New Zealand and South Africa have a weird record against their name. These two are the only teams who have not reached the World Cup final despite entering semifinal in more than one edition. Overall, between them they share 9 semifinals, all unsuccessful attempts. 6 by Kiwis and 3 by South Africans. While South Africans have just broken their biggest jinx of World Cup, New Zealand have been at their best run. As destiny had it, after being unable to enter the final for various technical, non-technical, game and ICC related issues, this was the only option available to get one of these two teams enter the final. Who Will Get to the Final!! Let us check the records.
South Africa in Semifinals
In the first two attempts ICC rules forced them out. In 2007 they lost to a better opponent. In 1992 and 1996 World Cup semifinals, weird immature rules from ICC denied South Africa a fair result. In 1992, when they needed just 22 runs from 13 balls in the semifinal against England due to the 10 minutes rain delay, ICC rules asked them to chase 21 runs in 1 ball. Yes, just one ball!! Can there be a worse case of injustice?
Even in 1996, they played a tie in the semifinal against Australia. But, they were declared loser because at the group stage they had lost to Australia. Should a game consider results of group stages at semifinals and finals!! Only ICC would know that.
But, unfortunately on both the occasions of weirdest injustice in World Cups, South Africa was on the receiving end that too in semifinals.
- Eng def SA by 1 run (D/L method), MOM: Graeme Hick
Score: Eng 252/6 (45 ov), SA 232/6 (43 ov)
- WI def SA by 19 runs, : Brian Lara
Score: WI 264/8, SA 245
- Aus def SA after tie (on the basis of better net run rate before finals), MOM: Shane Warne
Score: Aus 213 SA 213
- Aus def SA by 7 wkts, MOM: McGrath
Score: SA 149, AUs 153/3
- New Zealand def South Africa by 49 runs, MOM: Jacob Oram
Score: NZ 221/8, SA 172
New Zealand in Semifinals
While in the first two attempts their average attepm
- West Indies def New Zealand by 5 wickets, MOM: Kallicharan
Scores: New Zealand 158, WI 159/5
- England def New Zealand by 9 runs, MOM: Graham Gooch
Score: Eng 221/8, NZ 212/9
- Pak def NZ by 4 wkts, MOM: Inzamam-ul-Haq
Score: NZ 262/7, Pak 263/6
- Pak def NZ by 9 wkts, MOM: Shoaib Akhtar
Score: NZ 241/7, Pak 242/1
- SL def NZ by 81 runs, MOM: Mahela Jayawardene
Score: SL 289/5, NZ 208
- Sri Lanka defeated New Zealand by 5 wickets, MOM: Sangakkara
Score: NZ 217, SL 220/5 (47.5)
Continuing its tradition of reaching semifinal in every alternative edition, South Africa has reached its fourth World Cup semifinal. After the losses of semifinals in 1992, 1999 and 2007 and quarterfinal in 1996, South Africa has taken the first major step though. They have won their first knockout match in 7 editions of World Cup after trouncing Sri Lanka in Quarterfinals.
New Zealand on the other hand has already trounced 7 opponents, with Australia as exception and the team appears to be at their best to make corrections and get their team New Zealand into their first final.