South Africa's miserable World Cup campaign was ended by Pakistan at Lord's as they shunted away Faf du Plessis and team by 49 runs. It was a clash of two misfiring sides and Sarfaraz Ahmed and team were more in tune with the challenge at hand.
Pakistan batted first, got off to a solid start and then motored along in the middle phase to end with 308. And then Mohammed Amir got rid of Hashim Amla early with the new ball which pegged back South Africa and they could never recover from this and never found momentum right through the chase. Amir, Wahab and Shadab shared the spoils as South Africa were shunted away by 49 runs.
Speaking at the end of the match, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis confessed that it was the lowest point of his career and that as a skipper, he has to take responsibility to get things right. He even blamed the IPL for the injuries to his players and said that players who play in all the three formats need to be rested before such crucial events.
'It's not in my hands'
"It's important we find space to rest our three-format players. They are playing a lot of cricket. That's the one area I would have changed but it's not in my hands," he said at the end of the match.
South Africa was ravaged with injuries right through the competition and this did not allow them to field their best XI on the field. The skipper said that the results were humiliating form him as a captain, but insisted that will not walk away from the job but will try to fix the problems at hand.
"I've always said the most enjoyment I get from the game is captaining the side. The fact we are playing way below our potential is not something that sits well with me. I'm trying as hard as I can, but unfortunately, not everything is down to me. My character is I will try to fix as many problems as I can," he further added.
There will be casualties at the end of this campaign, especially with the senior players who have not performed up to their potential. Hashim Amla has struggled right through the campaign, JP Duminy never got going and Imran Tahir, despite all his impact and exuberance, is not getting any younger. The captain admitted that such a mediocre campaign will most certainly tarnish the legacy of the few of the senior players.
"So it is a challenge, and my character is one that will try and fix as many problems as I can and try and control the areas that I can, but unfortunately, I can't control everything," he added.