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South Africa's exit a ‘bitter pill to swallow’, says coach Boucher

Temba Bavuma’s team stunned England by 10 runs in final Super 12 match but Australia claimed the second semi-final spot from the pool with a better net run rate

Agencies Sharjah Published 08.11.21, 03:32 AM
Mark Boucher.

Mark Boucher. File photo

South Africa’s exit from the Twenty20 World Cup despite winning four out of their five group matches is “a bitter pill to swallow”, said coach Mark Boucher.

Temba Bavuma’s team stunned Group I leaders England by 10 runs in their final Super 12 match but Australia claimed the second semi-final spot from the pool by virtue of a better net run rate.


“It’s not a successful (campaign) because you’re knocked out of the World Cup. It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” former Test player Boucher said after their 10-run victory against 2010 champions England.

“I think we played some very good cricket throughout the campaign, under a lot of pressure as well after having lost our first game. We beat the in-form side in world cricket tonight (Saturday) ... It’s tough for the guys.”

South Africa began with a defeat by Australia and were rocked by a controversy when Quinton de Kock pulled out of the match against the West Indies after rejecting a team directive to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

After posting their tournament-high total of 189 for two, South Africa had to restrict England to 131 or fewer to make the semi-finals ahead of Australia but they fell short of that target.

“We knew what we had to do today,” Boucher said.

“The equation was very difficult for us to have to get through. I just said to the guys just try and control what we can control.

“We did the job today, but yeah, it’s quite bitter.”

Boucher could not find any fault with Bavuma’s fledgling team though.

“We by no means are a finished product. These games will stand us in very good stead...

“One thing we probably haven’t done very well in the past is playing big games, pressure games, and we really did well in this particular competition.

“It’s a young side. We are still developing and hopefully we can go from strength-to-strength from here.”

Proud Bavuma

Captain Bavuma described his side’s T20 campaign as a “bittersweet” one.

“Win was important, but a bittersweet ending for us. Achieved what we wanted to do in terms of winning, but didn’t win well enough. We gave our all with the bat and with the ball,” Bavuma said at the post-match presentation.

“At the start of the tournament it (net run rate) wasn’t a big factor, we felt we wanted to win the game.

“Tough to bring NRR into effect in our last game, especially against a side like England. But very proud of the side and think there’s a lot we can take away from this,” he said.

“We’ve got to build on the confidence and momentum, this will give us experience and learnings we can take from this World Cup going forward.”

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