The one team that performs well throughout the year is South Africa. It would not be wrong to say that the Proteas deserve the World Cup more than anyone else. The team has a long list of capable bowlers and explosive batsmen as well. They play consistently well throughout the year, be it AB de Villiers or Hashim Amla or even Dale Steyn for that matter. They excel in each aspect of Cricket; bowling, batting and fielding.
In Benson & Hedges World Cup 1992 Proteas led the campaign exceedingly well, but unfortunately they were crushed by the England by 19 runs at the semi-final of the tournament. Chasing a target of 252 runs the South African team managed only 232/6 runs on board. With still 20 runs to win from the final two overs the rain interrupted the play and match was stopped. When the match resumed South Africa got an impossible revised target of 21 runs off 1 ball only. Hence England was declared as the winner. Even under the Duckworth/Lewis calculation as per the rules in 2006 would have declared the same.
In ICC Cricket World Cup 1996, South Africa again performed well and even reached quarter final stage as well but they lost the match at the hand of West Indies by a narrow margin of 19 runs once again. West Indies gave a target of 265 runs to win, but Proteas were bowled out for 245 runs only. South Africa’s campaign for the trophy came to an end.
The most shocking was the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999 when South Africa played an outstanding cricket in this edition of the world cup. However, at the end of the semi-final match against Australia, the South African team remained unfortunate once again. Lance Klusener’s heroic in the trophy earned him Player of The Tournament award, but eventually the team could not reach into final. Chasing a target of mere 213 runs only, the Proteas equaled the total but Australia were declared winner since they had a better position in the super-six table. Thus 1 run proved very costly for the South African cricket team.
Four years later, ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 was held in South Africa and they had a golden opportunity to create history this time. Once again rain played the spoilsport and South Africa’s dream shattered. South Africa needed 269 runs to win, but revised target was set to 230 due to rain. However the Proteas again fell short of 1 run under D/L method. Sri Lanka advanced to the super six round and the host got eliminated in the first stage of the championship.
In the last two world cups held in the year 2007 and 2011 respectively, the South Africa again failed to reach final. In ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 the South African team was bowled out for 153 runs only which proved to be a very easy target for Australia in the semi-final of the tournament. Australia’s victory took them into the final and they won the tournament as well.
In ICC Cricket world cup 2011, South Africa once again showed their nervousness when they were unsuccessful to chase down a low score of 221 against New Zealand at a quarter-final of the trophy. The Kiwi players bowled out Proteas for 172 only. With this New Zealand won the match by 49 runs and reached the semi-final also. Thus Bad Luck followed South Africa, especially in the cricket’s most prestigious tournament for the last 23 years. It would be very exciting to see how South Africa performs in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2015!