South Africa keen to shed the tag of chokers

The Proteas have recently enjoyed some memorable Test triumphs, winning series in both England and Australia.

But since South Africa’s re-admission in 1991, they have not reached the final of a major one-day tournament.

“We have had a wonderful past 12 months, which has included winning away Test series in both England and Australia and winning home-and-away one-day international series against Australia to gain top spot in the world rankings,” said South Africa captain Graeme Smith.

“One of the boxes we still want to tick is to win a major International Cricket Council Championship.”

But that will require the Proteas to end their run of self-inflicted wounds. At the 1999 World Cup, fast bowler Allan Donald was run out with one required for victory in their semifinal against Australia, the tie taking the Aussies into the final.

Four years later, on home soil, South Africa’s failure to correctly interpret the Duckworth-Lewis system saw them go out of the World Cup in the group stage during a rain-affected match against Sri Lanka.

South Africa staged the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 but did not reach the semifinals.

But 12 of their 15-man squad played in the recent Indian Premier League. They beat both Pakistan and Sri Lanka convincingly in their warm-up matches.

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