South Africa captain Graeme Smith said his team were “just not good enough” after they were knocked out of the World Twenty20 following an 11-run loss to Pakistan on Monday.
The Proteas held defending champions Pakistan to 148 for seven, with seamer Charl Langeveldt taking four wickets for 19 runs.
But South Africa’s batsmen were undone by Pakistan’s spinners and were in trouble at 23 for two, with Smith out for 13.
South Africa have been beaten semifinalists in seven International Cricket Council (ICC) events going back to the 1992 World Cup, but reached only one final, winning the inaugural Champions Trophy, then known as the ICC Knockout, in 1998.
“I guess you run out of excuses,” Smith said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “We were just not good enough again. It’s very, very disappointing.”
“Today we got strangled a bit with the bat,” Smith added after his team were held to 137 for seven, with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal taking four for 26.
“We bowled pretty well to restrict Pakistan, but we were tense with the bat and lacked fluency and positivity. AB [De Villiers, who made 53] was the only one who really played.
“That’s been the story of our tournament. We’ve struggled to get all three disciplines together in one game.
“You always say you’ve got to learn your lessons. You have to say, with the talent in South Africa, it’s not good enough to perform at this level.”
The Proteas reached the semifinals of last year’s World Twenty20 in England before losing to a Shahid Afridi-inspired Pakistan.
Pakistan captain Afridi was again a thorn in South Africa’s side, helping man-of-the-match Umar Akmal add 61 for the fifth wicket.
Pakistan were in dire straits at 18 for three but Akmal counter-attacked to make 51 and, with brother Kamran, was involved in a fourth-wicket stand of 51.
“The boys performed really well,” Afridi said. “In the beginning it was not a good start, but then Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal and myself, those partnerships were good and 140-150 is a good total on this track.” — AFP