We are not chokers, asserts disappointed Smith


South Africa had bowled well to restrict Pakistan to 149 in the semifinals of the World Twenty20 and they started their chase on a positive note, adding 40 without losing a wicket in nearly six overs. Naturally, one expects the Proteas to go on and win the match without much ado, but they bottled up inexplicably towards the end, handing Pakistan a seven-run victory.

The entire evening’s procedure justified that embarrassing tag South Africans have carrying around for years now – chokers. Skipper Graeme Smith was understandably disappointed.

“Every time we lose an important game like this, the word is going to be thrown around. This tournament is a knockout tournament from the word go. Maybe the other teams choked in the Super 8 stage.

“We are disappointed and sad that we have to leave the tournament now. We played some great cricket throughout the tournament and you got to give credit to Pakistan. Afridi in particular had a great game with both bat and ball and he probably was the difference between both teams,” Smith said.

But he forgot one thing, Pakistan’s desire to come back from the brink and South Africa lacked it. Smith also found the fickle nature of T20 cricket an easier target to blame for their exit.

“It's T20 cricket, you are playing against a quality international team. Sometimes you get beaten. That's the unfortunate thing and the level that we played at right through this tournament, we probably deserve to be in the final but that's not the way it was and that's what makes this game so great.”

Smith added that his team had the potential to go even higher in international events. “If I look back on my period of captaincy, this side has really started to take a really massive upward curve.

“It's a fast improving team in many facets. It's only going to get stronger and stronger over the next few years. I really believe that.”

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