DALE STEYN took a critical catch off what turned out to be the last ball of the match to earn the Castle Lager Proteas a tie against the West Indies under the Duckworth/Lewis method at Cardiff on Friday and a place in the semi-final round of the ICC Champions Trophy Tournament.
The Proteas have now finished second in Group B behind India and will play the winners of Group A in their semi-final match at The Oval in London next Wednesday. New Zealand are currently top of the latter group but both England and Sri Lanka have the opportunity to go past them depending on the outcome of the last round of matches.
Rain delayed the start of play which saw the match reduced to 31 overs per side. The West Indies, chasing a target of 231 for victory, had reached 190/5 at the end of 26 overs which had them ahead on the Duckworth/Lewis method at that stage.
Kieron Pollard was, however, caught at third man by Steyn off the first ball of the next over bowled by Ryan Mclaren to leave the teams tied.
No further play was possible and the tied result meant that the Proteas qualified for the semi-final ahead of the West Indies on their superior run rate. At that stage the West Indies still needed 41 for victory with their last two reliable batsmen together at the crease.
The Proteas were put into bat after losing the toss and their total of 230/6 was built on an opening partnership of 80 off 78 balls between Hashim Amla and Man-of-the-Match Colin Ingram (73 off 63 balls, 6 fours and 2 sixes).
The position was consolidated by a second-wicket stand of 44 off 32 balls between Ingram and AB de Villiers with the finishing touches being applied by Faf du Plessis and David Miller (68 off 49 balls).
The Proteas seemed to have the match well under control when they reduced the West Indies to 104/4 in 18 overs in their reply but they then scored 33 runs off their next two overs to put them right back in the match.
Marlon Samuels and Pollard then took them to the brink of victory before both were dismissed at critical moments with Steyn playing an important role in both dismissals.