South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma said the ouster from the T20 World Cup was “hard one to swallow" as the Proteas choked in yet another ICC tournament in Adelaide on Sunday.
South Africa were stunned as the Netherlands beat them by 13 runs in their Super 12 finale to get eliminated from the group stage of the T20 showpiece.
“Hard one to swallow. We had the confidence and belief in ourselves as a unit to make the play-offs," a disappointed Bavuma said at the post-match presentation.
Boasting a fiery pace attack, South Africa just needed to beat minnows Netherlands to make the cut.
But their shock defeat handed Pakistan and Bangladesh a lifeline as they battle for the second semi-final spot from Group 2. The result also sealed India’s last-four berth ahead of their concluding Group 2 match against Zimbabwe.
“Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t do it. Winning the toss and bowling, what they got wasn’t ideal. We lost wickets at crucial times. They used the dimensions of the field a lot better than we did," he added.
South Africa have got the ‘chokers tag’ not by mere coincidence. Always the pre-tournament favourites, South Africa are yet to reach the final of a World Cup event.
They have lost at semi-final stage at the T20 World Cup twice — 2009 and 2014.
In the ODI World Cup, they have lost out in the last-four on four occasions — 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2015.
The Netherlands skipper Scot Edwards was at “loss of words" after securing their first ever win against South Africa in any format.
“Lost for words… It’s going to take a bit of time… We are sort of used to those conditions," he said.
“It’s definitely up there — another big upset for Netherlands in a World Cup… We were still playing for a spot in the next World Cup," he added.
It was Netherlands second win in the Super 12 stage after having defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets earlier.