Phantom nick not what cost us the game



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Birmingham – o Proteas and World Cup.

It is a combination that simply does not work in any way or form.

On Wednesday in Edgbaston, anything that could go wrong for South Africa at the end of their clash against New Zealand did.

Having defined the Kiwis 242 For the win over what would be a difficult wicket to score fast, the Proteas had a masterclass as New Zealand captain Kane Williamson hit 106 * (138) to get his side on the line in the final final.

If the Proteas managed to free Williamson, they would probably have won the game and would still be alive in the tournament.

With the pressure increasing all the time, as Black Caps approached its target, there was a drop in catches, misfields and chances of fouls.

Perhaps the greatest moment, in retrospect, came with the last ball of Imran Tahir's day.

Williamson, who was 76 * at the time, tried to work Tahir outside and seemed to have played and lost.

Tahir showed immediate interest with half an appeal, but Quinton de Kock behind the stumps did not seem interested and the call ended.

Then, a few minutes later, television replays revealed that Williamson had, in effect, demoted the ball to De Kock and he would have given up if Proteas had sent the decision upstairs.

Speaking after the game, a visibly gutted Du Plessis said it was not fair to pinpoint this as the time when the game was lost to South Africa.

"I think I spent a lot of time at the time, and Quinny is the closest to the action. He's always my partner," said Du Plessis.

"I just thought it was a clear fault.

"I just heard about it now in the post that he said he had a nick on it.

"But even Kane said he did not know he'd gotten it.

"It's not where the game was won and lost.

"If it was a perfect game, Kane would have come out and the game would have been too tight. But for me, that's not the difference today."

@LoydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 …

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