WC 2003 - Pollock admits error costed SA the Super Six berth
Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2003, 9:51 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Rain washes SAs dream, SA loses out by one run
Durban: South African captain Shaun Pollock admitted on Monday a wrong calculation knocked his team out of the World Cup after the match against Sri Lanka was hit by rain.South Africa, which needed a win to qualify for the Super Sixes, was 229 for 6 in 45 overs in reply to Sri Lanka's 268 for 9 when rain forced play to be abandoned at the Kingsmead. According to the Duckworth-Lewis method, the "par" score was 229, which meant the honours and the points were shared.One more run would have secured South Africa victory and Pollock said his team had calculated the wrong target.Pollock said a message was sent out through 12th man Nicky Boje to Mark Boucher, who was batting on 45, that South Africa needed to score 229 to win.Boucher responded by hitting Muthiah Muralitharan for a six but patted out the next ball when a single would have done the job."Boucher had been given a message of 229 and so he was pretty happy once we'd got that," a disconsolate Pollock said."But, you know, it's a difficult one too. If we'd known we were going to stop after that over, it's a different kettle of fish."You can look at all the ifs and buts but at the end of the day it doesn't really help much."It was an uncanny repeat of the 1999 tournament when South Africa's semi-final against Australia in Birmingham ended in a tie and Australia went through because it had been higher on the Super Six log table.In 1992, when South Africa made its World Cup debut, a previous rain-rule had left it needing an impossible 22 runs off one ball to win the semi-final against England at Sydney.This time, though, South Africa's downfall came in the first round. It was a major humiliation for the host nation, which started the tournament as second favourite behind defending champion Australia.Sri Lanka went to the top of group B with 18 points, two ahead of Kenya and New Zealand, while South Africa finished on 14 points.Kenya will finish on top if it beats the West Indies at Kimberley on Tuesday and second if it loses, because New Zealand forfeited its scheduled match against it.Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya, meanwhile, was delighted at qualifying for the next round."We knew that after the 35th over we were in the Super Six but we wanted to win that game," he said. "Unfortunately the rain came."We wanted Marvan (Atapattu) and Aravinda (De Silva) to get some runs and Marvan especially, he batted through the innings and got a hundred."I think Aravinda gave him full support. Nice to see him getting runs. We wanted the middle-order to get some runs and they did."When we started bowling there was swing for Vaas. But I think later on it started to spin a little bit and I thought well in these conditions I will go with myself."