South Africa woke this morning to the news that their cricket side had failed to win a World Cup semi-final for the seventh consecutive time.

Read more:
'This was sport in the raw. It gets no better'
Grant Elliott - It was stressful
Black Caps v South Africa - The 10 key moments
Dylan Cleaver: The night the going got tough
Here is how the South African media reacted to the result:
De Villiers: This defeat is the lowest point in my career
From South African website Eyewitness News

Proteas captain AB de Villiers said Tuesday's defeat against New Zealand marked the lowest point in his career.

De Villiers cut a dejected figure at the after-match press conference following his side's four wicket loss to the Black Caps at Eden Gardens.

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De Villiers said he'd never felt so low.

Watch the Eden Park fans relive the Black Caps' incredible victory over South Africa in the semifinal of the Cricket World Cup at Eden Park.

"I have absolutely no idea what to do from here on in, I don't even know when we'll be going home. It's going to take some time. As a captain I'll be there for the guys as much as I can, there's nothing we can do about it now." Read more...

A cartoon from South African website Eyewitness news with the caption 'High drama in the land of the long white cloud.'
A cartoon from South African website Eyewitness news with the caption 'High drama in the land of the long white cloud.'

Proteas falter again

South Africa faltered yet again at the critical moment of a cricket World Cup on Tuesday when New Zealand snatched a semi-final victory which had appeared to be beyond their grasp for much of a rain-affected match at Eden Park.

The pre-tournament favourites had dismissed suggestions that they could succumb under pressure as they have in previous editions of the 50 overs tournament despite losing to India and Pakistan in the first round.

A ruthless demolition of Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals, their first knockout win at a World Cup, indicated had put the demons of the past behind, an impression confirmed on Tuesday when they scored an impressive 281 for five from 43 overs.

However, as man-of-the-match Grant Elliott and Corey Anderson systematically chased down a victory target of 298 from 43 overs, signs of panic began to creep in. Read more..

Fielding, 5th bowler sunk Proteas

It was no doubt a brave effort from the South Africans, and their fans can be proud of the fight they showed after a blistering innings by Brendon McCullum, who got his Kiwi side off to a rollicking start by blasting 59 runs off 26 balls.

By the time he was dismissed, New Zealand had reached 71 off only 6.1 overs, in pursuit of 298 off 43 overs.

However, frailties in the bowling line-up and poor fielding ultimately cost South Africa big time.

McCullum smashed South Africa's premier bowler, Dale Steyn, to all parts and that's where the problem started for the Proteas at this World Cup - bowling.

It's fair to say that Steyn was short of his best at this tournament, his 1-76 off 8.1 overs simply not good enough if you want to win a semi-final. He also failed to defend 12 runs off the final over, after it looked like South Africa would sneak a victory.

But the blame cannot solely be laid on the shoulders of Steyn, who also appeared to be hampered by a hamstring strain.

Wrong selections throughout this tournament put the Proteas bowling line-up under pressure. They went in one bowler short which hampered the balance of the bowling attack. Read more...
Here is how South African Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula reacted to the result on Twitter:

It would have been an incredible finale regardless, but the sheer number of stories threaded through South Africa v New Zealand meant it became something very special.

BYE, SINGLE, FOUR, BYE, SIX

Ball one was on a length and landed just outside the line of leg stump. By Dale Steyn's standards it was slow, and deliberately so. A little under 80mph. Dan Vettori hopped back and swung his bat. Played, missed, and ran anyway. He needed to get Grant Elliott on strike. The two of them had already agreed that with wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock standing so far back they would run regardless. And so they did. A bye, then, and New Zealand need 11 to win or 10 to tie. Do that, and they would go through to the final on the grounds that they'd a better record in the group stages.

It would have been tense anyway. It was a close contest, played for the grand prize of a place in the World Cup final, something neither side had achieved before. But it was so much more excruciating because there was so much history, and so many stories, folded into the space of those five balls. First among those, of course, South Africa's record in the tournament, running back to the injustice of 1992. Richie Benaud's rain rule left them needing 22 runs off one ball. Before the rains came, it had been 22 off 13. That very match led to the invention of the Duckworth/Lewis Method. Frank Duckworth was listening on the radio and heard Christopher Martin-Jenkins say "surely someone, somewhere could come up with something better." Duckworth did. Read more..