ICC World Cup 2019: South Africa’s fateful journey in the history of the tournament

Of the 54 matches they have played in WC so far, South Africa have won 35, lost 17 and tied two.


World Cup 1996; lost to Windies in quarter-finals


Under Hansie Cronje, the South Africans were the most consistent team in this World Cup winning all their five games in the group stage (champions Sri Lanka also won all but two of them were forfeited). They beat debutants UAE by 169 runs; New Zealand by 5 wickets; England by 78 runs; co-hosts Pakistan by 5 wickets and the Netherlands by 160 runs. The Proteas looked one of the favourites to lift the title till they rammed into a wall called Brian Charles Lara. The Caribbean’s 111 in Karachi in the quarter-finals stunned SA by 19 runs and they crashed out.

World Cup 1999; crashed out after a tied semi-final


Cronje was at the helm once again and the Proteas were off to an impressive start, beating India by 4 wickets in the first match. They thrashed Sri Lanka by 89 runs and co-hosts England by 122 runs; Kenya by 7 wickets but lost to Zimbabwe by 48 runs in their final group game. They still advanced to the Super Six as group champions and beat Pakistan by 3 wickets and got better of New Zealand by 74 runs before losing to Australia in a significant game by 5 wickets.


It was in this match that centurion Herschelle Gibbs dropped Australian skipper and centurion Steve Waugh and the latter mocked him saying that he had just dropped the World Cup. Waugh’s prophecy turned out to be brutally true for the Proteas as a tied semi-final meant Australia went through to the finals since they were placed higher than their opponents.

South Africa were favourites right till the end in the semi-final but a disastrous delay by Allan Donald in responding to the winning run hit by Lance Klusener saw him getting run out and his team agonisingly out of yet another World Cup.


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