« Back to articlePrint this article

'Proteas, you are nothing but winners'

Last updated on: March 24, 2015 17:30 IST

AB de Villiers

South Africa's AB de Villiers is lost in thought during the press conference after losing the 2015 Cricket World Cup semi-final to inst New Zealand at Eden Park on Tuesday. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand and South Africa played their hearts out in the first semi-final of the ICC World Cup at the Eden Park in Auckland on Tuesday, but it was the Black Caps who emerged triumphant by four wickets.

Prem Panicker: Fortune's Fools Fail Again

PHOTOS: Elliott's six powers Kiwis to maiden World Cup final

New Zealand sneak past South Africa to enter maiden World Cup final

Don't Miss! The Rediff Cricket Show

While the Proteas were left to reflect on the what-ifs again, one got to feel for AB de Villiers.

Imran Tahir of South Africa, left, shows his dejection

From left: South Africa's Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir and Rilee Rossouw wear a dejected look at the presentation ceremony. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

It was hard for the South African players to control their emotions as they certainly gave their all in the thrilling tie.

Grant Elliott of New Zealand helps Dale Steyn of South Africa

Grant Elliott, who scored a six off the penultimate delivery to win the match for New Zealand, helps South Africa pacer Dale Steyn off the ground at the end of the match. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Words of comfort came in quickly for the South Africans, who will hang on with the ‘chokers’ tag.

Cricket South Africa tweeted, “6 and New Zealand win by 4 wickets. It's all over for the Proteas. Hard luck boys. We always stand behind the #ProteaFire.”

South Africa's Minister of Sports was also supportive. “To Proteas, you are nothing but Winners in my eyes, and I am positive the whole nation agrees!,” he posted on Twitter.

Grant Elliott of New Zealand leaves the field

Job well done! New Zealand's man-of-the-match Grant Elliott leaves the field. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand scripted history by entering their maiden World Cup final.

Batsman Ross Taylor, tweeted, “ Woohoo. Who's coming to Melbourne????”

Stephen Fleming, the Back Caps' former captain, was ecstatic.

“What an unbelievable game. So proud of the Back Caps and what they have achieved. Also feel the raw pain of South Africa on an amazing day,” read his post on the social networking site.