How South Africa earned their chokers tag?
In 1992 World Cup semi-final v England, Sydney:
Not technically a choke, more of a robbery. South Africa, chasing 253, needed 22 from 13 balls when the heavens opened but under the controversial pre-Duckworth/Lewis rain rule, which deducted the opposition’s two least productive overs from the target, they needed 21 from just one ball.
In 1996, South Africa were the favourites to win the World Cup after they won all five of their group games with ease, topping Group B. In the quarter-final, they were pitted against the West Indies, who could only manage 2 wins out of 5 games in the group stage. Everyone thought that it would be a walk in the park for the Proteas, but West Indies stunned everyone, with Brian Lara scoring a brilliant 111 off 94 balls.
In 1999 World Cup, semi-final v Australia, Edgbaston:
Needing a manageable nine runs to win from the final over, Lance Klusener hit the first two balls for four, leaving just one run from four to seal his side’s place in the final. However, a horrific mix-up with last man Allan Donald led to a dramatic run out which cost the Proteas their final wicket and a place in the final.
In 2003 World Cup, group match v Sri Lanka, Durban:
Another rain-interrupted game saw Mark Boucher block out what turned out to be the final ball thinking the hosts were ahead on Duckworth/Lewis calculations. Instead, the teams were tied, Boucher was the victim of an incorrect message from the Proteas dressing room.
In 2007 they crashed out in the semi–finals after being dismissed by Australia for 149, their lowest World Cup score.
In 2011 World Cup, quarter-final v New Zealand, Dhaka:
The most recent ‘choke’ saw Graeme Smith’s men throw away a place in the last four as they buckled under the pressure of chasing 222. Cruising on 108 for two, South Africa lost eight wickets for 64 to collapse to a humiliating defeat.
In 2015 World Cup, semi-final v New Zealand, Auckland:
Rain interrupted cause New Zealand favour when South Africa were cruising at 216-3 in 38 overs. The match was reduced to 43 overs and South Africa scored 281-5 and the DL adjusted target for New Zealand is 289 in 43 overs. Brendon McCullum got his side off to a flier before 4 wickets in no succession dented them back. Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott stitched together a vital pertnership. When the Kiwis were cruising on with the match, AB de Villiers fell over the stumps after failing to gather the ball cleanly to run Corey Anderson out. Quinton de Kock did the same to Grant Elliott before Farhaan Berhardian dropped a catch in the penultimate overas the Kiwis sneaked home with a ball left.