Mumbai: South African fans will remember the place and the time, ahead of the crucial encounter against New Zealand on June 19. It is the very same place where Allan Donald sailed from the non striker’s end thinking that the winning moment had arrived. Unfortunately, Allan Donald got ran out as Darren Lehmann threw the ball to the non-striker’s end to get Donald run out.
Nevertheless, South Africa’s World Cup plan is almost shattered . New Zealand lies second on the table. The Kiwis, and India, remain the only team who are yet to be defeated. 20 years later, South Africa are back again in the same place at Edgbaston for their first World Cup game versus New Zealand since the 1999 World Cup semi-final against Australia. The last time South Africa managed to beat New Zealand during the World Cup was also 20 years ago, and also at the same place.
However, when it comes to playing knockout and semi-final, South Africa would never want to face New Zealand. The Kiwis have defeated the Proteas in the 2011 quarterfinal by 49 runs. And in 2015 semi-final the Kiwis again knocked the AB de Villiers-led unit by four wickets (DLS method).
The Proteas are now on the brink of facing a possible elimination at the hands of the BlackCaps from the 2019 World Cup. The Faf Du Plessis side has suffered three defeats and registered just one win, including a washout, gaining just three points from their five games. This indicates, they need to gain victory in all of their four games to claim 11 points, which possibility could boost their chances of qualifying for the semis provided if other results are in their favour.
The South Africans are under the radar, after suffering consecutive defeats at the hands of England, Bangladesh, India, and have defeated only Afghanistan and have claimed a single point from a washout against West Indies. They are in a do or die situation. Just like the 1999 World Cup match in Birmingham, 20 years ago. A defeat from which, in whatever way the South African say, the organisation of South African cricket has been wounded....