs from that combination either batting 1st or 2nd. dpk

Posted by harshit-purwar on (March 25, 2011, 19:50 GMT)

Sad and very disappointed day for cricket fans and heartbroken for proteas fans. Personally it hurts me when proteas lost after dominating 75% of game...

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:49 GMT)

go nz, nice work guys just one more game and we will make the final for the first time go nz!!!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:48 GMT)

I don't think Smith should quit captaincy in this situation. The team needs him as captain even for ODI .. What a brave man .. But, Gosh .. my 19 yrs of support still crying after worldcup.. its too hard ... The sun will rise again tomorrow in Bangladesh, so in South Africa.. We will win it oneday, maybe when I'll be too old to jump in stadium with all the excitement that I had even today in Dhaka stadium .. Good Luck Proteas .. !!

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:44 GMT)

Feel sorry for you SA team...you had all the makings of a great team but erred when it mattered the most!!!

Posted by FunkyRaj on (March 25, 2011, 19:41 GMT)

As pleased as I am for New Zealand, I am absolutely gutted for South Africa. Such a talented bunch of guys. Although changes are inevitable & necessary, a witch hunt would not be fair - they all tried very hard.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2011, 19:35 GMT)

You almost feel sorry, and not in an insulting way. Smith has been forced to grow up in public eye. He has faltered but always dusted himself up, assessed the mistakes honestly and regained his focus. Regardless of nationality, everyone could see the flexibility of mindset, the quality spin options and the relaxed approach South Africa took. They always had good batsmen and acrobatic fielders. No wonder Smith struggled to find fault. It's that mental aspect of the game where they have failed again. The more they lose, the more they get too eager to win ... of the three T's required for success - talent and tenacity have never been lacking with the Proteas - temperament is!

Posted by Pickwick on (March 25, 2011, 19:25 GMT)

Commisserations to a very fine South African team. We know you are good enough for the final but it just wasnt your day today. Congratulations to a plucky NZ side who deserve this after a long-suffering season.

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