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South Africa Story So Far In World Cup History

A detailed look back at the heartbreaking story of South Africa in the world cup history. The great performers of cricket are somehow named as chokers in the world cups.

Last updated: 10.09.2020
South Africa Cricket World Cup history | Sports Social Blog

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South Africa and World Cup this alignment never fits in a frame perfectly. Another World Cup Campaign and it went in a vain too. From 1992 – South Africa readmission to cricket. It is the same story for South Africa in every World Cup.


South Africa begin their campaign in every world cup as the “hot favorites” but ending it as “heart broken” after some nail-biting finishes in the knockout rounds. 


Let us take a look back at the heart breaking history of South Africa in the world campaign so far:


  • 1992 World Cup:


Playing its first world campaign South Africa. Nothing much expected from them but South Africa stunned the audience by stepping inside the Semi-Finals.


The eyes were on the second semi-final between South Africa versus England. After winning the toss, South Africa decided to bowl first and England's team posted 252/6 in their allocated 45 overs. Chasing the target 253 under the pressure game won't be easy for South Africa yet they have determined to make it possible no matter how many hurdles will come in their way.


South Africa started the chase from the early breakthroughs to 206/6 the equation came down to 22 runs required off 13 balls. At this point South Africa will be going to the finals of 1992 world cup.

But rain affected the play and when the game resumed, according to Duckworth Lewis System the equation was revised as it required 22 runs off 1 ball. What's next was that the South Africa campaign came to an end after unexpected fair-play or the weather forecast.


  • 1996 World Cup:


The World Cup after which the South Africa team was given the tag of “Chokers”. After the unexpected exit from the 1992 world cup this time South Africa looked favourites to lift the trophy.


Winning the 5 league games with 10 points and qualified for the Quarter-finals. They were looking to enter the semi-finals one more time. In the knockout game of the quarter final South Africa face-off West-Indies.


After winning the toss, West Indies decided to bat first and went onto post 264/9 in the 50 overs with the fine century of Brian Lara 111 runs off 94 balls. Another knockout game and South Africa was chasing the target of 265 with the likes Gary Kristen, Jonty Rhodes, Hansie Cronje and Daryll Cullinan.


With 185/3 at one stage it looked South Africa making it to semi-finals for the second time. But followed the next complete debacle from a great batting side in the crucial knockout game of the World Cup. As South Africa bowled out 245 runs and lost the game by 19 runs.


  • 1999 World Cup:


Another World Cup campaign and it was the same story from the previous two world cups. After winning the 4 games out of 5 in the group stage south Africa entered the super six stage with 8 points.


Winning 3 out of 5 games in the super six stage South Africa moved to the Semi-finals. South Africa face-off against the same opponent of Super Six stage Australia. This was the clash of titans and the best game in the campaign so far.


South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl first and South Africa completely dominated the Australian while restricting them at the score of 213 runs. Chasing the small total the expectations were a mix-bag from South Africa. With 61/4 at one point it looked South Africa crumbled one more time but the middle order provided some resistance to take the score to 205/9. With this equation boiled down to 9 runs required off 6 balls. Lance klusener made it clear with 8 runs off the first 2 balls South Africa entered the finals finally.


Cricket is a game of unexpected endings and that's what followed next a bizarre run out of Allan Donald ended the match in a tie. Australia moved to the finals with the victory in a super-six stage against South Africa.


  • 2003 World Cup:


South Africa was the favourites to win the world Cup after hosting the world Cup. After winning the 3 games out of 5 it was a do and die situation for South Africa to make it to the super-six stage game against Sri-Lanka.


Sri-Lanka after winning the toss decided to bat first in a crucial game. Without wasting the time Sri-Lanka posted 268/9 in their allocated 50 overs. One more south Africa was chasing the target under the lights which will not be easy at all.


With the World Cup on home conditions South Africa audience was expecting the first world cup trophy. The openers started the chase and they have made it clear we are moving to the next round.


The rain interrupted the play and scenes of the 1992 world cup were getting refreshed. Will South Africa clear the line? There was the message to Mark Boucher and Lance Klusener that the target was 229 runs in the 45 overs. Boucher hit the six on the penultimate ball of the over to equal the score and the last ball of the over added no runs to the total. South Africa fans were clear they were into the next round when rain came and umpires called the covers.


No game was played after and as per the calculation the target was 230 in 45 overs. But the match ended in a tie as the South Africa campaign came to end one more time. South Africa had to win the match to move to the next round but match was tie.


  • 2007 World Cup:


Coming into the 2007 South Africa was a completely different team from the previous world cup, a force to reckon with. 16 teams 4 groups started the tournament to proceed to the super Eight stage.


After winning 2 out of 3 games South Africa moved to the super eight quite easily. 8 teams have to win at least 4 games to move to the semi-finals. South Africa one more time entering the semi-finals after the biggest upset in the super Eight stage against Bangladesh where they lost to them.


Winning 4 out of 7 games South Africa headed to the semi-finals to face-off against Australia one more time in the knockout game. South Africa batting first totally crumbled down at the score of 149 before their 50 overs. What's next was the obvious Australia moved to finals and won the world Cup third time in a row.


  • 2011 World Cup:


Another World Cup exit after the remarkable campaign of the league phase. Winning 5 out of 6 games in a group stage South Africa enters the knockout round and they went against the New Zealand – the underdog team ever in the history of cricket.


After winning the toss, New Zealand managed to score 221 runs in their allocated 50 overs. One more time South Africa was chasing the target in a nail-biting match.


South Africa started the chase and with the early breakthrough they have recovered it back very quickly. With 108/2 it looked like this south Africa makes it to the finals very easily.


South Africa are chokers and they have proved it again this time with 8 wickets in hand. What's next was the complete debacle when South Africa lost all the wickets under the score of 64 runs and the match too by 49 runs. With this it was the another sad ending of South Africa's campaign from world cup.


  • 2015 World Cup:


South Africa and world cup 2015 the saddest ending in the world Cup history. Although AB de Villiers was enough to take his over the line with the unorthodox hitting during the league phase. Fastest 100 and fastest 150 AB de Villiers was the golden form of his career.

After winning 4 out of 6 games in the league phase South Africa easily moved to the quarter finals. Defeating Sri-Lanka in the quarter finals South Africa entering the Semi-finals one more time.


Batting first south Africa posted 281 runs on the board in the 43 overs – rain affected match. This was the rare scene when South Africa was not chasing the target in the semi-finals.


New Zealand started the chase and with 71 runs on board in just 6.1 overs which include some explosive hitting from Brendon McCullum. But they were reduced to 149/4 and it looked they will Crumble this time.

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