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"It hurts... thought it was chaseable": Markram reflects on South Africa's heartbreak in T20 WC final

June 30, 2024 08:44 AM

Bridgetown : "Gutted" and "hurt" after South Africa's heartbreak in the T20 World Cup final, skipper Aiden Markram was aware that they could have won the game against India while hunting down 177, which they felt was a "chasable total".

South Africa stood so close to the trophy yet ended up so far. They had a sniff at lifting their World Cup trophy when the equation read 26 runs needed in the final four overs.

With Heinrich Klaasen bossing the spinners and David Miller waiting to open his arms on the other end, victory seemed just moments away from South Africa's grasp.

But the dynamics and the calculus of the game shifted when Hardik Pandya, Arshdeep Singh and Jasprit Bumrah decided to bear the brunt of the power-hitting duo.

The game went down the wire, but India held their nerves and emerged victorious with a 7-run win, leaving South Africa in a position from which they will take some time to reflect on their campaign.


"Gutted for the time being. It'll take some time for us to have a really good reflection on a really good campaign the group had. Obviously, for the time being, like I mentioned, it hurts quite a bit. Having said that, I'm incredibly proud of this group of players and everyone involved with the team. I feel they bowled well. Don't think there was a whole lot to work with regards to the pitch.

Thought we did well to restrict them to what we thought was a chaseable total. Thought we batted really well as well, and it came down to the wire," Markram said in the post-match presentation.

It was a game that kept the spectators on the edge of their seats with all its expected twists and turns. After Klaasen's quick-fire fifty ended, things quickly changed, taking the game out of South Africa's hands.

In the next eighteen deliveries, South Africa lost two wickets while managing to put just ten turns on the board, leaving them in a peculiar situation in the final over.

"A really good game of cricket. We've seen with a lot of our games in this campaign - it's never over till the last ball is bowled. We never got comfortable, there's always an element of scoreboard pressure. And especially at the back end, things happen quite quickly and can turn quite quickly as well. We got into a great position, which proves we're worthy finalists," Markram added.

When Klaasen was muscling away spinners to pick effortless boundaries, South Africa looked destined to lift their maiden T20I trophy. However, things didn't eventually fall in their favour, yet their inspiring journey remains a proud moment for them.

"Could've won the game today. Unfortunately, we didn't. Still, like I mentioned, incredibly proud of the group. Hopefully, in a really good way. One thing guaranteed about South Africans, wherever they are in the world, is they're a really competitive person, really respectful person, and a person that will go down with a fight. Hopefully, looking forward, we can draw a lot from those few things and keep putting the skill side of the sport to good use. It's still a proud moment for us," Markram concluded.

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