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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Rain pushes S Africa out of World Cup

March 04, 2003 03:06 IST

Scoreboard | Analysis

South Africa were knocked out of the World Cup in the cruelest of circumstances on Monday as rain intervened to leave their final Group B match against Sri Lanka ending in a tie under the Duckworth/Lewis scoring method.

Four years after they were eliminated from the last World Cup after a semi-final tie with Australia, the South Africans were again left cursing after putting themselves in with a good chance of beating Sri Lanka to claim a place in the Super Sixes.

South Africa's misfortune allowed New Zealand to progress, the Kiwis joining Sri Lanka, Kenya, Australia and India in the Super Sixes.

The last place will be decided on Tuesday when Zimbabwe play Pakistan in Group A, with those two sides and England in contention to advance.

Chasing 269 for victory, South Africa captain Shaun Pollock and Mark Boucher added 63 for the sixth wicket to take their side to 212 for six. Pollock was brilliantly run out by Muttiah Muralitharan, but Lance Klusener and Boucher edged the hosts to 229 for six when persistent rain forced the players off.

Confusion reigned as officials sought the Duckworth/Lewis sheets and it soon emerged that the match would end in a tie if the players were unable to return.

Boucher had struck Muralitharan for six to reach 45 not out and he then failed to score from the last ball of the 45th over, which became the final delivery of the match. A single would have brought South Africa victory and a place in the next round.

The umpires returned to the arena around 35 minutes later and asked the ground-staff to remove the covers but within moments the heavens opened up again and the officials left the field for the last time.

Marvan Atapattu was Sri Lanka's batting inspiration with a sparkling 124, the opener sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 152 with Aravinda de Silva that laid the foundation for an imposing total of 268 for nine.

It could have been higher, but South Africa dismissed both batsmen in quick succession before taking a flurry of late wickets to peg the Sri Lankans back.

South Africa openers Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs shared a fluent partnership of 65 before Smith, on 35, pulled a De Silva long-hop straight to deep mid-wicket.

Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis fell cheaply and when Gibbs was bowled by Muralitharan for 73 the hosts were in trouble at 149 for four.

But Pollock and his vice-captain Boucher led the recovery with a sensible run-a-ball partnership that had put the South Africans in a position to push for victory when the rains arrived.

Sri Lanka topped the Group B with 18 points while South Africa were left with only 14 points.

New Zealand also benefited from the result and made it to the Super Six along with Kenya who had already qualified.

South Africa were also knocked out of the 1992 World Cup in unfortunate circumstances when a rain delay left them in an impossible situation in their semi-final against England.

No host country has ever won the cricket World Cup.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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Number of User Comments: 28




Sub: a doubt

in 1996 when srilanka was one of the host didn't they win the WORLD CUP????? world cup jinx was broken long ago


Posted by sangeetha





Sub: South Africa will be missed out

Very wrong to say that no host country has ever won the world cup. Sri Lanka co-hosting the world cup with India and Pakistan had ...


Posted by Ash





Sub: Host country did win World Cup once !

I have a quick comment on the last line which states "No Host country has ever won the world cup".Well,the 1996 World Cup was hosted ...


Posted by Krishna





Sub: One of the hosts has won the World Cup

The last sentence in the article mentions that no host nation has ever won the World Cup. Sri Lanka, one of the co-hosts of the ...


Posted by Mani





Sub: host country world cup jinx

Actually, Sri Lanka was one of the hosts for 1996 world cup and they did win the cup, even though it the finals were held ...


Posted by atlas




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