London: Think of South Africa in a World Cup semifinal in England, and the mind immediately goes back to Edgbaston 1999 and the headless chicken run-out that resulted in a tie and Australia going through to the final. Think of a semifinal against England and you go back even further, to the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1992, when the scoreboard let people know that the joke of a rain rule had reduced the match to a farce. (SA's chokers tag will have no bearing on the semi-final outcome: Alastair Cook)
Both matches are mentioned often enough to cite South Africa's horrible luck at big-ticket events. Except that luck had nothing to do with either. On both occasions, they deserved their fate, for being as soft as lemon meringues. The rain rule may have ruined the Sydney contest, but England had been denied five overs at the end of their innings because South Africa's over-rate was so appalling. Sympathy? Only if you have a warped sense of right and wrong.