The Proteas won a World Cup match in Chennai on Friday evening that they would have lost before.
Temba Bavuma’s team had to score 271 runs to win against Pakistan and you are always on your nerves when South Africa have to chase a score.
The Proteas win convincingly when they bat first, but the runaway batting train loses momentum badly when they have to bat last in the game.
For example, they could not score 246 runs for a win against the Netherlands earlier.
A mini-batting collapse – from 206/4 to 260/9 – added to the drama against Pakistan, but Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi pulled the plug for the Proteas.
Maharaj scored the winning runs with a boundary off Mohammad Nawaz’s bowling and the South African bonfires were burning high in India.
“I think everyone had something to say about how we had to approach the run chase. But in the end, the players in the middle – Keshav and Shamsi – won the game for us,” said Bavuma.
According to the Protea cricket captain, the performances of the Springboks in France definitely motivated his team to win difficult matches.
“If you look at the quarter-final against France and especially the semi-final against England; they simply found a way to win. For us as players it was very inspiring to see how they refuse to give up.”
The Proteas play New Zealand in Pune on Wednesday.