Cardiff: West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo regretted the fact his side were denied one more ball to win the match after they bowed out of the Champions Trophy following a tie with South Africa.
After rain reduced Friday's fixture in Cardiff to 31 overs per side, South Africa, sent into bat by Bravo, made 230 for six on the back of man-of-the-match Colin Ingram's 73, as well as handy contributions from David Miller (38) and Proteas captain AB de Villiers (37).
West Indies were in trouble at 87 for three but Marlon Samuels (48) and Kieron Pollard (28) both scored at better than a run-a-ball to get the World Twenty20 champions back on track.
However, when Pollard was dismissed off what turned out to be the last ball of the match, the West Indies went from being in a winning position to exactly dead level on the Duckworth/Lewis method for deciding rain-affected matches at 190 for six off 26.1 overs.
The umpires then took the players off the field for the final time because of rain and while both sides received a point for a tie, it was South Africa who qualified for the last four because of their superior net run-rate.
They joined Group B winners India as one of two qualifiers for the knockout stages from their side of the tournament and will now play whichever side tops Pool A in a semi-final at London's Oval ground on June 19.
Darren Sammy walked out to the middle after Pollard was caught at third man by Dale Steyn off Ryan McLaren but Australian umpires Steve Davis and Rod Tucker then decided enough was enough.
"I must say I am disappointed with how the game ended, but I am not disappointed with what the umpires did," Bravo said.
However, the all-rounder added: "I think it would have been fair for both teams, the fans and tournament if that extra ball had been bowled or something like that.
"But you have to give credit to both teams, South Africa batted very well and I was pleased with how my guys went in the run chase. We were in the game right until Kieron got out."
For South Africa, whose habit of finding some bizarre ways to exit major one-day tournaments led them to be dubbed "chokers" -- a tag Bravo threw their way on Thursday -- there was relief that, unlike the 1999 and 2003 World Cups, this time a tie did not see them eliminated.
"I was aware we were behind as the Duckworth-Lewis score was on the scoreboard the whole time, which made it easy for us to follow and plan," said de Villiers.
"At that time as it had been raining for half an hour, so it was difficult to know when the umpires were going to call it," the wicketkeeper-batsman added.
"But I felt the rain was getting heavier, the ball was really wet and it became difficult to communicate with my bowlers as it was so windy. I thought it got quite dangerous and slippy out there so I think they made the right decision, although I would have been happier if they had called it 15 minutes earlier. But we will take the luck and go to the semi-finals with it. We have been on wrong side of these matches so I am very happy," he said.
As for that 'choking tag, a defiant de Villiers insisted it was not a label that should be hung around the current South Africa side.
"We are not a team that hides from games we have lost before. We have effectively come through two knockout games to reach the semi-finals, need I say more?"
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