“They may not have won the cup, but they won our hearts.”
This is the saying that has been buzzing around cyberspace after the loss of the Proteas against New Zealand in today's semi finals at Auckland's Eden Park. South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first. They were up to 216 runs for 3 when the rain interrupted the match. The officials had to rely on the Duckworth-Lewis method, where a final result was calculated. This decision resulted in South Africa's final score coming to 281/5. New Zealand were up and within the last nail-biting moments of this match, Grant Elliot propelled his team into the finals by hitting a six off of Dale Steyn's ball. Video footage and photos show a distraught South African team as the final score tallied up, and they lost with 4 wickets. Numerous players were crying out of pure defeat. Despite the loss, good sportsmanship was shown from both teams. AB de Villiers had said that the better team won today. He went on to say that this was probably the worst he has ever felt on a cricket field, and he mentions how grateful they are for the support back home, even though he feels like he has let the fans down. "It's so bad. We wanted to take that trophy back home, but life moves on, the sun will come up tomorrow." Contrary to what de Villiers and his teammates are feeling, social media has exploded at how well the Proteas played their first semi-final match. People from all over the world, South Africa to India, has been posting pictures on Instagram and Twitter, claiming how the Proteas have won the hearts of all cricket and non-cricket fans. They praised a great game and debated over whether or not the D/L method was fairly used. Despite the arguments over this match, it personally gave me a sense of pride. Even though we lost, we also made it. We showed the world we can also pull together as a country: to support those who represent us. This is what it means to be South African; this is #ProteaFire.