"If we feel so heartbroken, how do the players themselves feel"? - Joey Rasdien
My heart goes out to that Proteas squad. Their pain was real. Their faces was what the face of Oscar should have looked like in court. Only it was worse. More than anything they let themselves down. Forget about letting the country down. Forget about letting their teammates down. It's deeper than that for AB De Villiers and his men. The ones we call the Proteas. Harder they could not have worked. More prepared they could not have been. But here is the question. Can they forgive themselves? Can they hold up their heads and say we have done I best? History will show that New Zealand beat South Africa by chasing down 298 in 43 overs.
History will not show that the D/L system of determining a target in a rain effected match is outdated. With AB and Miller at the crease with 7 overs remaining in a small ground that 298 could have been at least 350 taking actuarial calculations into account as to how innings' end these days especially in the months leading up to the tournament and in the tournament itself. Take nothing away from the Kiwi run chase. McCullum led from the front in front which in my opinion change the outlook for the rest of the innings. He attacked and successfully so our main bowler. Case of cut it at its head.
On Monday before the semi I told Xolani Gwala that AB should not open with Dale as his length when the ball isn't swinging a guy like the Kiwi captain can just hit through the line. I also think that Abbott should have played instead of VDP. Again the length VDP bowls is excellent for test cricket but he will come under pressure in shorter formats where batsman look to punish length balls.
We can hypothesize ect but the bottomline is that 298 should have been defendable. Grant Elliot batted outstanding. A former St Stithians boy moving to New Zealand taking the World Cup out of Protea hands at the ripe age of 36. We had our chances. A couple of run out chances went begging. That clash between JP and Fudgie, balls prior to the winning blow. We will chat about this for years to come and it will stay with these players forever. Even their great grandchildren will hear about that Semi-Final. Just ask Allen Donald and Lance Klusener Or Herschelle Gibbs. A thrilling game where New Zealand and deservedly so came out on top. The Proteas played their hearts out.
Here is Joey's #FiveFor..