Below AFP Sport looks back at their quartet of last-four losses:
1992, SCG: South Africa 232-6 lost to England 252-6 (G Hick 83) by 19 runs (revised target) South Africa, having being allowed into their first World Cup in the run-up to the end of apartheid, were on the cusp of a fairytale appearance when rain stopped play with the Proteas needing 22 off 13 balls for victory. But by the time they came back on the field just ten minutes later, the scoreboard showed they needed an impossible 22 off one ball under the rules governing rain-affected matches at the time.
1999, Edgbaston: South Africa 213 (J Kallis 53; S Warne 4-29) v Australia 213 (M Bevan 65, S Waugh 56; S Pollock 5-36)
Shaun Pollock bowled impressively as South Africa, despite fifties from Michael Bevan and Stephen Waugh, held Australia to 213. But with leg-spin great Shane Warne taking four wickets of his own, Australia stayed in the match. But it seemed Lance Klusener was set to win it off his own bat, despite having just last man Allan Donald for company.
With four balls left, they needed just one to win but as Klusener set off for a single off a mishit, Donald stayed in his ground, dropped his bat and a relay involving Mark Waugh and Damien Fleming saw the bowler underarm the ball to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist to complete a run-out. The match was tied but eventual champions Australia went into the final on superior net run-rate.
2007, Gros Islet: South Africa 149 (S Tait 4-39) lost to Australia 153-3 (M Clarke 60 no) by 7 wkts
South Africa were never in the hunt in this match, as they collapsed in the face of tight fast bowling from Glenn McGrath (three for 18) and Shaun Tait before Michael Clarke’s innings completed a comfortable victory for Australia.
2015, Auckland: South Africa 281-5 (F du Plessis 82, AB de Villiers 65 no) lost to New Zealand 299-6 (G Elliott 84 no, B McCullum 59, C Anderson 58) by 4 wkts (D/L method)
South Africa were going well at 216 for three off 38 overs when rain stopped play and left them with just five more overs on their return. Faf du Plessis was unable to add to his score of 82 but, with AB de Villiers largely a spectator, David Miller thrashed 49 off just 18 balls as South Africa scored 65 runs in their last five overs. That left New Zealand chasing a revised victory target of 298 in 43 overs. Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum blazed his way to a typically quick 59 at the top of the order but New Zealand were in trouble at 149 for four.
But a stand of 103 between Corey Anderson and Grant Elliott swung the match back New Zealand’s way before South Africa fought back and, with two balls left, the Black Caps needed five to win. However, South Africa-born Elliott capped a superb innings by smashing fast bowler Dale Steyn for six off the penultimate delivery. – AFP