You can pinpoint the moment exactly: the third ball of South Africa’s 30th over batting. Captain Faf du Plessis, on 63, top-edged to the keeper in a last dash for glory in a doomed campaign. With South Africa still 172 runs behind and with just six wickets in hand, the pounding started. At first a steady hum, it quickly grew, as the nation’s press pack began furiously scripting the headlines of an ignominious defeat at Lord’s.

If Pakistan’s loss to India last week was the moment that their team suffered personal attacks, threats of arrest even, then this was South Africa’s own day of judgment. They started the tournament badly, stumbling, stuttering but nevertheless speaking of a turnaround. But the loss on Sunday confirmed South Africa’s inglorious exit, once more, from the World Cup’s group stages.

The Proteas’ record in tournament cricket is notoriously poor but they have beaten Pakistan on three of four occasions at the World Cup. Yet as Pakistan steadily accumulated a score beyond 300, nobody dominating but everyone contributing, the idea that South Africa might chase it down looked exceedingly remote. A half-century by Babar Azam and a more eye-catching 89 from Haris Sohail could have, should have pushed on, but even so, who for South Africa would produce something similar?

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