South Africa have fought an uncomfortable 'chokers' tag for years, but this squad is different. At least, skipper AB de Villiers is convinced that it is.
Before the quarter-final against Sri lanka, De Villiers had said they would play cricket and not bother about about any such image.
The Proteas walked their skippers talk on Wednesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground. South Africa's bowlers had Sri Lankan batsmen on their toes from the word go.
After pacers Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott sent back the Lankan openers within the first 10 overs, leggie Imran Tahir and off-spinner JP Duminy joined hands to wreak havoc. Lanka's bastman-in-form Kumar Sangakkara struggled to get going at one end and kept consuming balls even as he kept running out of partners. First Tahir and then Duminy picked up wickets in a flurry.
Duminy became the first South African bowler and ninth overall to notch up a World Cup hat-trick. Despite not being a big-turner of the ball, his USP is he keeps it straight and simple. That was enough for him to get a staggered hat-trick — last ball of the 33rd over (Angelo Mathews) and first two balls of the 35th over (Nuwan Kulasekara and Tharindu Kaushal).
Duminy had Mathews caught by Faf du Plessis for 19. Kulasekara walked after getting an edge to De Kock and Kaushal was rapped on the pads in front of middle stump.
The South African finished with figures of 3/29 from nine overs, one of them a maiden. He joins England's Steven Finn in the hat-trick takers' list of World Cup 2015.
Duminy is the second spinner after Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq (1999) to achieve a World Cup hat-trick.
The World Cup hat-trick takers' list features only one Indian in Chetan Sharma, who accomplished the feat in 1987 against New Zealand.