The 2015 World Cup semi-final between South Africa and New Zealand remains etched in cricketing memory, characterized by the heart-wrenching defeat of the Proteas. Faf du Plessis, who played a crucial role in that tournament, recently shared the emotional turmoil within the dressing room following the loss.
Du Plessis reflected on that fateful moment, describing it as an exceptional event in his cricketing journey. He emphasized the unprecedented desolation that engulfed the change room. He highlighted the role of weather, explaining that when rain disrupted play, New Zealand’s key bowlers had exhausted their allotted overs. South Africa had been defending a target of 400, and the rain-shortened game allowed Brendon McCullum and his team to launch an onslaught.
“When we were batting first and the rain comes, what people forget to mention is that all their front-line bowlers were finished, and we were definitely looking for 400. A shortened game brings someone like Brendon McCullum into the game and they have a great start. We had one or two chances; it wasn’t all an unlucky game,” Faf du Plessis revealed during a Pre-match show on Star Sports.
He went on to say, “But, after that game, ‘oh my word!’, I have never seen a change room so shattered. The last time I cried this much was when I saw The Lion King as a youngster. After that day, I sat and started weeping in the dressing room, and I just couldn’t stop crying. I looked around and saw 8-9 guys absolutely broken. It’s the best game of cricket that I have been part of and also the worst after everything happened,” he concluded.
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The pain of the 2015 World Cup semi-final defeat had a lasting impact on AB de Villiers, South Africa’s former captain. He confessed that it weighed on his spirit for nearly a year and significantly influenced his sudden decision to retire from international cricket.
In that rain-affected semi-final, South Africa suffered a four-wicket loss to New Zealand through the D/L method. De Villiers candidly acknowledged the profound struggle he faced in coming to terms with that heart-wrenching loss.
“That really wore me down a touch, but I kept playing, I tried to bite the bullet, I tried to be there. I was batting really well. I still had incredible friendships and memories,” AB de Villiers shared in a conversation with Harsha Bhogle