Deja-vu for South Africa as rain puts dampener on their T20 World Cup campaign

Proteas forced to share point with Zimbabwe after match in Hobart is washed out

Zimbabwe and South African players shake hands after their T20 World Cup match in Hobart was called off due to rain. AFP
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Rain continued to play spoilsport in South Africa's World Cup journey as their Super 12 match against Zimbabwe was washed out just a few overs before its conclusion on Monday.

The Proteas looked on course for victory in a rain-curtailed match but were forced to share a point. Chasing a revised target of 64 in seven overs, Quinton de Kock smashed an unbeaten 47 off 18 balls to steer the team to 51 for no loss in three overs when rain stopped play for the final time in Hobart.

The result brought back memories of previous World Cup nightmares for the Proteas. At the 1992 World Cup, South Africa needed 22 off 13 balls to beat England in their semi-final when rain stopped play. Upon resumption, their target was famously revised to 21 off one ball.

At the 2003 home World Cup, South Africa were knocked out of the group stage after they miscalculated the target required in their rain-affected match against Sri Lanka and lost a place in the Super Six stage by one run.

On Monday, wicketkeeper batsman De Kock came out all guns blazing to smash Tendai Chatara for four fours and a six in a 23-run opening over as they chased 80 from nine overs.

The opener kept up his attack into the second over to hit Richard Ngarava for four straight boundaries and take the total to 40-0 in a stop-start match.

Umpires tried their best to complete the Super 12 encounter but the final rain interruption forced the players off the ground and a disappointed De Kock shook hands with the opposition. A T20 innings needs to last at least five overs for a result.

Zimbabwe managed 79-5 after they elected to bat first but their innings only began after over two hours and 30 minutes of rain delay.

The South African quicks had an instant impact with Wayne Parnell and Lungi Ngidi rattling the opposition top-order. Zimbabwe slipped to 19-4 inside three overs before Wesley Madhevere hit 35 off 18 balls and put on a 55-run stand with Milton Shumba, who made 18.

Parnell sent back skipper Craig Ervine for two after a frenetic start by Zimbabwe, with batsmen living dangerously while running between wickets. Ngidi struck twice in the next over including the in-form Sikandar Raza for a duck after De Kock took a leaping one-handed take behind the stumps.

But Madhevere, who smashed four fours and one six in his 18-ball knock, and Shumba, who got out on the final delivery of the innings off Anrich Nortje, put up a gritty show.

The African nations got one point each from the washout. Not only will South Africa rue the missed point, they will also lament the fact that they could not boost their net run rate, which is likely to play a part in deciding the semi-finalists from the group.

Updated: October 24, 2022, 1:56 PM