Marlon Samuels West Indies
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels is bowled by South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn in their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 gameReuters

It is not easy to negotiate the Duckworth-Lewis method, as South Africa, a team renowned for choking when it comes to crunch moments and big tournaments, will attest to.

On Friday evening on a cold and soggy day in Cardiff, and ten years since South Africa so famously miscalculated to knock themselves out of the World Cup, the Proteas watched in disbelief and glee as the West Indies threw their chances of progressing to the semifinals away by one shot.

Kieron Pollard, one of the biggest hitters in the game, needed to curb that instinct and just play through the next couple of overs, as the grey clouds hovered over the ground waiting to send down some cold rain, which had initially reduced the match to just 31 overs each.

Instead, the first ball of the 27th over, bowled by Ryan McLaren, will now be known for that shot which flew all the way to Dale Steyn at third man, a shot which cost West Indies a place in the semifinals of the Champions Trophy.

The match between South Africa and the West Indies ended in a tie by the Duckworth-Lewis method, with play called off right after Pollard was dismissed, leaving the Caribbean side on 190 for six from 26.1 overs.

Had Pollard kept his wits and his wicket, the par score would have been much lesser than 190, and the West Indies would have been the side through to the last four, instead of South Africa, who advanced on a better nett run rate, after both sides finished the group stages with three points each.

South Africa join India in the last four from Group B, with the semifinalists from Group A still to be decided.

In a match that was delayed by rain by a few hours, and thus reduced to 31 overs, South Africa, on the back of a 73 from Colin Ingram and some all-round contributions plundered 230 runs for six wickets.

The chase never really looked on as South Africa, reinvigorated by the return of Steyn, kept the plugs on the West Indies batsmen, with Johnson Charles failing to make an impression and Chris Gayle falling in the 12th over after a 27-ball 36.

At least 20 overs needs to be bowled in each innings for a result to come into the reckoning, and at that stage the West Indies, on 130 for four - with Devon Smith and Darren Bravo also back in the hut, and Marlon Samuel and Pollard at the crease -- were 14 runs behind the Duckworth-Lewis total.

From there, Pollard and Samuels launched quite an assault, with Samuels taking 15 runs off left-arm spinner Robin Peterson.

Steyn is a master of his arts though, and the supreme fast bowler again brought things back South Africa's way with a terrific over, before dismissing Samuels (48, 38b, 6x4, 2x6) in the 24th with a brilliant straight delivery that sent the middle-stump cartwheeling.

But Pollard, in a mood, is a difficult force to stop as the West Indies continued to push ahead of the necessary total, with Dwayne Bravo smashing a boundary through the offside off the last ball of the 26th over from Chris Morris to take the score to 190 for five, four runs ahead of the par score.

Enter McLaren with a short carrot ball outside off stump, which Pollard could not help but throw his bat at and unfortunately for the World T20 champions, find a gleeful Steyn.

The clouds which looked like it might hold off until the 31 overs, decided it was time to open the doors wide open again and with it send the West Indies agonizingly out of the tournament. 

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