London, June 20: South Africa have done it again, losing a semi-final game in an ICC tournament. It had happened 7 times before and was on view again as they were knocked out in the Champions Trophy semi-final by England. And the chokers tag came back to haunt them. Team's coach Gary Kirsten did admit that they choked again.
South Africa batsmen had a disappointing day at The Oval on Wednesday (June 19) and were bowled out for 175. In the chase, England eased to a 7-wicket victory.
"I think it has happened again to be honest with ourselves. I think we did choke again," admitted outgoing coach Kirsten after the game.
"At the end of the day, it's a word that we've become comfortable with. It's an uncomfortable word, that we've become comfortable with, and you have to accept that that's what it is. So they bowled exceptionally well, England," he added.
"So it's a horrible word (choke). It does get used. We've spoken about it; we've been up front about it as a team. We certainly let you are ourselves down today, no doubt."
Kirsten had decided not to renew his contract with the team and this was his last tournament with the Proteas. He was disappointed with the way his batsmen played.
"It was very disappointing. I mean, obviously not what we wanted to do. I think we had better expectations of our performances, for sure. You know, to be blown away with the bat with the quality of batsmen we've got in our batting lineup, I suppose, is very disappointing from that perspective. It's not something that you would expect," he said.
When asked why South Africa were losing knockout games, Kirsten said: "I don't know the answers to be honest with you. I can only tell you, yeah, we've given it our best shot to try to overcome it, and we haven't. Whether it's the semi-final, knock-out games, I don't think it's only been semi-finals. We didn't play well in the ICC World Twenty20 last year. So we certainly do what we can to arrive in the tournament really to do something. I had shared pretty good expectations going into the semi-final because I thought we were batting really well."