'Upset' Van Niekerk on Proteas women loss: Everybody's hurting

Dane van Niekerk (AFP)
Dane van Niekerk (AFP)

Proteas skipper Dane van Niekerk admitted that her side was distraught following their Women's T20 World Cup semi-final defeat to Australia on Thursday.

The match between the two sides went ahead at the Sydney Cricket Ground after the earlier game at the same venue between India and England was washed out.

If the rain stayed in Sydney, the Proteas could've followed India into a historic T20 World Cup final, but it was not to be.

After winning the toss and bowling first, Proteas bowler Nadine de Klerk took 3/16 as the South Africa restricted the hosts to 134/5.

The rain started falling as Australia's innings ended, which saw the game reduced to 13 overs and the Proteas needing a revised target of 98 for victory.

South Africa lost wickets regularly and soon the target became too much as the Proteas finished on 92/5.

"It's very upsetting. The team is quite distraught at the moment," Van Niekerk told reporters on Thursday.

"It's the second time we've come really close in a semi-final. We just didn't get over that hurdle of the semi-final. Everybody's hurting, and that hurts me.

Van Niekerk insisted that they came into the match prepared for a game despite persistent rain in Sydney.

"As a team, we came to play cricket, we did not look at the weather," she said.

"We felt if we wanted to go to the final we had to beat the best in the world. Everybody was up and about and ready to play the game. I cannot fault my team-mates one bit in any facet of that game," she said.

"I have to give credit when it's due, Australia bowled really well...

"We are here to play cricket. I'd rather lose then get a free pass into the World Cup final.

"I thought tonight was the night but it wasn't meant to be. I had a calm heart about tonight. When I came to the ground, no matter what happened, rain or shine, I was really calm."

Meanwhile, hosts Australia will take on India in the Women's T20 World Cup final in Melbourne on Sunday (09:00 SA time).

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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