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September 26, 2002
1300 IST

Pool A:
Aus | Ban | NZ

Pool B:
Ind | Eng | Zim

Pool C:
Ken | SA | WI

Pool D:
Ned | Pak | SL

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Pollock blames team for South Africa defeat

Dejected South Africa captain Shaun Pollock blamed his team for their 10-run loss to India in the Champions Trophy semi-finals on Wednesday.

"We threw the game away," Pollock told reporters minutes after his team had slumped from a seemingly impregnable position chasing 262 to finish on 251-6.

"We have got ourselves to blame. We have to make sure this doesn't happen."

South Africa were coasting when opener Herschelle Gibbs, having made a potentially match-winning 116, was forced to retire with severe cramps and exhaustion.

India took a couple of quick wickets to turn the game on its head before piling on the pressure in the final overs.

Pollock said Gibbs was in no shape to continue.

"It was unfortunate for us. He couldn't grip the bat with either hand. We can't have a go at him."

"It was brilliant batting, he set up the victory for us and we just needed to finish it off."

Pollock said his team should have won despite Gibbs leaving the field and blamed the later batsmen for failing to score quickly.

But Pollock denied his team had choked again, refusing to accept comparisons with the World Cup semi-final elimination to Australia in 1999 after last man Allan Donald's run out with one run needed to win from three balls.


India captain Saurav Ganguly said his side were "down but never out" and praised his players for ensuring the "unbelievable victory".

"We grabbed our opportunities. We've fought till the end," he said.

Ganguly said he was aware that a new batsman would find it difficult to get going on the sluggish Premadasa pitch.

South Africa lost three wickets for 19 runs after Gibbs went off the field.

"We bowled and fielded well under pressure. The result is victory.

"In the last ten months, the best part is we have never given up, that was the key in this match and we are again in the final," he said.

India had also reached the final in the 2000 Nairobi edition before losing to New Zealand.

India had chased 326 to beat hosts England in a one-day tournament final in July before arriving at this 12-team event.

Virender Sehwag, who took 3-25 in five overs said he had never dreamt he would win a man of the match award for his bowling.

India's explosive opener had won the accolade for his match-winning 126 against England in their pool game.

The 23-year-old said he was not too worried to bowl the final over.

"South Africa needed 21 runs, even if they hit me for six, I was confident because they needed lot of runs," he said.

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