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South Africa will ride on 'must-win mindset' in World Cup semi-final

By AFP

November 11, 2023 12:20 AM


South Africa's Rassie van der Dussen said the team will take their "must-win mindset" into the World Cup semi-final against five-time winners Australia.

The Proteas on Friday won their concluding league match against Afghanistan by five wickets courtesy of Van der Dussen's unbeaten 76 in Ahmedabad.

They head into the last-four with a record of seven victories in nine matches, having lost to India and, surprisingly, the Netherlands.

South Africa thrashed Australia by 134 runs in the early days of the tournament, but Van der Dussen said their semi-final clash will pose a different challenge.

"I think it will probably be different in the sense that a lot of their guys have been in those situations before and have a good reference of how it is having won the World Cup and having played in the semi-final four years ago," Van der Dussen said of his opponents.

"So, in terms of that, they'll probably know what it's about a bit more but it's on the day, it's what team rocks up, what team is switched on, what team executes their plans."

Van der Dussen added: "From the start it's been almost like a must-win type of mindset for us. I don't think too much will be different. I think it will be a good game. They're a great team."

South Africa have lost two World Cup semi-finals to Australia, the most painful being in 1999 when the match ended in a tie and their rivals went through because of a higher group stage finish.

"In '99, I was 10 so I don't remember too much, but they obviously had a really good chance to win the World Cup, I think we have a good chance as well," said Van der Dussen.

"In 2007 again I suppose on the day the team didn't execute like they wanted to and that's fine. It's going to happen like that. Someone's going to win and someone's going to lose."

Van der Dussen added: "The whole chat around our group was, you know what, on the 19th of November (final) we'll be where we need to be if it's lifting the trophy or not. Whatever will happen will happen, but we'll definitely go away from here with fond memories."

South Africa have long carried a "chokers" tag as they have faltered in knockout games despite a good run in the league stage and still await their first World Cup trophy.

Chasing a tricky 245 against a world class Afghanistan spin attack, South Africa looked in trouble at 139-4 but Van der Dussen steered the team home in an unbeaten stand of 65 with Andile Phehlukwayo, who hit 39.

"He played brilliantly. Throughout this whole campaign, it's been such a squad effort," said Van der Dussen.


AFP


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