South Africa’s exit from the Twenty20 World Cup despite winning four our of its five group matches is “a bitter pill to swallow,” said coach Mark Boucher.
Temba Bavuma’s team stunned Group I leader England by 10 runs in its final Super 12 match but Australia claimed the second semifinal spot from the pool by virtue of a better net run-rate.
“It’s not successful (campaign) because you’re knocked out of the World Cup. It’s a bitter pill to swallow,” former Test player Boucher said after South Africa’s 10-run victory against 2010 champion England.
“I think we played some very good cricket throughout the campaign, under a lot of pressure as well after having lost our first game.”
“We beat the in-form side in world cricket tonight … It’s tough for the guys.”
South Africa began with a defeat by Australia and was rocked by a controversy when Quinton de Kock pulled out of the match against West Indies after rejecting a team directive to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
After posting its tournament-high total of 189 for 2, South Africa had to restrict England to 131 or fewer to make the semifinals ahead of Australia but it fell short of that target.
“We knew what we had to do today,” Boucher said. “The equation was very difficult for us to have to get through. I just said to the guys just try and control what we can control. We did the job today, but yeah, it’s quite bitter.”
Boucher could not find any fault with Bavuma’s fledgling team, though. “We by no means are a finished product. These games will stand us in very good stead.
“One thing we probably haven’t done very well in the past is playing big games, pressure games, and we really did well in this particular competition.
“It’s a young side. We are still developing and hopefully we can go from strength-to-strength from here.”