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Proteas thank fans for unrelenting support

AB de Villiers says the Proteas are focused on playing to win the country's maiden World Cup.

FILE: The Proteas World Cup squad. Picture: CSA

CAPE TOWN - South Africa are now one match away from reaching their first ever Cricket World Cup final after their 9 wicket win over Sri Lanka in the World Cup quarterfinal at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

The Proteas have played in two World Cup semifinals before, but on Wednesday won a knockout match for the first time ever.

Quinton de Kock also silenced his critics and top scored with 78.

Captain AB de Villiers says they want to pay back fans that have been showing unrelenting support so far.

"In tournaments like this you always under pressure and you want to do the people that support you proud, you want to feel like they're supporting the right team."

The second quarterfinal between defending champions India and Bangladesh is currently underway, followed by quarterfinal three between Pakistan and Australia tomorrow.

The Proteas will face the winner of the fourth quarterfinal match between West Indies and New Zealand.

'WE DON'T MIND BEING CALLED CHOKERS '

De Villiers says the Proteas are now firmly focused on winning the title.

" I think we like being called chokers, so we will just keep that tag and move along, as long as we keep winning. It's a great achievement from the team.

"Like I said before, we came here to win the World Cup so our next hurdle is the semifinals and we will try and find our way to get over that hurdle."

De Villiers was full of praise for the South African selectors for keeping De Kock in the team, who prior to yesterday's match had scored just 53 in six innings and his inclusion in the team was uncertain.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula is confident the Proteas will bring home the World Cup trophy. Mbalula says the Proteas have done the nation proud.

"I never had any doubt that they will make it this far. I think luck and determination and regrouping have been on their side and over and above the nation keeps pumping them up."

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