South Africa’s World Cup curse continues.

The Netherlands have pulled off a miracle at Adelaide Oval, defeating South Africa by 13 runs on Sunday afternoon to knock the Proteas out of the T20 World Cup.

It was assumed South Africa would comfortably topple the Dutch team to cement their place in the semi-finals, but the men in orange somehow defied the odds, successfully defending their 159-run target in the South Australian capital.

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This year’s T20 World Cup has been packed with unexpected results, but this ranks among the biggest upsets in cricket history.

“They can’t quite believe what they just achieved,” former New Zealand wicketkeeper Ian Smith said in commentary.

“One of the biggest upsets in world sport in a long time … amazing scenes.”

The Netherlands, ranked 17th in the world, were not only sitting at the bottom of the Group 2 ladder, but had never previously defeated South Africa in any format.

“This is a significant moment in the history of cricket that has just unfolded in front of us,” cricket journalist Bharat Sundaresan told SEN.

It means the winner of Sunday afternoon’s match between Pakistan and Bangladesh will progress through to the semi-finals, effectively serving as a quarter-final.

“I’m a little bit lost for words,” Netherlands captain Scott Edwards said in the post-match presentation.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time to take it all in.”

The Netherlands registered 4/158 from their 20 overs after South African captain Temba Bavuma won the toss and elected to field in Adelaide, a decision he may regret.

Player of the Match Colin Ackermann smacked an unbeaten 41 from 26 balls at the death, assisted in the middle overs by former South Australian batter Tom Cooper, who scored 35 from 19 deliveries.

Proteas seamer Anrich Nortje was undeniably the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 1/10 from four overs, while spinner Keshav Maharaj snared two crucial wickets.

The South African run chase got off to an explosive start, but wickets began perpetually tumbling in the middle overs to send a scare through the Proteas camp.

The modest Adelaide crowd watched in disbelief as the required run rate gradually grew, with every South African top-order batter reaching double figures but failing to convert.

Netherlands veteran Roelof van der Merwe claimed a stunning catch over his shoulder to dismiss South African batter David Miller in the 16th over, swinging momentum firmly in the Dutch team’s favour.

The Proteas then lost 4/30 in a disastrous 32-ball passage and their tail couldn’t get the job done, crawling towards a team total of 8/145.

It marks the first time an Associate nation has defeated South Africa in men’s international cricket.

Meanwhile, South Africa is still yet to win a World Cup in any format, men’s or women’s.

The South Africans started their T20 World Cup campaign with three consecutive wins, including a five-wicket victory over tournament favourites India in Perth.

But the Proteas choked, as they’ve done so often before in World Cups, suffering back-to-back defeats against Pakistan in Sydney and now the Netherlands to be bundled out of the competition.

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