South Africa coach Rob Walter blamed the shock 38-run defeat at the hands of the Netherlands in the ongoing World Cup on his side’s disappointing death bowling and poor start with the bat.
The Netherlands recovered from 140 for 7 to post 245 for eight in the rain-hit match on Tuesday and then bowled out South Africa for 207 in 42.5 overs to cause the second major upset of the ongoing showpiece.
The 38-run win was also the Netherlands’ first against a Test-playing nation in their World Cup history. A disappointed Walter minced no words, saying his side was below-par against the Dutch.
“At 140 for 7, you’re in control of the game really. So, to not be able to close it out at the death is disappointing, of course, and certainly the momentum shifted in the game then,” Walter said at the post-match press conference..
“But at the end of the day, we back ourselves still to be able to chase 240 but then we probably you know we got off to a very poor start and they put us on the back foot,” he added.
He said South Africa committed mistakes strategically too.
“Maybe I’ve got our ratios a little bit wrong in terms of the slow balls versus hard length and on pace deliveries. From extras point of view, there’s definitely more extras than we would want to bowl.”
South Africa was unbeaten coming into the match and looked a confident lot having registered convincing wins over Sri Lanka (by 102 runs) and Australia (by 134 runs).
Walter said the two upsets so far proved that no team can be taken for granted in a tournament of this magnitude.
“Four days ago, we played outstandingly well, and then today, not well. Just ultimately, we weren’t good enough, specifically at the back end of the innings. And then at the start with the bat, and we put us on the back foot.”
“As I said before the World Cup started, I don’t think there are any weak teams in this tournament. And if you’re not switched on and you don’t win the key moments in the game, you find yourself on the wrong side of the result. We learned that today,” he said.
“So, we were inconsistent from last game to this game and we got a couple of things wrong that we normally would get right. So, you’ve got to keep your consistency up.
Chasing the modest target, South Africa slipped to 44 for 4 by the 11th over, and Walter said there were plenty of learning from the match.
“...obviously we’ll sit and do a proper dissection of the game. Win or lose, what are the lessons that we take and how do we use those to be better next time round. There’s a lot to learn, both good and bad,” he said.
“Our tail showed us some resilience with a bat, which is great, that we can lean on that at some point in time. We obviously need to brush up on our death (bowling). So, the learnings are there and it’s just about us being open enough to be able to take them on board and move forward.”
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