‘We fought back’: Proteas coach insists they did not choke again
"There's nothing even remotely close to a choke that happened out there today."
Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma looks on during his team’s Cricket World Cup semi-final against Australia. Picture: Pankaj Nangia/Gallo Images
His team did not ‘choke’, head coach Rob Walter insisted, after South Africa crashed out in the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup following a hard-fought defeat to Australia in Kolkata on Thursday.
Needing 213 runs to win their last-four clash, Australia reached 215/7, securing a three-wicket victory with 16 balls to spare.
Earlier, David Miller led a comeback with a magnificent century (101 runs) which helped the South Africans recover from an early collapse as they hit back from 24/4 in the early stages of their innings to compile 212 runs all out.
It was not enough, however, and they never really recovered from a poor start.
“It’s obviously gutting to lose a semi-final, but beyond that, I’m incredibly proud of the fight shown by the lads,” Walter said.
“The first 12 overs of batting this afternoon was a serious challenge, and ultimately, I think that’s what separated the game.”
Despite the national team falling short of a place in the trophy contest for the fifth time, Walter insisted the Proteas did not deserve to carry any ‘chokers’ tag after their latest defeat.
“For me, a choke is losing a game that you’re in a position to win. In this instance, we were behind the eight-ball right from the word go and we actually fought our way back into the competition and put up a score that gave us a chance,” he said.
“And then again (when Australia batted) they got off to a flyer and we fought and we put ourselves back into the game – and of course we were 30 runs or 40 runs short… but for me there’s nothing even remotely close to a choke that happened out there today. It was a serious contest between two good teams.”